US auto sales grow on warm weather and new models image

With winter finally out and as new models of cars and trucks enter showrooms, buyers have making the long awaited new car purchase – with the vast majority of automakers reporting sales increases and bigger earnings.

With industry wide sales growing a little over 8% to almost 1.4 million cars, forecast companies like AutoPacific say the trend keeps the year-end tally on track to reach 16.2 million units – up from last year’s 15.5 million cars.

“While the challenging weather during the first quarter may have kept some buyers out of dealerships, year-end sales remain on track with AutoPacific’s original forecast, with a slight increase that aligns with the country’s economic recovery,” explains Ed Kim, vice president of Industry Analysis at AutoPacific. “Auto sales continue to recover in step with improving economic conditions, albeit at a relaxed pace compared to preceding years. Industry sales have returned to healthy and sustainable levels, with strong margins seen throughout much of the industry.”

Luxury sales outgrew the industry pace, with Audi, Lexus, Subaru, Mercedes-Benz or Land Rover posting double-digit growth, mainly because of new or refreshed models.
Besides that, as most of the automakers saw their sales increased, they also managed to earn more money on each sold car – the Average Transaction Price for new cars went up by $389 (up 1.2%) from April 2013 – although incentive spending offset it and it lost $47 (0.1%) to March.