Auto sales in the US have reached the slowest pace over the past three years, despite the automakers’ spending on incentives.
At the end of February the average number of days necessary to sell new vehicles increased to 64, the highest since August 2009, according to Bloomberg Industries. Automakers have also increased incentives to 7.8% of a car’s price to attract customer, reaching the highest level since 201, according to analyst Kevin Tynan. In January and February incentives increased more than 8%.
Since 2010, a year after GM’s and Chrysler’s bankruptcies, auto sales have increased more than 10% annually, remaining a bright spot for the United States. According to Autodata Corp. growth will slow this year, with total light-vehicle sales increasing 3.7% last month. Jessica Caldwell, industry analyst for Edmunds.com says that it is still early to be concerned as she sees the pace of growth reaching the pre-recession level.
“Even though it’s creeping up a bit, it doesn’t start to raise eyebrows at this point,” she said. “The number of days needed for a sale have risen, but it’s stabilized in the low 60s.”
Among the automakers which have seen the biggest raises in average numbers of days necessary to sell their cars are Chevrolet, Chrysler, GMC and Lincoln.