US: positive March auto deliveries beat decline forecasts image

US auto sales last month started to defrost after another harsh winter period in January and especially in February, with consumer demand for new vehicles high in the luxury and truck segments.

The delivery of cars and light trucks in the US in March surged to the fastest pace since November, rising above analyst predictions that called for a detraction on a yearly basis. New-vehicle sales grew 0.6 percent from March 2014, reaching a total of 1,545,802 autos, according to figures from industry consultant Autodata Corp – the forecasts were for a 0.8 percent decline. The positive performance is especially notable since in the year-ago month the automakers had one extra selling day and weekend to persuade buyers. Eric Lyman, vice president of industry insights for research firm TrueCar Inc believes the result for last month is just the beginning, and “the second quarter looks to be even more favorable” thanks in part to incoming demand after another harsh winter period.

The seasonally adjusted annualized selling rate, or SAAR, soared to 17.2 million, the best rate in the past four months, again soaring past analyst predictions for a 16.9 million figure. Analysts contend the market is showing sustainable growth, thanks to average transaction prices rising above incentives, though the rapid pace seen in the last couple of years will not be achieved again. As the US economy continues to improve and all its indicators are positive and coupled with the continued low prices of gasoline, all estimates point out the factors are favorable to US auto sales clocking in this year their sixth straight annual increase.

Via Reuters, Bloomberg