US: sales are off the chart, and consumers are paying the price image

Sales are reaching new heights these first months, with US consumers and businesses en route to post the best levels since before the Great Recession of 2009, but they’re also paying the price.

With consumer demand reaching a pace that has not been seen since before the economic crisis, the delivery increases of new cars, pickups and crossovers are also supported by the highest prices, according to the latest figures from Experian Automotive. The firm is constantly tracking the data behind new and used vehicle purchasing and financing in the country, announced that for the first quarter of the year, the average payment for a new auto has hit a record level of $28,711. “I think it’s (because of) several things,” comments Melinda Zabritski, Experian’s senior director of automotive finance. We have as the main villain the usual inflation, but there are also other socioeconomically distinctive culprits. With choice driving the recent record debts of Americans, consumers in the past year and a half have constantly flocked upstream to crossover vehicles and large pickups trucks, shunning the usual midsize sedan or economy car.

With pickups the usual suspects in the sales charts since they were invented, today “Entry-level CUVs (crossover utility vehicles) have pushed into the lead,” adds Zabritski, while economy cars and family rides have fallen out of favor. And since the segment usually commends a higher price than comparable passenger cars, we can do the maths ourselves.

Via Forbes