Auto market watchers see a good start to the new year. J.D. Power & Associates sees sales for January coming in at 681,000 units, an increase of 6% versus last year, a seasonally adjusted annualized rate (SAAR) of 10.9 million units, which is lower than the selling rate in December 2011 but well above January 2011.
“Retail light-vehicle sales in January are showing stability coming off the 2011 high note in
December,” said John Humphrey, SVP of global automotive operations at J.D. Power & Associates in a statement. “Vehicles are
currently remaining on dealer lots for fewer than 50 days on average, which is the lowest level for January for the past several years. This is a good
indication that pent-up demand is beginning to return to the market.”
Web auto marketing firm TrueCar.com sees U.S. light vehicle sales for January at 874,481 units, up 6.7% from January last year, and down 29.6% from December 2011.
The firm sees retail sales up 7.3% compared to January 2011 and down 30.0 percent from December 2011. Incentives will be about $2,592, an increase of 0.5% from the first month last year.
“The underlying consumer demand for new vehicles continues to improve at a steady pace. For the first time in several years, we are starting the year off with a warm and fuzzy feeling of the good-old-days where the industry and the consumers are once again focused on the excitement of the new cars – and not which car company is going to survive,” said Jesse Toprak, vice president of industry trends and insights for TrueCar.com, in a statement.