WASHINGTON (12/3/14)--Fueled by plummeting gas prices and attractive Black Friday promotions, vehicle sales increased to 17.2 million units sold in November up from 16.45 million units in October, according to AutoData Corp. numbers (Economy.com Dec. 2).
November's pace was the strongest since August, when sales skyrocketed to 17.5 million units from 16.5 million. In 2014, sales are averaging 16.45 million units per month, the fastest rate since 2006, according to Moody's.
"The buzz around Black Friday helped drive strong showroom traffic, but there was a lot more at work in the market," said Kurt McNeil, GM sales executive, in a news release (MarketWatch Dec. 2). "More people have jobs and job security, their wages are starting to increase, household wealth is growing and low pump prices look like they're here to stay through 2015."
Light truck sales, which accounted for 52.5% of all sales in November, jumped to 9 million units sold from 8.5 million in October--largely boosted by new truck models. Car sales climbed to 8.16 million units from 7.96 million.
Moody's estimates that vehicle sales will continue to advance next year as well.
"Sales are expected to reach 16.7 million units and remain above 16 million units in the following years," said Sophia Koropeckyj, Moody's analyst (Economy.com). "As the labor market tightens, wage growth is expected to accelerate. This will provide more fuel to auto sales."
Despite any deals rolled out by automakers, which with few exceptions are enjoying healthy sales paces, November still proved profitable for the industry, as consumers are expected to set spending records in November.
As of mid-November, car buyers had spent an average of $30,874 per vehicle, more than $165 more than the previous record of $30,709 in October, according to J.D. Power and LMC Automotive (US News Dec. 2).