What have you always wondered about the economy? Tell Us

What’s driving an increase in auto sales?

Scott Tong Dec 2, 2014
HTML EMBED:
COPY

What’s driving an increase in auto sales?

Scott Tong Dec 2, 2014
HTML EMBED:
COPY

New car sales numbers come out on Tuesday. Many expect the holidays to come early for automakers, with the economy up and gas prices down.

Analysts expect Americans bought as many as 1.3 million new vehicles last month, a nice boost over the previous November. That’s in part because more dealers have hopped onto the Black Friday craze.

They’re also selling pricier vehicles, meaning bigger transactions than ever before. Independent consultant Alan Baum says today’s new car buyer is well off.

“Hence not only the increase in sales volume, but the increase in transaction prices, and therefore profits,” says Baum. “All of that is of course very good for the car companies.”

Or perhaps we should call them light truck companies. That’s where the action is.

“The small crossover SUV market has really skyrocketed, really at the expense of cars,” says Rebecca Caldwell at Edmunds.com. “Light trucks have outsold cars for over a year now.”

A big winner in this space is Jeep. Its sales grew a whopping 45 percent the past year, revving up a broader comeback for parent company Chrysler.

One factor nudging up truck and SUV sales, Caldwell says: low gas prices.

 

 

 

Marketplace is on a mission.

We believe Main Street matters as much as Wall Street, economic news is made relevant and real through human stories, and a touch of humor helps enliven topics you might typically find…well, dull.

Through the signature style that only Marketplace can deliver, we’re on a mission to raise the economic intelligence of the country—but we don’t do it alone. We count on listeners and readers like you to keep this public service free and accessible to all. Will you become a partner in our mission today?

Your donation is critical to the future of public service journalism. Support our work today – for as little as $5 – and help us keep making people smarter.