December auto sales due to be reported Tuesday morning are expected to show continued growth. One reason? Consumers surrendered to a barrage of holiday sales ads from car dealers. Dealerships also offered incentives, like zero-percent financing and five-year loans. Low gas prices have helped, too.
Then there’s technology — Consumers want cars with the newest gadgets.
“Lane departure notification, blind spot, adaptive cruise control so it monitors the car in front of you,” said Jeff Schuster, senior vice president of forecasting at LMC Automotive.
The desire for the latest and greatest is leading to a jump in leasing. Schuster says almost 30 percent of new car sales are leases, compared to around 20 percent in the 2000s.
Leasing is especially appealing to millennials.
“So they’re not necessarily saddled with something that, just in a few years, is going to be older in technology and less appealing,” said Jessica Caldwell, director of industry analysis at Edmunds.com.
Technology is expected to lead to bumper sales again in 2016.