Lexus Among Companies Predicting Strong Sales Figures for 2011, 2012
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Templin said the sales figures for 2011 should end at 12.7 million vehicles sold, which would be a 9 percent increase over 2010. He further predicted that 2012 sales will rise to 13.7 million – not quite as robust at 7.8 percent but still a good number because it is coming on top of strong sales in 2011. The corner might finally be turning for the domestic car industry.
Edmunds.com is forecasting the same good feeling, too, especially in light of a strong November. Black Friday fever apparently spread from shopping malls to car dealerships as the Thanksgiving weekend delivered a more fruitful bounty of vehicle sales than usual, according to Edmunds.com’s November car sales forecast. When automakers report November car sales on Thursday, Edmunds.com expects the final tally will be close to 991,296 vehicles sold. That would put the November Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate (SAAR) of car sales at 13.6 million vehicles, the highest rate of the year.
The big sales winner for November when numbers are announced, according to Edmunds.com, is going to be Chrysler. It’s been having a phenomenal year and November is going to be no exception. Its sales are projected to be 106,000, which puts it well ahead of Honda’s 91,000 sales. That number is 43 percent ahead of its November 2010 sales.
Speaking of Honda, Edmunds reported that Tetsuo Iwamura, the head of Honda in North America, told reporters in Japan for the Tokyo Motor Show that November will be another down month for the automaker, which was particularly hard-hit by the production disruptions caused by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami and more recently by flood in Thailand that choked off the supply of some electronic components. Iwamura said Honda will regain its U.S. sales momentum in January 2012. Edmunds.com projects Honda sales will be up a scant 2.5 percent in November compared with a year ago.
Edmunds.com Senior Analyst Jessica Caldwell is sounding a cautionary note, though. She said the strong sales in the fall are reflective of deferred demand by consumers. They were concerned about the economy and only now, either through a new-found confidence or a need for a new car, have started to push new vehicles and help boost sales.
Looking ahead to December, Edmunds reports that it ranked among the top new car sales months in each of the last two years, and there’s plenty of reason to believe that the trend will continue this year. Last year, December ranked as the highest sales month with 1,145,079 total units sold. The result came just one year after December was the second best sales month of 2009. But the December sales surge over the last two years is clearly the start of a new trend. From 1991 to 2008, December sales ranked just eighth, on average, each year. And during that period, December cracked the top three just once, in 2004.