By on December 17, 2010

Data coming in from their 8,900 reporting dealers throughout the United States prompt J.D. Power to predict a strong new car December. “It appears that 2010 will end on a high note,” said Jeff Schuster, executive director of global forecasting at J.D. Power and Associates.

Don’t think that Americans have suddenly changed their minds and are collectively mobbing showrooms. While “significantly beating expectations,” and up 19 percent from a year before, total December SAAR is expected to be 12.4 million units, up only slightly from the 12.3 million SAAR in November. What is interesting is that J.D. Power sees retail SAAR to jump from  9.7 million units in November to a robust 10.8 million in December. Retail SAAR, which excludes fleet and government sales, is seen as a more precise indicator of consumer sentiment than total SAAR.

J.D. Power and Associates U.S. Sales and SAAR Comparisons

December 2010 November 2010 December 2009
New-vehicle retail sales 936,300 units
(19% higher than December 2009)
776,839 units 817,426 units
Total vehicle sales 1,133,000 units
(14% higher than December 2009)
871,299 units 1,027,837 units
Retail SAAR 10.8 million units 9.7 million units 9.3 million units
Total SAAR 12.4 million units 12.3 million units 11.1 million units

Figures cited for December 2010 are forecasted based on the first 10 selling days of the month. The percentage change is adjusted based on the number of selling days (27 days vs. 28 days one year ago).
In light of the better than expected December numbers, J.D. Power has cautiously raised its total light-vehicle sales forecast for 2010 to 11.6 million units, 100K up from the previously expected 11.5 million units. For 2011, J.D. Power keeps its forecast of 12.8 million units.

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5 Comments on “Santa Claus Rally: Powerful December Seen For Cars...”

  • avatar

    It used to be that December was full of advertisements for kids toys and perfume.  Now you can’t turn on a TV without some pseudo luxury carmaker touting its December to Remember.
    Thanks, Lexus.

  • avatar

    I’m taking my mom to Cadillac Potamkin to lease a CTS 3.0L with Nav and moonroof for $475 a month.
    This I think is a good deal because the car only has 300 miles on it, and the 3.0 saves slightly more fuel than the 3.6. Not to mention it is RED (a premium color for $899) and has been marked down from $47,000 to $40,500.
    I called a bunch of other dealers in my area but they are all out of Red and claim I’d have to order the car.

  • avatar
    SVX pearlie

    If December 2010 is going to be strong (and all indications appear to confirm this, why was it bad for GM to build inventory for a big year end?

    • 0 avatar

      Things went south for my mom to lease the CTS because its loaded price was too expensive for what we were getting. The dealer made us a better deal on a 10′ STS loaded V6. So we chose that.
      GM must be moving Cruze, SRX and CTS’s very well. The dealer told us he moves roughly 20 CTS’ and 20SRX in a month. While I was there for 5 hours, the dealership sold at least 3 Escalades. Very impressive.

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