New-vehicle sales are expected to decline 2 percent year-over-year to a total of 1.34 million units in October 2017, resulting in an estimated 17.9 million seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR), according to the vehicle valuation experts at Kelley Blue Book.
“Although the headline shows a small decline in sales, October looks relatively strong for the industry, as evidenced by the nearly 18 million SAAR,” said Tim Fleming, analyst for Kelley Blue Book.
In fact, the sales momentum should continue
“Sales blew past expectations in September toward an 18.5 million SAAR pace, and we expect October to keep up some of that momentum. Some of the strength can be attributed to replacement demand that continues in Texas and Florida, but perhaps more importantly, higher incentive spend is playing a role. Even with production cuts this year, incentives are on the rise and have reached 11 percent of average transaction prices. This is an indicator that new-vehicle demand is still contracting, and production cuts could be on the horizon to prevent oversupplies,” Fleming said.
In October, new light-vehicle sales, including fleet, are expected to hit 1,340,000 units, down 1.9 percent compared to October 2016 and down 11.8 percent from September 2017.
Retail sales are expected to account for 82.7 percent of volume in October 2017, down from 83 percent in October 2016.
After a record year of sales in 2016 and seven consecutive annual increases, Kelley Blue Book’s forecast for 2017 calls for sales in the range of 16.9 and 17.2 million units, which represents a 1 to 3 percent decrease from last year.
So should you look for deals? Of course! This is the time of year to get deals on the “old” models as the new ones hit dealer lots. Also, as the data show, sales are strong – but not quite as strong as they’ve been in recent years.
Pro tip: If you are shopping for a car, be sure to line up your financing before you go to any car dealers. You credit union will probably have the best rate around, so go see them first. Walking in to car dealers with financing in hand gives you a stronger hand to make a deal.