Archive for January, 2016

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Sales, Average Prices on the Upswing

Apparently the American economy is doing just fine, especially if you use new car and truck sales as a measuring stick. WardsAuto, a respected auto industry insider, says that 17.47 million vehicles were sold in 2015, up from 16.51 million a year earlier. That’s the most cars and light trucks sold in a single year in the history of automobiles. That has dealerships like those in the Chapman Arizona chain, as well as people searching for new cars in Phoenix, optimistic for the upcoming year.

Economy, Jobs, Interest Rate All Contribute

With low interest payments, a dropping unemployment rate and a growing economy, Americans are more comfortable committing to five or six years of payments on a new vehicle. Average sales prices were up to $34,248 by the end of the year, which was another record. That’s a hefty payment at any interest rate, but many buyers qualified for less than 3 percent interest, which made the payments palatable. Leasing, which usually provides a lower monthly payment, also grew to 27 percent of all transactions, which is up from 22 percent just three years ago.

Eleven Automakers Achieve All-time Records

As you might expect when the entire industry sets a record, many car brands also had their best year ever. Audi, BMW, Honda, Hyundai, Land Rover, Jeep, Kia, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, Porsche and Subaru all had their best years in 2015. There were also 33 different models of cars that sold the most ever, many of which are available from Chapman Arizona dealerships. FCA, the parent company of Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Fiat, had the most with eight models setting records. They were Dart, Challenger, Journey, Ram, Wrangler, Cherokee, Patriot and Compass. As you can tell from this list, Americans are in love with trucks, crossovers and SUVs. That trio outsold sedans by 14 percent, more than double the margin in 2014. Much of that is due to continued low gas prices, along to other factors already mentioned.

Not Record Setting, but Still Good Years

With a 52 percent hike over the previous year, the Chrysler 200 made impressive gains in the midsize sedan category. Ford’s redesigned pony car, the Mustang, also had a good year with a 48 percent increase over 2014. Honda’s Pilot sold 25 percent more units in 2015 than the previous year and the Hyundai Tucson posted a 34 percent increase. Mazda’s new Miata roadster saw a huge jump at 81 percent, but not as big as the new version of the Kia Sedona, which sold 152 percent more minivans than 2014.