Post-Sandy car sales pick up


Auto / Buying a CarThe automobile industry lost business due to the gaping hole in results in the northeast in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. And while the storm still affected November results, sales did pick up and December prospects are looking good, according to Kelley Blue Book.

KBB says automotive sales are expected to reach a seasonally-adjusted total of 14.7M in November, up from 14.3M in October, which suffered from a major results pothole in hard-hit New Jersey. The state is usually good for 3%-5% of total US auto sales, and it fell to 1% immediately following the storm.

However, sales look like their pacing to make it above the 15M threshold in December.

“Kelley Blue Book anticipates buyers that were forced to delay a purchase due to the onset of the storm will continue to return to market during the next several weeks,” said Alec Gutierrez, senior market analyst of automotive insights for Kelley Blue Book. “Additional demand will come from residents that unfortunately had a vehicle destroyed.  These consumers will likely help make the last weekend of November a strong one for the automakers with demand for replacement vehicles continuing into December.” 

December sales will be aided in the northeast by individuals forced to replace a storm-damaged vehicle, and KBB says dealers are working to steer them to new rather than used cars. “Although the industry can assume that a significant percentage of consumers seeking replacement vehicles will shop used, many automakers are offering residents of FEMA-designated storm-damaged areas additional cash incentives to entice consumers to shop for new cars,” said Gutierrez. “Nissan, Mazda, Ford and Chrysler are among the manufacturers offering incentives such as $500 in additional bonus cash, employee pricing or special finance deals to those in the market for a replacement vehicle.” 

RBR-TVBR observation: Don’t forget to remind your clients that the spoils will go to the dealer with the best messaging. It’s good news that sales are picking up – all the more reason to make the case for your dealership on the air, early and often, especially now that the politicians aren’t hogging all the best availabilities.