SANTA MONICA, California — Automakers are expected to sell a record 17.5 million vehicles this year in the United States, shattering the previous mark of 17.4 million sales set in 2000, according to an Edmunds.com forecast.
Sales of new cars and trucks have been on a tear this year, with automakers projected to close December with an estimated 1,688,167 deliveries — a record for the month and the fourth highest monthly sales total ever.
"It's truly remarkable that the auto industry is finishing off its best year ever just six years after the depths of the Great Recession," said Edmunds.com Director of Industry Analysis Jessica Caldwell. "Low-APR offers and tumbling gas prices are making it easy for shoppers to buy or lease a new car, but don't overlook the products themselves. If you're buying a new car today, you're getting a safer, more fuel-efficient and more technologically packed vehicle than ever before. Automakers are doing a great job giving the people what they want in a new car."
The December forecast marks a jump of nearly 28 percent from November sales and a 12-percent increase from December 2014, according to Edmunds.com.
The forecast indicates healthy sales increases for most of the major manufacturers, with General Motors up a projected 4.6 percent from a year ago; Toyota, up 13.3 percent; Ford, up 11.0 percent; Fiat-Chrysler, up 18.8 percent; Honda, up 8.8 percent; Nissan, up 15.9 percent, and Hyundai-Kia, up 16.2 percent.
According to the November sales report, car shoppers snapped up trucks, SUVs and crossovers, including the Buick Encore, Chevrolet Silverado and Nissan Rogue. That trend is expected to continue as the year comes to a close.
Edmunds says: Look for dealers to extend low interest rates, discounts and other incentives to further boost sales in the new year.