SANTA MONICA, California — Trucks and SUVs are expected to be standouts when automakers report January car sales next week, according to a forecast from Edmunds.com.
"New car shoppers, seemingly inspired by winter weather and low gas prices, are buying up trucks and SUVs — particularly smaller ones," said Jessica Caldwell, an Edmunds.com senior analyst. "At this point, most automakers and dealers offer products in these popular segments and are able to benefit from the trend."
Overall projected sales will be a 23.1 percent decrease from December 2014, but a 14.4 percent increase from January 2014.
Gas prices hovered near the $2 a gallon mark during January.
The AAA Daily Fuel Gauge Report on Friday pegged the average price for a gallon of unleaded gasoline at $2.05 versus $3.27 a year ago.
A monthly sales forecast by J.D. Power and LMC Automotive echoes the Edmunds forecast and predicts a sizzling January, followed by a strong 2015.
The J.D. Power and LMC Automotive forecast also notes that consumers are purchasing more trucks, probably due to the ongoing decline in fuel prices. So far in January, trucks, vans and SUVs account for 55.4 percent of total vehicle sales — the highest level for a January since 2004, that forecast said.