US car sales recovery falters in the final quarter of the year as gasoline prices fell and pent-up demand was satisfied, Edmunds said
When Edmunds.com asked consumers the week before Black Friday if they were aware of another holiday occurring that weekend, 41% of consumers guessed it was Super Bowl weekend. This proved to be accurate.
The company predicted on Friday that on Black Friday, the last weekend of the year, 441,000 people bought cars on the holiday. The company said this was enough cars to cover all the people in the world that watch the Super Bowl, according to its calculations.
The popular breakdown provided Edmunds, which tracks auto retail sales in the US, with the holiday sales number “several weeks in advance” of it happening. This gave the company enough time to get some analysts to calculate how many people might be in the market for a new car and would be looking to buy on Black Friday.
Julian Zelizer, a history professor at Princeton University, told CNNMoney that November and December traditionally see car sales fall due to shoppers putting their holiday shopping lists on the back burner, leaving cars on their shopping lists. This year’s Black Friday was a bust for retailers, and so Edmunds’ prediction shows one of the bright spots in the US economy.
“I think many expected auto sales to be down since a lot of pent-up demand was relieved in the final three months of the year and the drop in gasoline prices was a big part of that,” said Zelizer.
Edmunds said that fewer inventory issues in 2018 as well as newer models and lower prices were contributing to the record level of retail sales.
However, Joe Spina, an automotive sales researcher, told CNNMoney that the demand was the result of increased consumer confidence.