New-car sales close in on 17M | Auto Finance News | Auto Finance News

New-car sales close in on 17M

Powered by strong November sales showings from Toyota Motor North America and Honda Motor Co., yearend light-vehicle volume is on track for 17 million units for the fifth straight year.

Total light-vehicle sales for the year are on pace to hit 17.1 million units, down 1.4% from 2018, according to J.D. Power and LMC Automotive.

Toyota notched its best November ever, with year-over-year sales up 9.2% to 207,857 vehicles. Toyota’s increase was propelled by a 26.4% increase in sales of the RAV4 compact SUV. Meanwhile, Honda sales climbed 11% to 133,952 vehicles, spurred by demand for SUVs and trucks.

November sales were buoyed by incentives – which hovered around $4,538, up 12.1% year over year – marking the first time ever above $4,500, according to J.D. Power.

Those higher incentives, prompted by OEMs looking to move vehicle inventory, translated to a slowdown in appreciation of average transaction price, according to Kelley Blue Book (KBB). The average transaction price for November was $38,393, up 1% year over year, KBB noted. By comparison, October transactions were up 2.9% and November 2018 transactions were up 2.1%.

Further, as of Nov. 30, vehicles had been lingering on vehicle lots for an average of 80 days, five days longer than last year and the highest level recorded since 2017, according to KBB.

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