It seems like U.S. auto sales are on pace for the strongest November ever, four forecasters say, breaking the industry’s streak of three consecutive monthly declines and keeping open the possibility that 2016 can squeak ahead of last year’s record.
Big promotions over the long Thanksgiving weekend and two extra selling days in the month are expected to push sales up 4 percent from November 2015. Some companies are projecting 5 percent increase, while others estimate a 2.7 percent gain. The forecasts call for a seasonally adjusted, annualized selling rate of 17.6 million to 17.9 million, down slightly from 17.98 million in October. Now that the presidential election is over, shoppers have more confidence in the economy than they had just a month ago, and that gives them extra motivation to make big-ticket purchases. If this month’s forecast holds, December’s year-over-year sales only need to be flat to set a new annual record in 2016.
Automakers are scheduled to report this month’s sales on Thursday. All four forecasts show sales easily topping the current November record of 1.33 million set in 2001.