US: Blizzard included, KBB calls January at 1.14m sales
New vehicle sales are expected to increase 12.9% year over year to 1.14m units in January 2015, resulting in an estimated 16.5m seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR), according to Kelley Blue Book, which is also expecting a slight slowdown due to the east coast blizzards that hit this week.
January is typically one of the slowest months of the year, due to the strong push from manufacturers prior to year end. However, at an estimated 1.14m units expected in January, this month could be the highest reported January since 2006.
"Sales are trending well above levels since this time last year, when the polar vortex kept shoppers away from dealerships in many parts of the country," said Alec Gutierrez, senior analyst for Kelley Blue Book.
"Although sales have moved briskly so far in January, a potential blizzard on the east coast does present downside risk as we head into the final selling days of the month."
Total sales in 2015 are projected to hit 16.9m units overall, a 2.5% year on year increase and the highest overall total since 2005, when sales fell just shy of 17m units.
General Motors is expected to lead gains this month with an anticipated 19.5% increase thanks to renewed interest in trucks and sport utility vehicles. The Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra have been in high demand lately and Kelley Blue Book expects to see this continue into the early part of 2015.