Good economic news, hefty inventory and rising incentives combined to kick off 2017, U.S. light vehicle sales on solid footing. Wards Auto estimates that 1.14 million vehicles were sold in January with a SAAR of 17.5 million, both down slightly from 2016’s 1.16 million vehicles and 17.8 million SAAR.
Analysts say a high level of incentives is sustaining U.S. auto sales, with average incentive spending topping $3,600 per vehicle in January, according to LMC Automotive and J.D. Power and Associates. That was up more than $230 per vehicle from January 2016.
Auto Loans Remain Easy To Get For Most Borrowers In 2017
Access to credit remains easy, especially for those with good credit scores, according to analysts. Some auto lenders are becoming a little more conservative in lending, especially at the risky end of the subprime market, but the percentage of buyers with subprime credit who purchase used cars at franchised dealerships was reaching record lows. More buyers with prime credit are opting to buy used vehicles, so the loan market for used vehicles is becoming increasingly comprised of borrowers with prime credit, according to analysts.