According to NADA, February 2016 auto sales were up 1.1 million compared to last year, helped by President’s Day sales and a slowly improving economy. NADA predicts that the industry will remain on pace to hit 17.7 million new vehicle sales by the end of 2016.
While economic concerns in China, Brazil and other countries are an issue, NADA sees the U.S. economy continuing to grow. The Association also sees a continuation in wage growth AND low interest rates this year.
Leasing of Light Vehicles Sets Record in February
Vehicle leasing, as a percentage of monthly light vehicle sales, hit a record in February, representing nearly 33% of the market and helping to keep down the average monthly auto payment. J.D. Power estimates 32.3% of the 1.03 million cars and light trucks sold in February were leased. That percentage was sharply higher than the 28 percent average for leasing set over the course of 2015, which was a record year for both leasing volume and light-vehicle sales.
In January, 31.6% of retail vehicle sales were leases. Starting this year, an influx of off-lease vehicles are expected to return to the market because of the steady rise in leasing over the past several years.