U.S. new vehicle sales in April are projected to rise about 4% from a year ago to more than 1.5 million vehicles, according to several analyst forecasts. Analysts say they expect a seasonally adjusted, annualized selling rate (SAAR) of 17.4 million to 17.6 million, when all the sales numbers are in for April.
April sales were helped by the calendar in two ways: The month has one more selling day than April 2015 and five weekends vs. four a year ago.
While analysts expect another record year of sales by the end of 2016, they expect to see a slower rate of growth than in the past few years of the recovery following the Great Recession.
The industry’s average transaction price rose to $30,902 in the first half of April, according to J.D. Power & Associates. That’s $186 higher than the April record set a year ago, and it means consumer spending on vehicles last month was on track to be $36.9 billion, which also would be an all-time high for April, up from $35.3 billion last year.