What Car Brands Will End 2014 With The Best Sales Figures?
There are more signs 2014 may be turning into a vintage year for car sales and perhaps one of the best years in a while.
J.D. Power forecast new vehicle sales in August to come in close to $39 billion. That record consumer spending, according to senior vice president John Humphrey has been fueled "by both high sales volumes and high transaction prices."
While the pent-up consumer demand for new cars has been diminishing as the nation recovers from the recession, The Associated Press says that, for the first time in seven years, annual U.S. auto sales should top 16 million in 2014.
As to which automakers are benefiting from the strong new car sales, "Chrysler and Nissan are the major automakers with the largest year over year growth," Jessica Caldwell, senior analyst at Edmonds.com, told Benzinga. "Both have considerable leads over the competition and strong sales momentum."
Chrysler Changes Bearing Fruit
According to Caldwell, Chyrsler (OTC: FIATY) is seeing some of the product changes brought in during the tenure of Fiat-Chrysler chief executive Sergio Marchionne bear fruit. She points that the Jeep Cherokee has become a big seller in its market.
Chrysler has also become more aggressive than many other automakers about offering subprime loans -– a move that she says has cast “a wider net in which to attract car shoppers.”
Nissan Motor Co Ltd (ADR) (OTC: NSANY), meanwhile, has updated its product line, while making more credit available to, as Caldwell puts it, "buyers in lower credit tiers, which definitely expands the buyer base, just as it has with Chrysler."
Ford With A Strong Finish?
Alex Gutierrez, senior analyst for Kelley Blue Book, also noted Jeep sales are strong –- up 44 percent so far this year -– thanks in part to the new Jeep Cherokee, while Jeep's growth has boosted Chrysler sales volume.
"We expect to see them finish the year strong," he told Benzinga.
At the same time, however, Gutierrez also points to Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F), which has led U.S. sales since 2010.
"Ford has a 200,000 unit lead over second-place Chevrolet so far this year," he added, "and is expected to maintain that lead to close the year out as 2014's top-selling brand."
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