Black Friday Gives Car Sales a Big Boost

Apparently, if people were not rioting over two dollar waffle irons at Wal-Mart, they were buying cars on our nation’s most treasured holiday, Black Friday. The result of the strong sales last weekend caused November of this year to post sales at a 13.4% seasonally adjusted rate, 2% higher than the same period in 2010. In fact, this is the highest seasonal rate increase since “Cash for Clunkers” was operating in 2009. There are more factors contributing to November’s sales success than just Black Friday though.

Many analysts point to underlying issues in the marketplace that are causing people to buy more cars, not just to the fact that people bought cars because it was Black Friday. First, consumer confidence was much higher. According to a New York based research firm, consumer confidence was the highest it has been in 8 years. On top of that, the percentage of people looking to buy cars increased to 4.1%.

Secondly, demand may have hit rock bottom last year, and sales have nowhere to go but up. Compounding the demand issue is that supply of cars were significantly hampered by the Japanese earthquake as well, especially from Japanese manufacturers. With supply back to normal levels, and demand perking back up, people are finally buying that new car they have been eyeing for a long time.

Car manufactures have taken note of this pent up demand, and reached out through a variety of deals to bring people into the showroom. Notable examples are VW’s “Sign and Drive” event and Honda offering a zero down lease payment offer.

The automaker to post the largest gain from the extra business is Chrysler. Chrysler sales have increased 37% over the same period last year, a continuation of a string of positive month to month sales growth. Other automakers that have gained significant sales volume over last year’s figures are Ford, Hyundai, and GM.

With holiday spending at nearly $54 billion dollars over the Black Friday weekend, there seems to have been plenty left in the piggy bank to buy a new car for the holiday season.


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