You auto know: Another banner year for car sales
January 5, 2017
As goes auto advertising, so tends to go the U.S. media economy.
Ads for cars and trucks have long been the top ad spending category, and so a good year for the auto industry usually means a good year for U.S. advertising revenue as well.
The more people buy cars, the more the automakers and local dealers advertise.
And so it stands to reason that 2016 will close as a very good year, for both auto ad spending and overall spending.
Car sales hit another new annual high last year, according to new figures out this week, with a fourth-quarter surge in purchases fueling the record numbers.
It marked the seventh straight year of gains for auto sales, which slumped in 2009 during the midst of the Great Recession.
They reached a new zenith of 17.6 million last year, including 1.69 million in December, an increase of more than 3 percent over last year. It marked the best month of seasonally adjusted sales in more than a decade.
Discounts for car buyers
Still, analysts caution that automakers and dealers offered heavy discounts to lure customers in at the end of the year. J.D. Powers says the average vehicle was reduced by just over $3,500, giving people a more powerful incentive to buy.
It’s difficult for automakers to keep it up at that level, however, if they want to sustain their current profit margins.
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