US Auto Sales Beat The Weather

U.S. auto sales in February were slightly brisker than expected as hefty incentives lured customers into dealerships late in the month despite cold and snowy weather, raising concerns about industry profitability.

The chilly temperatures were enough to pressure last month’s sales, which are expected to be up only slightly from the year-ago month, automakers said.

General Motors Co (GM.N) said it expected industrywide U.S. auto sales of 15.4 million vehicles in February on an annualized basis, matching a forecast of analysts polled by Reuters.

The frost on sales for January and February will thaw in March as temperatures rise and customers return to showrooms in greater numbers, some industry analysts said.

However, late February’s high customer incentives, the discounts to lure buyers into showrooms, will carry over into March, cutting in to companies’ profit, several analysts said.

Larry Dominique, executive vice president of industry research firm TrueCar, said there are about 80 days of supply on dealer lots, compared with a more desirable level of 60 to 65 days.

via Reuters

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Alfonso Esparza

Alfonso Esparza

Senior Currency Analyst at Market Pulse
Alfonso Esparza specializes in macro forex strategies for North American and major currency pairs. Upon joining OANDA in 2007, Alfonso Esparza established the MarketPulseFX blog and he has since written extensively about central banks and global economic and political trends. Alfonso has also worked as a professional currency trader focused on North America and emerging markets. He has been published by The MarketWatch, Reuters, the Wall Street Journal and The Globe and Mail, and he also appears regularly as a guest commentator on networks including Bloomberg and BNN. He holds a finance degree from the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education (ITESM) and an MBA with a specialization on financial engineering and marketing from the University of Toronto.
Alfonso Esparza