Ford, GM, Chrysler, and other car manufacturers focused on the United States, had plenty of reason to celebrate in 2015. The numbers are coming in and it looks as though 2015 was a record year for American car sales.
Low gas prices, easy access to credit, and strong job growth all contributed to pent-up demand after years of low sales.
Automakers will continue to report auto sales figures throughout the day on Tuesday, however, experts have already forecasted 17.5 million vehicle sales for the year.
If those numbers hold up it would be a 6% increase from 2014, and slightly higher than the record set in 2000.
Analysts expect that December numbers jumped by 13%.
In comparison, car sales in 2009 reached just 10.4 million. That was the year both GM and Chrysler Group ended up in bankruptcy.
In 2015, the US economy added 2.3 million jobs, which appears to have had a positive effect on vehicle sales.
Many analysts have forecasted 2016 to be the first year in which vehicle sales will reach the 18 million milestone.
Ford CEO Mark Fields is confident in his company’s ability to produce more sales in 2016. He recently revealed that the average age of vehicles on the road 10 years old or older. As the vehicle population ages out, more buyers flock to dealerships.
Sales are also being helped by higher ticket prices as consumers demand more features in their vehicles, such as internet connectivity, camera tech, and even assisted parking capabilities.
With truck and SUV sales picking up, and earning higher margins for manufacturers, Kelley Blue Book estimates that the average sales price reached a record $34,428 in December.