Auto Industry on a Roll – With Side Effects

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MSNBC - January 7, 2013

Automak­ers have closed the books on 2012 and appear to be car­ry­ing enough momen­tum to con­tinue their recov­ery in the year ahead.

What does that mean for car buyers?

Car buy­ers could face lower incen­tives and higher trans­ac­tion prices in 2013.

Data from TrueCar.com seem to sup­port that. The auto track­ing ser­vice found the aver­age trans­ac­tion price for a new vehi­cle pur­chased in Decem­ber surged to $31,228, a $542, or 1.8%, increase year-over-year and a $396, or 1.3%, jump from Novem­ber 2012.  Incen­tives for the month, mean­while, dropped 9.0% industry-wide, to an aver­age $2,409 com­pared to Decem­ber 2011.

Chrysler said its sales rose 21 per­cent last year, mak­ing for its best sales year since 2007.

Gen­eral Motors Co.’s deal­ers deliv­ered the company’s high­est Decem­ber sales in five years, with deliv­er­ies up 5% year-over-year to 245,733 vehi­cles. Decem­ber was also GM’s best retail sales month of 2012. Incen­tive spend­ing was “com­pet­i­tive” with industry-wide lev­els, the maker contended.

 

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