“Predictably inconsistent” is probably one of my favorite ways to describe the car business,
but, if there’s anything that is consistently predictable about it, it’s that March will typically be the moth when sales start to wake up for the year. Is due to tax time and the availability of refund checks? Is it due to the nice “spring like” weather conditions (don’t forget, I AM in Arizona)? Or is it manufacture driven and we’ve been trained that “March is the best time to buy!”? Then again, that sounds a lot like the rah-rah speeches of countless sales manager and their “(insert day, month, holiday weekend here) _______ is the biggest car sales time of the year!”
Personally? I’m going with “manufacture driven”…. Years in fleet sales for Ford have me programmed to think “Truck Month!” Regardless, When is the best time to sell a car? Yep, you guessed it…. Right after you sold one, which is probably what I should work on doing right now!
According to Automotive News (subscription required), vehicle manufacturers sold 1.19 million vehicles in the U.S. in February, which is an increase of 4 percent over the previous year.
Higher numbers in auto sales usually make for lower incentives from manufactures and increased finance rates for car buyers in the months to follow. But, according to Alec Gutierrez of automotive insights for Kelley Blue Book, due to “low finance rates, affordable lease payments, and most importantly, new and compelling product,” March should make for a month of great deals for car buyers.
Analysts from TrueCar.com have a different opinion on what car buyers can expect in the coming months. “Automakers enjoyed a month of ideal conditions for profitability in February, with incentives down nearly 4% and sales up,” Kristen Andersson, TrueCar.com analyst, tells the Los Angeles Times. TrueCar.com predicts that incentive spending will remain very similar for the rest of the year due to higher consumer demand and higher new vehicle supply.
Despite the decline in February incentive spending by manufacturers, buyers can still find some great purchase and lease deals on many new vehicles this March.
2013 Chevrolet Impala: 0% financing for 72 months or $4,000 consumer cash
2013 Honda Fit: 0.9% financing for up to 60 months
2013 Ford Focus Electric: 0% financing for 60 months plus $2,000 bonus cash
2012 Mazda CX-9: 0% financing for up to 60 months
2013 Volkswagen Jetta: $159 per month for 36 months with $1,999 due at signing
Only applies to S models.
2013 Honda Civic: $189 per month for 36 months with $1,999 due at signing; or $240 per month for 36 months with $0 due at signing and no first month’s payment
Only applies to Civic Sedan LX with five-speed automatic transmission.
2013 Chevrolet Cruze: $209 per month for 36 months with $0 due at signing
Only applies to LS model with automatic transmission.
2013 Mazda CX-5: $209 per month for 36 months with $2,999 due at signing