US Automakers Prepare for the Holiday Season
Past trends encourage great expectations
Ford’s expectation of a solid Black Friday sales is based on the trend seen in previous years during the holiday season. Black Friday online lead rose 17% for the automaker last year, in comparison to any other Friday in November. The best leads came from the F-150 which experienced sales gain of 22%. In fact the F-Series were the most heavily searched vehicle on Google (GOOG) during this period and remained in the top ten most searched cars on the search engine in the last 118 months.
In various parts across the economy, Ford is giving special prepaid MasterCards of $1,000 and $1,500 on some of its selected models, other than the usual incentives.
A senior analyst of Kelley Blue Book expects Black Friday deals to be solid this year. General Motors is getting all the promotions related to its Chevrolet, Cadillac, Buick and GMC brands aired on television. Cadillac is offering cash discounts on all its models, while GMC is giving $5,000 off on Sierra 1500 Crew Cab as one of the offers for Black Friday.
Hyundai is also taking advantage of the Black Friday week and offering four Elantra car styles for 0% financing for 72 months. Honda (HMC) and Nissan (NSANY) have not come up with any specific offers right now, but these Japanese carmakers are going to make end of year offers. Their dealer may provide their own special offers to increase showroom footfall though.
The last two months of the year enjoy huge auto sales. Several automakers are giving finance and lease deals to bolster sales. Several dealers give special offers on cars to clear off the year’s model, dreading being saddled with last year’s model which will have to be sold in the New Year.
What about luxury brands?
Luxury brands are expected to encounter a super Friday. All luxury brands are aggressively marketing and providing holiday special offers. Lexus is preparing for its December to Remember sales event, BMW is holding its Happier New Year event to boost its year end deliveries. This November sales have been pretty stronger than November numbers recorded in past several years. And traditionally December is one of the best months of the year for automakers and their luxury brands. There are several reasons to it. One of the reasons is that cars are heavily promoted with many attractive offers. Luxury brands prices come down a bit and several buyers take full advantage of this.
With the holiday season round the corner, automakers look pretty excited to report their best month of the year. It remains to be seen how individual carmakers perform for the entire year as a whole, as well as the holiday season.