The Internet Explorer web browser you are using is out of date and no longer supported by Microsoft (365) or by Auto Link. To ensure you are able to access all the features of Auto Link, we highly recommend switching to a modern web browser. Find a modern browser.

Holiday Season is a Good Time to Buy

Posted on: 11/16/2015

An article by Money Matters pointed out four things to consider if you’re in the market to purchase a new vehicle during the holiday season. The Holiday Season is no longer the day after Thanksgiving until mid-night Christmas Eve. It’s happening now.

Tom Krisher, The Associated Press, listed the four things to consider. Of course the first topic covered is How Much Can I Save? I would agree with Jesse Toprak, independent auto analyst, which thinks a buyer should be able to get around 10 percent off the sticker of 2015 models. Keep in mind that the manufacturer and the dealer want all 2015 models sold now.

Toprak said that some models will have offers available that are much higher than the 10%. Ford, for example, is offering more than $9,600 off the sticker price of some 2015 F-150 pickups. And the F-150 is the best-selling vehicle in the U.S. so there should be competitive offers similar to this from other manufacturers.

What models are discounted? Perhaps the question should be “what vehicles aren’t discounted?” Tom Libby, manager of industry analysis for HIS Automotive, said “In general, automakers offer discounts on models with the highest inventory. That means discounts on slow-selling small and midsize cars and electric and hybrid vehicles, but few deals on hot-selling small and midsize SUVs.”

What models have high inventories? Manufacturers and dealers aren’t required to make this information available but if large incentives are offered it could be a clue. At times factories will offer cash incentives on some models to the dealers that aren’t published. This provides the dealer with an opportunity to make great offers but, as a rule, this would not be on hot-selling models.

Automakers keep a close eye on inventory and for good reason. What they do is measure inventory by dividing the sales rate per day into the number of vehicles on dealer lots. This tells the factories how many days’ worth of cars are out there. The number of autos should be a 60 day supply.

An example of over-inventory would be Toyota’s FJ Cruiser SUV. Last month dealers had an unbelievable 644 days supply of this model. That indicates that at the current selling rate it would take almost two years to sell the inventory on hand. Next is the Mitsubishi l-Miev electric car at 286, the Fiat 500L at 280 days and the Fiat 500 at 239.

What models have low inventories? This will be a surprise to most buyers. The answer is most Subaru models so don’t look for dealers to offer large discounts. The WRX, Impresa, XV Crosstrek, Legacy, Outback, Forester and BRZ all had 18 days worth of inventory. The Nissan XTerra SUV also had 18.