TrueCar.com, the authority on new car pricing information, trends and forecasting, recently issued predictions on how the first month of the new year is faring in automotive sales and incentives.
The automotive website expects that when all is said an done, January will have seen 1,050,938 units sold, up 15.1 percent on a year-over-year comparison and down 22.5 percent on month-over-month comparison.
While it appears January data saw a large decrease from last month, this is expected as sales, are usually down this point in the year. According to the seasonally adjusted annualized rate, sales remained flat in January at a rate of 15.4 million car sale when compared to last month. The rate in January 2012 was 14 million units.
In addition, the report indicated that average incentive spending is expected to reach $2,274 in January, down 8.3 percent from January 2012 and 12.2 percent from December 2012.
Kristen Andersson, an analyst for TrueCar.com, said that as automakers saw a strong start to the new year, they remained disciplined with incentive spending as the current lineup of new cars speak for themselves.
What are automakers doing with their money?
A separate study shows what automakers have been ramping up research and development for alternative-power cars.
According to the study, Auto Industry Sets Sights on Alternative Power, by Thomson Reuters, alternative power-related patents increased in 2011 by 182 percent when compared to 2006. This accounts for a total of 14,977 unique inventions and more than any other technology area within the automotive industry.
“With stringent new fuel economy standards introduced in the U.S. that require global auto manufacturers to double their average mileage requirements, car companies have gotten very serious about alternative power,” said Bob Stembridge, an intellectual property analyst at Thomson Reuters and author of the report. “The aggressive R&D efforts of some of the leading manufacturers suggest that consumer options for alternative power will grow considerably in the coming decade.”
The report showed that Toyota led the industry with 1,901 patented inventions. The automaker was followed by Honda, which posted 587 inventions.
In addition, the report showed that patent activity on vehicle security systems grew 4 percent in 2011 when compared to 2006, with a total of 5,777 inventions. It also showed that patent activity increased by 48 percent during the same period of time for vehicle transmission system technology, accounting for 7,569 unique inventions.