Automakers’ new car sales are expected to surpass 15.1 million seasonally adjusted annual rate as January numbers are yet to be posted, according to Kelley Blue Book. With January containing an extra selling day, after adjustments, that selling rate accounts for an 8 percent increase from January 2012.
While not many cars actually came off the lot this month, which is typical of January because many new car buyers took advantage of the year-end clearance deals offered last month, the year is still off to a strong start after all things are adjusted. KBB predicts that the automotive industry will continue to show significant gains in 2013, as the automotive website predicts Honda, Toyota and Volkswagen will start off the year with 20 percent year-over-year increases in January sales.
“The Honda Accord, CR-V and Civic are expected to remain at the top of their respective categories, thanks to fresh redesigns last year, which should help to push Honda sales up around 25 percent,” said Alec Gutierrez, senior market analyst of automotive insights for Kelley Blue Book. “Toyota is expected to increase an equally impressive 22 percent this month in large part to its Camry, Corolla and Prius family of vehicles. The redesigned 2013 RAV4 is just starting to arrive at dealerships and will not play a significant role in January’s sales total; however, it could help give Toyota additional momentum in the months ahead.”
What consumers want out of their cars in 2013
As more potential car buyers are heading to new car dealers in 2013, automakers will have to keep up with what it is consumers are looking for. According to a study for Johnson Controls by Harris Interactive, released earlier this month, car owners want their phones and applications to seamlessly connect to their cars in a safe and simple way.
“Through this research study, we gain important insight into the needs and wants of consumers as they seek to connect seamlessly and intuitively to their vehicles,” said Paul Lambert, group vice president and general manager, electronics, Johnson Controls Electronics & Interiors. “This information is helping us to provide market-leading infotainment solutions that take into account ever-increasing consumer electronics functionality without sacrificing safety.”
The survey included more than 2,100 U.S. adults. It showed that 84 percent of car owners would like to control a vehicle’s features with a touch-screen infotainment system, while 83 percent want the vehicle’s infotainment system to receive wireless updates. In addition, 76 percent of the respondents would like to be able to connect to the internet, using their car as a Wi-Fi hotspot.