End-of-Summer Incentives Leading to Spike in Car Sales

By Jacob Brown | August 20, 2012
Summer is a big sales time for carmakers. Because they have to clear out inventory for new cars coming in the Indian days of Summer for the next model year, they're willing to make some deals. The closer it gets to fall, the more they're willing to give. Consequently, because it's cheaper to get into a new car, used car bargains also tend to crop up. NADA used car guides say used-car prices drop some 3.8 percent in August, the biggest decline of the year. "Over the next few months, we expect to see an acceleration in the decline of used-vehicle prices that usually begins as the summer season winds down," NADA senior analyst Jonathan Banks said in a statement.
Further, the NADA says it's banking on used-vehicle prices dropping another 3 to 3.5 percent in September, meaning that if you're looking at a $12,000 car now, expect it to go down another $400 by the end of next month. The organization says that used prices are still at historic highs, and resale values are pretty steady, too. As the market begins to flood with more used vehicles over the next decade, it can be expected that those will level off a little, if not decline. Last decade's "Cash for Clunkers" decimated used vehicle bargains, as many of the vehicles out there were destroyed after being traded in. At the moment, however, new- and used-car prices, while still higher than they were just a few years back, are coming down. And with more and more new cars and trucks making their way to dealerships, expect them to keep declining well into the winter months before prices start going back up in the spring. Source: NADA