December sales to solidify best-ever year for auto industry

Analysts say December will be one for the record books.

When the final numbers are tallied for the year, auto industry analysts expect December, 2015 will cap off a record year of light vehicle sales in the United States.

LMC Automotive and J.D. Power released their monthly projections for December Thursday, and the news is good for the U.S. auto industry: They're calling for a total sales volume of 18,100,200 units, which would be the largest number of vehicles sold in a single year since 2000.

It would also be a nearly 11% improvement over the industry's 2014 total of 16,531,070 (which was a nearly 11% increase over 2013).

For those who were concerned that the Federal Reserve's interest rate hike earlier this week might negative impact the industry's intense selling pace, John Humphrey, senior vice president of J.D. Power's global automotive practice, says fear not.

"[The increase] should have a minimal impact on new-vehicle sales. There is the risk of a knee-jerk reaction from consumers to big economic news, leading them to delay buying, but the survey suggests it's a very small proportion of shoppers who are concerned about rates, particularly at this low level," Humphrey said.As usual, these predictions are based only on the first 11 selling days of December, so they're at the mercy of any dramatic economic shifts that may occur before the month is out. Stay tuned to Leftlane for all the year-end sales info as it becomes available.

Photo by Brian Williams.

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