The auto consulting firm is calling for a May sales pace of 17.3 million vehicles, which would result in a roughly 4 percent increase compared with sales in the same month last year. More importantly, daily retail sales at dealerships are expected to top 50,000 vehicles for the month, which would be an 11-year high, according to the firm.
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"Obviously, there is still some pent-up demand with the average vehicle being 11 or 12 years old and that is one reason this May is stronger than in recent years," said John Humphrey, a senior vice president at J.D. Power.
Although that data point indicates many Americans are ready to buy a new car, truck or SUV, the fierce competition to get potential customers into their showrooms is driving many dealers to push offers to rarely seen levels. Edmunds.com estimates that one out of every three new models is being offered with zero percent financing.
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While that sounds like a sweet deal, just 7 percent of those who finance a new vehicle qualify and take advantage of the offer, according to Edmunds senior analyst Jessica Caldwell. But that doesn't prevent people from being lured into the showroom.
"Even though the reality is most people won't get or take zero percent because the interest rate may come for loans with three-year terms, zero percent still gets people's attention," she said.