This is what happens when you combine pent up demand, a slowly improving economy and the most generous incentives we've seen since Cash for Clunkers.
March auto sales may have started the month like a lamb, but they are roaring like a lion into the second half.
Need proof? Listen to the changing tone of automakers and those who track the industry:
* Edmunds.com is forecasting monthly sales to be on a pace of 13.2 million - by far the most optimistic forecast we've seen.
* J.D. Power is more conservative, but still very encouraging with a projection of monthly sales rate of 12.1 million. That includes a 25 % increase in retail sales.
Why are sales finally picking up?
* Toyota's aggressive incentives: 0% financing and heavy advertising are bring buyers into Toyota showrooms. Yes, as much as it may dismay some of you Toyota critics, there is a huge and very loyal base of Toyota customers who have never had a problem with their car and they see these offers as an incredible opportunity they can't pass up. These people see the controversies over sudden acceleration as being way overblown.
* Matching incentives are churning the market. Toyota started the fire, but GM and Chrysler fanned the flames with their on aggressive incentives. The end result is a churning of the market with potential car buyers getting out to showrooms.
* Slightly more encouraging signs from the economy. This feeds into the psychology of the potential car buyer.
It's improving. As one dealer told me a few weeks back, buyers are feeling more comfortable. With the idea of taking on a monthly payment.
Bottom line: Spring has sprung at many dealerships - And this is what they've been waiting for.
Click on Ticker to Track Corporate News:
- Ford Motor
- Toyota Motor
- Honda Motor
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