CHICAGO, Sept. 1, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Cars.com (NYSE:CARS) predicts cars shoppers will see great deals on cars and trucks on dealership lots over the Labor Day holiday weekend. Due to higher-than-average 2017 inventories, the company expects dealers across the country to start showcasing great deals on 2017 models to decrease inventory and make room for new 2018 models.
U.S. vehicle sales in 2017 have declined compared to 2016, which was a record-breaking year with 17.6 million cars and trucks sold. Auto sales fell about 3 percent in the first seven months of 2017, so dealers are faced with higher inventory levels compared to previous years.
"New-vehicle changeover to the 2018 model year is happening late this year," said Cars.com data analyst David Greene. "Last year at this time, 19.5 percent of dealer inventory included the incoming 2017 model year vehicles. This year, only 10.6 percent of dealer inventory includes 2018 models. Slowing sales have forced manufacturers to delay the 2018 model year rollout while dealers sell down 2017 stock."
High inventory levels at dealerships usually means car manufacturers will offer big incentives to help sell the outgoing model year vehicles.
"Model-year changeover is a crucial time," said Greene. "As the new model year vehicles often come with new features and options, manufacturers don't want to deliver new models that could compete with the outgoing model year."
However, Greene notes, as auto sales have slowed overall in 2017, luxury brand sales have actually increased 1.3 percent, while non-luxury brand sales have declined 3.5 percent. "Luxury brands are much further along with model year changeover, helped by lower total inventory levels and more affluent shoppers. Luxury brands comprise 11.9 percent of auto sales so far in 2017," Greene said.
According to Autodata Corp., September was the highest month for dealer incentives in 2015 and 2016. In a recent article about upcoming manufacturing discounts scheduled for the holiday weekend, Cars.com looked for deals on popular models in Chicago, New York, Los Angles, Denver and Atlanta, and found cash-back or discount financing programs from several car manufacturers on a number of models running through the Labor Day holiday weekend.
"Through the first seven months of the year, average discounts were still up 12.8 percent over last year," said Kelsey Mays, senior consumer affairs editor at Cars.com. "That means we should still expect to see plenty of great incentives at dealers in September."
For more information, visit Labor Day Car Deals at Cars.com.
Cars.com is a leading online destination that helps car shoppers and owners navigate every turn of car ownership. A pioneer in automotive classifieds, the company has evolved into one of the largest digital automotive platforms, connecting consumers with local dealers across the country anytime, anywhere. Through trusted expert content, on-the-lot mobile app features, millions of new and used vehicle listings, a comprehensive set of research tools and the largest database of consumer reviews in the industry, Cars.com helps shoppers buy, sell and service their vehicles. Cars.com properties include DealerRater®, Auto.com™, PickupTrucks.com™ and NewCars.com®. The company was founded in 1998 and is headquartered in Chicago, Illinois. For more information, visit www.Cars.com.
SOURCE Cars.com, Inc.