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December caps year nicely for automakers

Posted on Friday, January 9, 2015 at 8:17:53 AM

Now that 2015 is finally here, it is time to look back on the end of last year. In terms of vehicle sales, automakers, dealers and consumers have plenty of reasons to be pleased.

According to Cars.com, strong sales figures for luxury vehicles, SUVs and trucks have driven up the Average Transaction Price, or ATP.

"Thanks to the healthy sales performance of luxury vehicles as well as SUVs and trucks, industry Average Transaction Price reached its highest point of the year this month at $31,550," said Jesse Toprak, chief analyst at Cars.com. "Incentives are only up $100 per unit while ATPs are up over $1,500 per unit year-over-year, indicating higher overall profitability for the automakers - everything else being equal."

Based on a TrueCar estimate, the sales volume for new cars and light trucks hit its highest point in roughly one decade, up 9.5 percent in December. The new vehicle forecast for 2015 is at 17 million units, with the potential for a record revenue of $53 billion.

For consumers interested in affordable auto financing, 2015 could shape up to be an exciting and busy year.