December auto sales confirm that last year was a fantastic one for the auto industry, thanks to economic growth, easy credit, and consumer-friendly prices at the pump. Bobbi Rebell reports.
U.S. automakers reporting solid December sales putting 2015 on pace for a record year. General Motors's December sales rose 5.7 percent, Ford's were up eight percent, and Fiat Chrysler 13 percent. Among the key drivers: an economy that continues to grow modestly, and easy credit, not to mention consumer friendly prices at the pump. TrueCar's Eric Lyman: (SOUNDBITE) ERIC LYMAN, VICE PRESIDENT OF INDUSTRY INSIGHTS, TRUECAR (ENGLISH) SAYING: "Gas prices are low, and that is skewing more of the mix to the big SUVs and the trucks, but, certainly, creating some traffic in the showroom. We are still seeing interest rates were continuing at the record lows, and the millennials continue to come into the market, so, I think, that is one of the things we don't focus on as much is the impact of millennials, which will continue through the latter part of the decade as well." Lyman does not believe interest rate hikes by the Fed will deter sales. And he says, even though incentives have been creeping up, they remain well below the worrisome levels of the recession. TrueCar expects U.S. auto sales will hit 18 million vehicles this year - a record.