After vehicle sales reached a six-year high last year, the U.S. auto industry has continued its torrid growth pace in the first half of 2014. With more than 8 million cars sold in the first six months of the year, total U.S. car sales were up 4.3% from the same time in 2013. In fact, demand for some models is so high that dealers can sell them in an average of just a few weeks.
In order to identify America’s fastest-selling cars, 24/7 Wall St. used days-to-turn figures provided by TrueCar. Days to turn is the average number of days it takes dealers to sell a car. In an interview with 24/7 Wall St., Eric Lyman, vice president of industry insights at TrueCar, noted that days to turn strips out factors such as transport time and the distance from the plant to the dealership. As a result, this measure “provides a level playing field to measure the demand at the dealership level,” Lyman said.
SUVs and crossover vehicles dominate this year’s list of the 10 nation’s fastest-selling cars, occupying the six top spots on the list. No car sold quicker than Land Rover’s Range Rover, which spent an average of less than 10 days on dealers’ lots between January and the end of June. These figures likely reflect an increasing shift towards SUVs and crossovers. According to a recent report from IHS Automotive, based on new vehicle registrations, SUVs and crossovers have now passed sedans as the most popular vehicle body style among American car buyers.
Lyman added that demand for SUVs and crossovers has been extremely strong of late and that manufacturers are still working to bring out new models after their struggles during the recession. As a result, “we’ve seen consumer demand outpace the manufacturers’ ability to bring those new products in significant number and volume into the U.S. market,” Lyman said.
The nation’s fastest-selling cars are also disproportionately luxury cars. Five of the 10 fastest selling cars include models from Audi, BMW, Land Rover, Lexus and Mercedes-Benz. Lyman noted that while belt-tightening lowered demand for luxury cars during the recession, “the recovery following the downturn [got] us back to where we were in 2007,” in terms of luxury vehicles’ share of the overall market.
One important factor that can help boost demand for a car is a recent redesign. TrueCar’s Lyman told 24/7 Wall St. that cars are often an emotional purchase for buyers. This sometimes helps make recently redesigned models become popular. “Everybody wants something that is the latest and greatest, that they can show off to their friends or family. Something they haven’t seen before,” Lyman said. Information sent to 24/7 Wall St. by Lyman shows that most of the fastest-selling cars had either full redesigns, or tweaks to at least one new key component, in recent years.
To determine America’s fastest-selling cars, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed days-to-turn figures provided by TrueCar, an information and technology platform for car buyers. This figure measures the average number of days a particular model spent on dealers’ lots following its arrival until it was sold. Additionally, TrueCar provided figures on sales by model, as well as the average transaction price and average dollar value of incentives offered for the first six months of both 2013 and 2014. We also reviewed monthly sales releases published by auto manufacturers. Manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) figures, come from the manufacturers’ websites.
These are America’s fastest-selling cars.