2013 Holiday sales blitz may be bonanza for the car buyers

Auto dealers are now looking for few more new-car sales by the end of the year to cap a banner year, and to meet any monthly and yearly incentive goals. That means customers can receive benefit.

Some experts agree that final days of 2013 may be the best time all year to buy a car. “This is the week to do it,” suggested by Alec Gutierrez, he is senior analyst for auto pricing site Kelley Blue Book.

He noted that in the car business, it’s the best storm of sales deadlines: end of the month, quarter and year. There’s always a chance for one last push to, like they say in the industry, move the metal. It’s conventional wisdom that as usual seems to hold true: “It will be the best time to buy a car,” he says.

The sales rose this year means fewer leftovers and less pressure to mark down prices than at the ends of some years. “Incentive spending is not out of control,” says consultant Jesse Toprak.

But he also said “The old wisdom, ‘go to a dealership on Dec. 31,’ isn’t necessarily wrong.”

Deals out there now take different forms:

• Year-end sales. Some of the deals have been praised all month. Some of the deals have been appreciated all month, or longer. Chrysler Group, for a name, has been pushing a “Big Finish” event that puts sales incentives on many models.

• Honda is now offering $3,000 to dealers for every new vehicle they sell this month.

• Chevrolet is offering $3,000 in incentives on the 2013 Malibu sedan to make way for the 2014s. And Ford has discounts up to $8,750 on 2013 F-150 pickups.

By the end of November, automakers had sold 14.2 million vehicles in 2013, up 8.4%, for the same period last year and within about 250,000 vehicles of the total for all of last year.

But there is still some force to sell. “Every additional day (a car) sits on the lot, it becomes a little more stale,” Gutierrez added.

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