Chief Investment Strategist, Louis Basenese, said recently that “small business owners account for a large portion of pickup sales, particularly Ford (F) F-Series trucks. That means, by gauging sales of F-Series trucks, we can track the health of the economy.”
Well, the economy must be doing just fine…
“Ford sold a total of 72,000 trucks in May, which brings the year-to-date total up to almost 300,000. That’s a 21.5% increase over last year – and the highest total since the recession hit,” says Louis.
Indeed, auto sales continue to increase across the board…
Both Ford and General Motors (GM) posted stronger-than-expected sales in June. GM’s sales were at their highest level for June since 2008. Ford had its best June since 2006.
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And although Chrysler’s sales were in line with forecasts, the company still posted its best June total since 2007.
The reason for the latest surge?
So many people held onto their rusted-out jalopies during the recession that they just can’t wait to get a shiny new car any longer…
According to Edmunds.com’s Senior Analyst, Jessica Caldwell, “Cars out there on the road are very old, and we are seeing record levels of vehicle ages that are being traded in to buy new cars. So I think a lot of people can’t wait.”
To top it off, even though rates are increasing, car companies want to keep consumers coming in. So they’re keeping rates low…
“A lot of the rates are subsidized by the auto companies themselves,” says Caldwell. “So even though the interest rates are getting higher, auto companies still want to advertise those low interest rates because that is what is driving them. A lot of people buy on monthly payments, so if you have a low interest rate, monthly payments become a lot friendlier.”