How December changed from a near-worst to a near-best car selling month [w/video]

  • Report
  • Wed, 31 Dec 2014 18:15:00 EST

According to one web site, the equation for Toyotathon – said to be the best time of year to buy a new Toyota – is “Cars + Christmas.” Yet even though Toyotathon is 33 years old and has its own Facebook page, an Automotive News article says it’s the Lexus December to Remember campaign started in 1998 that helped turn December into one of the biggest months of the year for car sales. Before that – and “that” wasn’t that long ago – December was close to last in sales because no one seriously considered buying a car for Christmas.

But come 2000, Lexus was selling more cars in December than any other month and running the luxury-sales table, even though December 2000 only posted the tenth-best overall car sales of the year. The upper crust Germans brands followed, then everybody piled in for the end-of-year push to get rid of stock, move the new-model-year units and boost the numbers. Now the period from Black Friday (the day after Thanksgiving) to New Year’s is the third “epic selling season” of the year after late spring and summer, according to TrueCar CEO John Krafcik. TrueCar’s forecast is that this December will be the fourth-best-selling month of 2014 even with four weekends instead of five for business.

In the ten-year period from 2004-2013, December was one of the top three sales months five times, and in the top five seven times. The only impediments now appear to be heinous weather, such as happened last year, or global economic meltdowns. Since it looks like we’ll avoid both of those this year, more good times are predicted this month, so you can watch one of Lexus’ latest December to Remember efforts in the video above.

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