Forget about big TVs and Elmo dolls, more Americans are choosing to hit car dealerships rather than the malls during the biggest shopping weekend of the year.
Last year, Thanksgiving weekend accounted for twice as many sales as any other weekend in November, according to Edmunds.com, and the trend is expected to continue this year.
Car dealers have helped fuel demand by offering big November incentives and heavily advertising their Black Friday deals. Among the offers tempting buyers this year are 20 percent cash back from Buick, 0 percent financing from Chrysler and up to $750 cash back from Ford. Individual dealerships are promoting additional discounts and deals, too. The average value of dealer incentives this month is more than $3,000, according to True Car.
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While historically November has been a slow month for auto sales, the Black Friday push and a shift to November promotions in recent years has made it far more lucrative for dealers. Car sales are expected to hit more than 1.3 million this month, up 6 percent from last year and the highest November total ever.
New car sales have been on a tear, with analysts expecting them to hit a record 17. 3 million this year. That would make the sixth consecutive year of sales increases, the first time the car industry has seen such a streak in more than 50 years.
Last month, the average new car price was $34,023, up 1.4 percent year-over-year, according to Kelly Blue Book.