With consumers still concerned about the economy, Automakers across the country are beefing up their production of compact cars. Ford, GM, Toyota, and Hyundai have all added Saturday shifts to keep up with consumer demand as customers continue to look for smaller ticket prices and better gas mileage.
Compact car sales are up nearly 13 percent from last year. Through July, Automakers sold nearly 1 million compact cars, despite the fact that sales for the two most popular models, the Honda Civic and the Toyota Corolla, have dropped.
According to Boston.com, companies like Ford and GM are trying to scoop up compact car sales as Japanese manufacturers continue to struggle to find parts after the march earthquake.
Chevrolet is leading the compact car charge with the Chevrolet Cruze. Sales numbers for the Cruze are up 74% over Chevy’s previous compact offering, the Cobalt. GM introduced the Cruze last year, and this July it was the top selling car in the country.
Sales for the Nissan Sentra are up 33%, while Hyundai Elantra sales are up 54%.
In fact, automakers are selling so many compact cars that they are having a hard time keeping them in stock. At current sales rates, GM only has enough Cruzes for 27 days on their lots, which is well below the 60 day mark which is considered optimal.
Scott Fink, the president of Hyundai of New Port Richey in Tampa, Florida, told the CS Monitor:
“As the Elantras come in, nine out of 10 of them are pre-sold. So we really don’t have any in stock.”
But despite the compact car boom, the auto industry is still expecting sales to drop. IHS, which originally estimated that 12.7 million cars would be sold this year. Has dropped that number to 12.5 million. Automakers are expected to discount cars and add incentives at the end of the year to boost sales. Will you be buying a compact car?