LIVE: US auto sales (FCAU, GM, NSANY, F, TM, HMC, VOW)
Automakers will report their sales numbers for November throughout Thursday.
Economists estimate that total vehicle sales rose at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 17.7 million, according to Bloomberg. That would be down from the 17.9 million pace recorded in October, but still relatively strong.
Sales this year were not expected to keep up with the record pace of 2015, but they were supported by automakers' use of incentives and continued low interest rates.
This greater use of incentives and price discounts to attract buyers is not sustainable, said Michael Gapen, a Barclays analyst, in a note. They have eroded the quality of sales and could hurt carmakers' earnings.
In the coming months, more attention may be paid to the impact of rising interest rates on auto lending and demand. There's not likely to be a dramatic effect, however — at least not immediately.
"We see reasons to believe that auto financing will become more restrictive over time," Gapen said last month. "Commercial banks are now tightening standards on auto loans and readings on household debt service ratios suggest that delinquency rates have likely bottomed."