‘Tis the season for cheesy car commercials: Santa cruising in a red Mercedes, a tailgate of reindeer around a white Lexus crossover, an absurd promise that “there’s nothing like the holidays in a new Lincoln.” Honda, at least, is having a little fun with the corny seasonal sales bid by reprising toys from the 1980s as pitchmen. But does anyone really get a new car under Christmas tree? The short answer is yes. A five-year average ranks December as the top month for total U.S. car sales, with about one in every 10 vehicles for the year rolling off dealership lots in the final month.
People even buy those big bows to put on their new rides, like so many handsome TV families. King Size Bows, a company based on the outskirts of Los Angeles, sells about 2,500 car toppers each year, with buyers evenly split between individual consumers and dealerships. "We get a spike on Valentine’s Day, school graduations, and of course, around Christmas," founder Lynda King says. Her company supplied the bows for the latest Lexus ads, as well as one of Oprah Winfrey's big car giveaways. "If you give someone a car and it doesn't have a bow on it," King says, "you're missing a huge piece of the experience."