Superstition around 13 predicted to slow car sales

Some news and business outlets are predicting that triskaidekaphobia (fear of the number 13) will have an effect on car sales next year. Are they overestimating the power of superstition? – Car sales could slump in ‘unlucky’ 2013.

Triscadecaphobia (or triskaidekaphobia) is the fear of the number 13 as a harbinger of bad luck. And it’s why new car sales will likely slump in the 2013 model-year.

Believers will want nothing to do with an “unlucky” 2013 car, and even non-believers might shun these autos fearing lower future resale values.

In Ireland, known for its lucky charms (and inspiring a kids’ cereal here by the same name), an auto industry group estimates 2013 car sales will plummet by one-third. To help counteract this, officials are being asked to change the car registration system to alter the year prefix to become “131” and “132” instead of the dreaded “13” alone.

Tip: Molly Hodgdon

Because the upcoming two years may be perceived as numerically unlucky, consumers may put off buying a new car. Many factors play into the demand for new cars, some of which are unpredictable. But, in general, the economy dictates if people spend their money on items such as new housing, durable goods and new cars. Will the superstitions surrounding 13 have a major effect? It may have a small effect as companies put off new model releases. Then, it could be perceived that the year number has an effect. I doubt most people will even notice if it’s time to buy a new car.

  4 comments for “Superstition around 13 predicted to slow car sales

  1. Massachusetts
    September 15, 2012 at 10:46 AM

    They could rename the models 2012 PLUS!

  2. Massachusetts
    September 15, 2012 at 10:47 AM

    Or if you’re a bit of a computer geek, 2012++ 🙂

  3. Phil
    September 15, 2012 at 8:15 PM

    Or they could call them the MMXIII s.

  4. David Conner
    September 17, 2012 at 3:35 PM

    Seems to me the key phrase here is “an auto industry group estimates….”

    Particularly if they suspect sales might drop anyway due to economic conditions, blaming an “unlucky 13” theory in advance is a no-lose proposition. If sales are down, but by less than the (rather extreme-sounding) 1/3, they can claim that their great cars, great salesmanship, or whatever, made it LESS BAD than expected. And if sales are up, why, heck, that auto industry must be made up of geniuses!

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