A big bump predicted for auto sales in 2010
The Center for Automotive Research, based in Ann Arbor, Mich., has released figures suggesting pent-up demand after a protracted economic and credit crisis could push car sales as much as 20 percent higher than they were in 2009, up to 12.4 million from 10.3 million in 2008. Those figures represent the worst in years: Average sales were 16.8 million through 2007, though CAR's chief economist Sean McAlinden called those numbers the result of "an automotive sales bubble."
Should those predictions prove true, it would, according to analysts, move enough cars to allow both GM and Chrysler to operate at a profit in the United States. Just don't expect the resurgence to happen all at once: McAlinden sees "lousy sales numbers through the spring" before the tide turns and sales increase.
It should be noted, of course, that simply making a sale isn't necessarily the end of the story; in another article in the same Free Press, it's being reported that auto loan delinquencies are also projected to grow in 2010 by a steep 7 percent.
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