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Analysts Predict Big Growth for U.S. Car Sales in 2012

Better credit, rising employment, increased production and an aging American fleet will contribute.

By Exhaust Notes Dec 28, 2011 7:49AM
Several factors, including wider credit availability, rising employment numbers and automakers' need to move aging products are leading analysts to predict a booming year for the U.S. automotive industry, with some predicting sales as high as 14 million vehicles.

According to Automotive News, the predictions of 11 independent analysts from agencies such as Morgan Stanley and Wells Fargo Securities yielded an average outlook of 13.6 million units. That would mark a 6 to 7 percent increase from the projected 2011 numbers, which are figured to top 12.7 million units.

One stated reason for the projected boost is an American car-buying public that now remains steadier during times of troubling financial news, unlike the plummet seen when the financial crisis hit in 2008. One analyst cited the summertime congressional standoff over the debt ceiling, noting that "the Dow fell 1,500 points -- and car sales stayed smooth and consistent." Analysts also downplay the idea that the European debt crisis will significantly alter American buying habits.

Another factor is an expected buyers market next year, with Asian and European manufacturers looking to unload excess product in the U.S. -- likely along with healthy incentives. Other indicators are a projected bump in North American auto production, higher leasing rates and better credit availability. The aging American vehicle fleet -- the average age of vehicles on the road is 10.7 years, as opposed to 8 or 9 years seen for much of the past decade -- is also major factor. One analyst quoted by Automotive News summed it up like this: "Americans have gone without for a very long time. 'I need a car' is the biggest reason for optimism."

Dec 29, 2011 4:03AM
Unfortunately, a car is NOT an "investment."  It is an "expense."
Dec 29, 2011 4:13AM
My car is almost eleven years old and I don't plan on purchasing a new car until my mortgage is paid off in 3-4 more years.  People need to stop buying vehicles as some sort of financial status and understand it's a tool that gets you from point a to point b.  I can easily afford another car, probably could pay for it outright, but the practical side of my brain won't let me do it!
Dec 29, 2011 6:58AM
I just took a leap of faith and bought an American car for the first time since the 80's.
Dec 29, 2011 3:49AM

Meanwhile, back at reality ranch.................Americans have gone without a very long time because we don't have the money for a big ticket purchase like a new vehicle.

That's a reality

Nice little piece of journalistic optimism.

Oh, and the "rising" employment numbers. That'll change after the holidays.

Dec 29, 2011 7:57AM

I bought my car 2002 and it still get's great mileage.  I'm keeping it until it falls apart.  However I take great care of it.  I will not be buying a new car in the near future.


We need to vote out the present Congress and get some people who know and feel the money crunch as regular people do.  Remove the deadbeats who will keep on selling our country to other countries.



Dec 29, 2011 3:40AM

This is good news for our American companies.  However, there is always a dark cloud.  As the writer said, "Asian and European manufacturers are looking to unload excess product in the U.S." .  In other words, flood our market with more foreign cars that good 'ol Americans can drive to their job at taco bell. 

Dec 29, 2011 7:51AM
Buy American !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Dec 29, 2011 6:57AM
Look America. 75% of our working force depend on the auto industry. Yes 75%. That does not include going to and from work! You have assembly workers, gas station attendants, the rubber industry, fabric industry, glass industry, traveling sales types, hotels/motels, the list could go on and on. Just think about it. 75%! We have got to revamp our import/export car agreements right now.
Dec 29, 2011 7:55AM
Rising employment?  Where at Burger King, while Christmas shopping I looked at ever label where it was made and not one thing was made in the US. I tried to buy made in the USA but it's all from China and other third world countries. Need to bring some of those jobs back for people to afford to buy a new car.
Our stupid government, and it is not President Obama's fault, should put a 100% tariff on foreign cars EXCEPT cars from countries that freely allow OUR cars into their country.  The same should be done on every type of product.  Don't let our product into your country?  Then we will not allow your product into our country.  What goes around comes around.  You would see a sudden tidal wave of jobs open up in OUR country, and you would see other countries instantly allowing our products into their countries.

I don't see this happening anytime soon, UNLESS our Supreme(ly awful) Court bans the private financing of political campaigns.


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