New research suggests US auto sales to peak this year
The industry is on pace to sell more than 16 million cars this year … but don’t break out the party hats and champagne just yet.
June was a terrific month for the auto industry. Americans made it the busiest month of sales in nearly eight years, buying more than 1.4 million vehicles, according to Autodata Corp. It was the strongest month of sales since July 2006, combining with robust sales in May to send expectations soaring.
Despite a brutal winter that hampered sales earlier in the year, the industry is on pace to sell more than 16 million cars this year. If that pace holds, it will be the first time since before the Great Recession that milestone has been eclipsed.
But don’t break out the party hats and champagne just yet.
Amid the rampant enthusiasm, AlixPartners, a global business advisory firm based in New York, has released a study that douses some of the budding hope the industry could soon return to the halcyon days of 17-million in annual sales. Instead, the study suggests sales could peak later this year and then retreat.
“The good news is the global auto industry made it through the financial crisis, recession and a whole lot of pain,” said John Hoffecker, co-president of the Americas at AlixPartners. “The bad news is what’s ahead is uncertain and unprecedented, and could be painful as well.”