Is U.S. Auto Sales Heading Towards another Year of Record Sales? Economists Differ in Their Opinion
In July, the automotive industry's bubbling sales numbers cooled down. Economists are confused and differ in their opinion, regarding, whether that signals at another record year or staggering sales at the edge of a slump.
According to Autodata Corp, auto manufacturers sold 1.52 million new cars and trucks with a gain of 0.7 percent. Individually, sale for Ford Motor Co. dropped three percent, for General Motors Co. sales fell 1.9 percent. For Fiat Chrysler Automobiles sales climbed 1.5 percent.
However, there is still demand that's pending, mainly for trucks and SUVs. Certain economic factors that helped the industry's record growth were consumer confidence, easy credit and a steady job market. These still continue to be in place but some economists opine that growth is heading towards a natural end following its six-year run.
Mark LaNeve, Ford vice president of U.S. marketing, sales and service said, "We just think it's a tougher environment. My dad used to say, 'Trees don't grow to the sky.' "
Sean McAlinden, chief economist for the Center for Automotive Research that's hosting its yearly Management Briefing Seminars in Michigan expects auto sales in the United States to set a new record of 17.7 million sales in 2016. In 2015, it was 17.47 million. However, he feels that there are reasons to raise concerns related to a noteworthy slowdown which could trim sales almost by one third in the coming few years.
He said, "Seven years of growth in auto sales is coming to an end."