U.S. auto sales will probably come in lower than 13 million this year, Ford’s CFO Lewis Booth told Bloomberg. That’s below the low end of Ford’s estimate.
According to Bloomberg, “Ford had forecast industry wide 2011 sales of 13 million to 13.5 million vehicles, including medium- and heavy-duty trucks, in its home market.” Booth is not alone with his prediction that we will see less than that. Analysts are cutting their forecasts. Last month, the average estimate of 18 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg was 12.7 million.
As for the fabled pent-up demand, it seems to be in hiding.
“We see signs of pent-up demand,” Booth said at a UBS conference in London. “What it’s going to take for that pent-up demand to emerge is some confidence in what the future will look like.” Ford anticipated a modest U.S. recovery, “but we didn’t expect it to be quite as slow as it’s been.”