The pent-up demand has been chased-after more than Richard Kimble. And like the good doctor, the pent-up demand has so far eluded its pursuers. Now, Joe Pent-Up appears to be surrounded, further resistance is futile. Reuters has it from J.D. Power that:
“U.S. auto sales may have their strongest month of 2011 in November, spurred by consumers’ growing need to replace aging cars and trucks and a wider selection on dealer lots.”
LMC Automotive agrees to the forecast. However, LMC just bought J.D. Power’s forecasting business along with Jeffrey Schuster, so they ca hardly act as a corroborating witness.
Total light vehicle sales are forecasted to rise 8 percent in November compared with the same month in 2010, and the SAAR is supposed to climb to 13.4 million, up a tad from the 13.2 million in October. For the year, the amalgamated J.D. Power and LMC forecasters predict sales of around 12.7 million vehicles. The really good part (unless you are a treehugger) will follow next year – unless the crystal ball has developed cataracts during the handover. Jeffrey Schuster, now LMC senior vice president of forecasting, predicts:
“As long as there is not an external shock or economic setback, the selling rate could be stable above the 14-million-unit level during the second half of 2012.”
Let’s see what the carmakers have to say to this forecast of a rosy 2012.
Toyota’s Jim Lentz told Reuters’ Bernie Woodall that Toyota expects the U.S. auto market to rise to around 13.6 million in 2012, which would be in the ballpark of the new Power/LMC forecasts. By the middle of the decade Lentz sees sales of 15 million to 16 million, which would be close to the pre-carmageddon levels of 17 million.
General Motors has a more subdued outlook. At a Barclays conference in New York, GM’s U.S. sales chief Don Johnson said:
“We continue to believe that the industry will grow; it will grow slowly, along with the economy and it will be flat to slightly up in 2012. We actually like this slow growth. For us, it is a better environment within which to plan and we prefer to have less uncertainty, less volatility.”