Auto sales are expected to have ended the year up by around 5 percent. This according to analysts at Scotiabank and elsewhere. China, where a quarter of the world’s automobiles are sold, is probably up 4 percent, Europe is expected to be down some 8 percent. Auto sales in the U.S. on the other hand are seen to have risen some 14 percent for the year. More precise data are expected within hours or days, so let’s have a look forward.
In 2013, the party is seen to continue in the U.S. , fueled by give-away interest rates and a re-awakening housing market. Edmunds and other analysts predict U.S. sales of 15 million units. This should put smiles on the faces of the leaders of the auto industry. But does it really? Let’s have a look.
- Hyundai and its Kia affiliate target a modest rise of four percent in global sales in 2013 after an 8 percent rise in 2012, Reuters says. That would be the slowest sales pace ion 10 years for the Korean maker.
- Toyota, the world’s largest automaker of 2012 with global production of nearly (but not quite) 10 million, expects global sales to be up only 2 percent in 2013.
- Volkswagen’s Winterkorn expects 2013 to be “a tough year, for the automotive market as a whole, and for Volkswagen.”
- In general, automakers expect the global market to rise by 5 percent. Renault & Nissan’s Carlos Ghosn is more cautious and expects between 3 and 4 percent more.
So does this mean that American finally has it better than the rest of the world? Not really Let’s face it, if the market grows from 14.5 million in 2012 to the 15 million expected for 2013, then that’s a less than exhilarating growth of 3.4 percent. And that’s good. After a rebound in the first years of recovery, you want modest growth. If sales ever reach 17 million, then its will be time to sell the house, and rent. Or even better. emigrate.