It’s been a cold month in Hell, Michigan and much of the rest of country this winter, and February is looking to deliver another big chill to the auto industry, February sales likely to echo the unexpected cool-down experienced last month.
But the impact is likely to be short-lived, suggested Fred Diaz, the new Nissan division boss, during an appearance at the Automotive Press Association on Thursday. “I’m not a believer you lose sales for good” because of bad weather, he said. “You only delay sales” that the industry will likely regain once the weather warms up.
On the downside, the Nissan executive – who joined the company a year ago after spending a quarter-century with Chrysler – said the auto industry likely needs to prepare for a slowdown in the pace of its recovery since the end of the Great Recession. Since bottoming out in 2010, U.S. auto sales have been growing at better than double-digit annual rates, but Diaz cautioned that level of “growth is unsustainable. We’re already seeing signs it will level off.”