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U.S. Light Vehicle Sales Will Recover Slowly

The new consensus says no return to 17-million units in sight.

by on Dec.22, 2009

In a forecast that mirrors one issued last week from the respected Center for Auto Research, a West Coast consulting firm says that the U.S. light vehicle market is expected to close out 2009 at a mere 10.3 million sales, down from 16.1 million sales only two years ago.

This is the lowest industry volume since consultancy AutoPacific began forecasting automotive sales in 1988. The ongoing Great Recession and a jobless recovery will continue to have a negative effect on retail sales of light vehicles.


The industry can look forward to year-on-year recovery during five-year forecast period, but at a relatively gradual pace. In the near term, AutoPacific forecasts industry volume of 11.4 million units in 2010, as unemployment hampers a faster industry sales recovery.