A revised forecast just released says that U.S. auto sales in 2016-2023 will drop nearly 250,000 units each year from 2016-2023, with a larger reduction in 2016 and 2017. The soothsaying was based on the current plateauing of year-on-year U.S. auto sales growth, combined with growing economic and political risk in the U.S., as well as globally. This potentially hurts trade, the U.S. economy. and consumer confidence.
During to 2016, according to LMC Automotive, the U.S. auto sales forecast was cut by 300,000 units to 17.4 million units from 17.7 million units, a -1.7% reduction. This represents a 0.3% contraction or about 40,000 units lower than the record level of 17.44 million units in 2015. Nearly all of this reduction was made to retail sales, bringing the forecast for retail light vehicle sales down to 14.0 million units from 14.3 million units previously.
“Our latest forecast now reflects the reality that the growth track that the US market has been on since 2009 has stalled and appears to be leveling off, but it does not necessarily signal that further contractions or an automotive recession is imminent,” said Jeff Schuster, Senior Vice President Forecasting at LMC Automotive.
While the strong recovery and growth since the recession of 2009 may be coming to an end, LMC Automotive continues to expect the U.S. automotive market to remain solid over the forecast horizon, with volume forecasts holding at a mid-17-million-unit level before slowly climbing past 18 million units by 2022.