Top executives from Kia, Mazda and Toyota are expecting light-vehicle deliveries in the United States in 2014 to reach around 16.1 million to 16.2 million vehicles. Sales of cars and light trucks in the US have surged 8 percent in the first 10 months of 2013 and are on pace to reach the mid-15 million range for the year. This would be the auto industry’s fourth straight year of sales increases, after three years of at least a 10-percent gain. Robust sales have been attributed to easing credit standards, low financing offers, new models and pent-up demand. Jim O'Sullivan, chief executive of Mazda North American Operations, remarked during a panel discussion at the J.D. Power Western Automotive Conference that he expects three to five more years of good sales growth in the US.
According to O'Sullivan, economic headwinds -- sluggish job growth and slow-rebounding housing markets -- will keep growth in auto sales slow and steady. He noted that there are several things “that need to be worked out," adding that as long as the industry sells around 16 million units, it still has three to five years of growth ahead of it.
Bill Fay, Toyota Division general manager, echoed similar expectations that sales will exceed 16 million units in 2014. Fay noted that the rate of growth in 2014 would moderate from what the industry has felt in the last few years. Tom Loveless, executive vice president of sales at Kia Motors America, sees the growing share of retail shares against fleet deliveries as a positive development.