Sales of new vehicles in the U.S. will continue to grow in 2013, following an impressive performance in 2012, according to R.L. Polk & Co. The auto researcher disclosed that registrations will grow by around 6.6% in 2013, thanks to improving economy and increased demand for pickups and mid-sized cars. Polk expects that around 15.3 million new light-vehicle sales will be registered in 2013.
The auto researcher likewise attributes the expected hike in 2013 registrations to an increase in the number of redesigned or refreshed car and light-truck models. Polk noted that the growth rate in 2013 could be less than half that of 2012, since the auto industry has already recovered much of the volume lost to the recession.
Anthony Pratt, Polk's director of forecasting for the Americas, remarked that there will be growth in 2013, but some demand has been “satisfied at this point." Deliveries of cars and trucks in 2012 reached its peak for the first time since 2007 as carmakers introduced new models and consumer confidence grew.
Polk expects the demand for pickups, which have been a vital source of income for General Motors, Ford Motor Co. and Chrysler Group LLC, to be significantly strong in 2013, boosted by new designs and a housing-market recovery. The annual light-vehicle deliveries in the US from 2000 to 2007 averaged 16.8 million units, before falling to 10.4 million in 2009.
According to the average of estimates by eight analysts surveyed by Bloomberg, the industry likely sold 1.36 million vehicles in the US in December 2012, bringing the full-year total to 14.5 million units. Pratt said that Polk's estimates are based on registration data from state motor-vehicle agencies, and may vary from sales figures released by carmakers.