Sales of new cars in the United States could reach as much as 14.5 million units in 2012, corresponding to a 13 percent improvement from the figures posted in 2011, according to auto industry consultants J.D. Power and LMC Automotive. Automakers and other industry analysts forecast that sales of light vehicle in the US could reach between 13.85 million to 14.8 million units in 2012. Power and LMC also forecast that light-vehicle sales in May 2012 would soar 21 percent to 1.38 million units, when adjusted for having more selling days than May 2011.
That corresponds to an annualized sales rate of 14.3 million units for May, a tad below the 14.4 million sales rates in March and April. LMC analyst Jeff Schuster said that this shows that the US car market is on a momentum, as it benefits from economic stability that allows the industry to sustain a higher selling rate throughout the rest of the 2012.
The US auto industry sustained lower sales in May 2011, caused mainly by the Japan earthquake in March 2011 that triggered supply problems for Japanese carmakers Toyota Motor Corp and Honda Motor Co Ltd. The good news is both automakers are recovering from the effects of last year’s disasters, with auto research firm Edmunds.com predicting that Toyota and Honda will increase their sales this month by 90 percent and 50 percent respectively.
Edmunds.com also forecasted that carmakers would sell 1.39 million vehicles this month, up by around 31 percent from May 2011. This corresponds to an annual sales rate of 14.4 million units for May 2012. LMC also hike its forecast for car production in North America for 2012, citing increasing demand as well as the recovery by the Japanese automakers from the 2011 Japan earthquake.