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Analysts: Auto sales to stabilize in September, finish 2014 strong

by Byron Hurd

U.S. auto industry still expected to have best year since 2007.

Several analysts released their September auto sales forecasts Thursday, projecting growth of up to 11% compared to a year ago and a year-end forecast of between 16.3 and 16.5 million sales. If the market continues at this pace, total sales would be the best the industry has seen since 2007, which was the last time total U.S. light-duty vehicle sales topped 16 million units (16.15).

J.D. Power and LMC Automotive's projections (pictured) called for 1,247,000 light vehicle sales (vs. 1,136,354 in September, 2013), with a year-end projection of 16.4 million units sold. J.D. Power and LMC did not provide manufacturer-specific projections.

Kelley Blue Book matched J.D. Power and LMC's year-end projection of 16.4 million, but predicted a slightly flatter September, with only 1.24 million total units sold. The big winners projected by KBB for September are Chrysler (+17.5%), Nissan (+17.4%) and General Motors (+15.9%).

Edmunds.com came out the most bullish, projecting 1.26 million sales in September and a year-end total of 16.5 million, and projected a big month for GM (+22.2%), Honda (+22.1%), Nissan (+16.6%) and Chrysler (+15.4%).

Both KBB and Edmunds projected a decline for Ford of between 2.4 and 3.9%.

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