Dan Akerson, GM’s CEO, Predicts Stronger Sales in 2012 image

Recently General Motors Co. CEO Dan Akerson declared that that he expects U.S. auto industry sales to be stronger in 2012 than the company predicted earlier this year.

In January the company declared that sales in the States by all automakers could reach 14 million, but this target changed.

“I don’t know if we’ll get to 15 (million sales),” Akerson said Friday, March 23rd.”Hopefully, more than 14 (million), maybe 14.5 (million.)”

J.D. Power LMC Automotive said that sales are surging, and that the new-vehicle retail sales being on track to end the first quarter on a strong position, expecting 1,085,800 units to be sold in March.

“Each month of strong sales bring with it increased optimism that the pace of growth represents a true recovery for the sector,” John Humphrey, senior vice president of global automotive operations at J.D. Power and Associates, said in a statement. “Barring any future shock related to geopolitical issues in the Gulf region and further upward pressure on the price of oil, we believe sales will continue on a solid pace for the balance of the year.”

Akerson refused to comment on the news that GM plans to close two plants in Europe, and that the board of its troubled European division, Adam Opel, will meet next week to decide their fate.