Ford said that its sales in the US have slowed after the Federal Reserve announced it might start unwinding its accommodative monetary policy.
“The industry was really strong in the first half of the month, but maybe slowed a bit in the last week,” Joe Hinrichs, Ford’s president of the Americas, told reporters today in Dearborn, Michigan, near the company’s headquarters.
The US automaker is currently monitoring if concerns regarding the increasing interest rate are affecting consumer confidence. Auto lending has improved, as the US auto market heads towards its best year since 2007. The monetary policy implemented by the Federal Reserve has taken rates for new-vehicle loans to record low levels, encouraging customers who plan to swap their old vehicles for new cars and trucks.
Last week the Federal Reserve said that it might taper the $85-billion monthly bond-buying program by the end of this year and stop purchases by the mid-2014 if the economy will increase according to the Fed projections. But ending the stimulus program might take years as most Fed officials said that they don’t see raising the benchmark lending rate from 0 to 0.25% until 2015.
“It will be interesting to watch where consumer confidence goes as the market kind of fluctuated in the last week and they talk around eventually higher interest rates, and what that means for consumers’ buying confidence,” said Hinrichs.