With bold predictions for June’s auto sales, forecasters are also pointing out that overall 2015 might become one of the few years when auto sales have topped 17 million units in the United States.
The second largest auto market, also the biggest in terms of premium autos, is predicted to head into a long, hot-selling summer, with new car sales most likely topping the 17 million vehicles threshold for the third-best ever delivery rate. This year is “arguably the strongest and healthiest the auto industry has been in a very long time,” comments Jeff Schuster, senior vice president of forecasting at LMC Automotive. The all-time record for US auto sales in a year was of 17.4 million, achieved back in 2000 and if the tally surges past the 17 million units threshold it would post the strongest result since 2005. Notably, the auto industry is in a very different – healthier – position than it was back during the latest sales peak. Back in 2001 massive discounting was needed to reach a tally of 17.2 million as General Motors introduced the “Keep America Rolling” campaign in the wake of the September 11 attacks, with the incentive-driven program followed by all of its competitors. And in 2005 the 17 million pace was again seen after a GM introduced strategy – “Employee Pricing for Everyone” – which once more spurred rivals to follow suit as they all had massive unsold inventories of cars and trucks.
Such pricing pressure is all but nonexistent today. Production and inventories are carefully aligned with sales and while incentives and offers are always present, the automakers successfully limit them to certain models, instead of brand-wide discounting.