US Auto Sales to Reach Highest Level Since 2007 image

The US auto sales are expected to increase at levels last seen in 2007 as customers are attracted by more-available credit and low interest rates.

GM and AutoNation are among the automakers which offer ample financing for new car and truck sales, pushing the number of vehicle sales to 15 million this year, the highest level since 2007.

“We have the best financing available for our customers ever,” Mike Jackson, the chief executive officer of Fort Lauderdale, Florida-based AutoNation, told a J.D. Power & Associates conference this month in Orlando, Florida. “I go back to ’08 and ’09, and I couldn’t get the Lord Above financed.”

Analysts expect US light-vehicles sales to have increased 3.7% in February to 1.19 million, while the annualized industry sales rate might have been at January’s level of 15.3 million. Kevin Tynan, a senior analyst at Bloomberg Industries, said that leases for new-vehicle sales have increased 20% since 2010 and around 25% over the last three months.

Ford is expected to have reached the highest sales in February among all automakers, up 9.8%, the average of 11 analysts, while GM might have reached 4.9%. VW is the one expected to report the second-biggest increase, with 9.2% gain VW and Audi sales.

“The returns in the auto business over the last few years have been very attractive,” Trip Hall, president of Capital One Auto Finance, said in an interview. “That’s caused increasing competitive activity in the market, new entrants and players expanding from where they have been in the past.”