US: automakers expected to post stronger growth in April image

According to the latest forecasts, automakers are expected to regain momentum this month after sluggish performances in March, with the industry making up the lost momentum triggered by the harsh winter end.

New market forecasts coming from J.D. Power and LMC Automotive put the consumer demand at its highest rate in a decade this April, thanks to the warm – spring weather – spreading across the continental US. Now the overall new sales of new cars, trucks and SUVs are expected to reach 1,463,700 units – up 5 percent from the same month last year and the best level for April since 2005. The seasonally adjusted annual rate of sales, or SAAR, is forecasted at 16.6 million autos based on the first four months. “The industry continues to outperform prior-year levels with respect to retail sales and transaction prices,” comments John Humphrey, senior vice president of the global automotive practice at J.D. Power. According to the analyst, the average new-vehicle transaction price in April for now has surged to $30,680, with the record set last year ($29,948) ready to be broken.

The J.D. Power Power Information Network (PIN) sets the benchmark for a new consumer spending record for the month thanks to the strong sales and high transaction prices – predictions call for a total of $36.2 billion to be spent on new light vehicles. Meanwhile, LMC Automotive is forecasting a total market for the year of 17 million units, with retail sales reaching 13.9 million autos this year. April sales would reach a total of 1,179,000 vehicles in the firm’s opinion.