US: collapsing oil prices spark bullish predictions for auto sales image

The US auto industry is tracking towards achieving its sixth annual sales growth, one of the longest positive streaks in history and the continued low oil prices are bringing in forecasts that preview even better figures.

The automotive industry seems to have taken the fast lane, for at least the next two years, according to economists discussing the situation during the NADA/JD Power Automotive Forum. The consultancy firm previews that 2015 deliveries of new vehicle sales are on track to reach retail sales of 14 million cars and light trucks, soaring 3 percent from the quota seen last year. “Things look very bullish,” commented John Humphrey, senior vice president for global automotive at JD Power. A recovering US economy, increased consumer confidence and spending, an incrementally better housing sector and the availability of cheap gasoline buoys the streak. According to IHS Automotive, crude oil prices should hover at around $51 a barrel in 2015 and will only rise to $63 a barrel in 2016, a long way down from the usual $100 a barrel prices that were traditional in the years that have passed.

The road is still paved with potential risks, with economists saying the low interest rates could soon be modified. The auto industry is also tremendously competitive, with automakers expected to introduce 27 all-new models in 2015, after launching 25 last year in the US alone. And in 2016 a huge bunch of cars are coming off leases, adding pressure to vehicle pricing and trade-in offers.

Via Automotive News