VW Ag, Europe’s largest automaker sees the pace of U.S. auto industry sales accelerating in May from April, according to Jonathan Browning, CEO of VW’s U.S. unit, Bloomberg reports.
“We continue to believe in a moderate pace of recovery in the economy and with the car market, and certainly May has got a better pace than April had,” the executive said.
Car sales that are running at the fastest pace in four years are poised to reverberate through the world’s largest economy as a spillover into production, profits and jobs for Americans may be starting.
Auto purchases have exceeded a 14 million annual rate in each month this year, the strongest performance since early 2008, according to Ward’s Automotive Group.
According to Bloomberg, analysts have revised their initial estimates of 13.6 million vehicles sold upward to 14.3 million following a 10.3% increase in first quarter sales over last year. If the pace is maintained throughout 2012, the auto industry will have its best year since 2007, when 16.1 million vehicles were sold.
In addition, US retail sales rose a bare 0.1 percent in April from March, helped by online sales, the US Commerce Department reported Tuesday.
Retail sales excluding the automobile sector were also up 0.2 percent on the month, the department said.
Strong sales in the U.S. have historically helped automakers weather downturns elsewhere in the world. The profit margins on cars sold here are much higher than other parts of the world, so when sales are strong in the U.S. it helps even out weaker sales elsewhere.