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Car sales could boom in '04

November 22, 2010
The U.S. auto industry is poised for a recordsetting rebound fueled by job growth, a manufacturing recovery and increased consumer buying power, General Motors top sales analyst predicts. New-car and -truck sales should top 17 million units next year, exceeding this year's 16.9 million sales pace, said Paul Ballew, executive director of market and industry analysis for GM. It would the first time in four years auto sales have increased over the previous year. And by "the (2006-07) time frame," U.S. buyers will snap up 18 million vehicles for the first time ever, Ballew predicted. Other automakers and industry analysts also weighed in with bullish forecasts for next year. If they're right, the industry is poised to emerge from a two-year malaise where automakers have relied on sky-high incentives to prevent dramatic sales losses.