Chicago Automobile Trade Association

Confidence over autos stays firm

August 19, 2011
The auto industry isn’t taking its foot off the gas in the wake of the turbulence on Wall Street, at least not yet. Auto makers, dealers and industry analysts are all still expecting the pace of new-car sales to pick up in the second half of the year, undeterred by recent stock-market gyrations.
Industry analysts also said auto sales are underpinned by good credit availability. Most consumers with good credit records have no trouble getting car loans right now — a key difference from two years ago, during the recession, when the lack of credit helped depress auto sales. Many consumers also deferred purchases of new vehicles during the recession and are now shopping to replace aging vehicles.
Auto sales have softened since May because of a shortage of Japanese-brand vehicles in the wake of that country’s March earthquake. Because of the tight supply, auto makers have pulled back on the kinds of sales incentives that typically lure consumers into showrooms.


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