вторник, 3 января 2017 г.

Analysts predict a slowdown in car sales in 2017

Automakers are on the cusp of a second record-breaking year for sales as dealers made an end-of-year push to empty their lots over the weekend. But even as the industry hopes to let the confetti fall on 2016, it must brace for a slowdown that analysts project will come to a head in the new year. Many analysts anticipate a photo finish when carmakers report their annual hauls Wednesday, with some forecasting that 2016 will edge out the previous year’s sales of 17.5 million autos by as few as 5,000 vehicles. If those projections prove true, 2016 would mark the seventh consecutive year of rising automotive sales. But even if the sector breaks sales records again, most analysts say that its run is all but done.
After so many years of sales growth, the ebb and flow of the market cycle suggests the industry is due for some contraction. What’s more, automakers may have finally exhausted the pent-up demand for new cars that went unfulfilled during the depths of the recession, when many consumers were out of work or deferring big-ticket splurges. Projections for this year and those immediately beyond show a decline in sales, although many expect sales will still remain strong for the foreseeable future. In short, the industry can expect to tumble, not plummet. Signs of the difficulty ahead are already apparent.Cars spend more time on the lot before they’re sold compared with a year ago, a sign of flagging customer enthusiasm. Read more

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