Auto Industry Analysis Moves to

By Jeff Hester December 14, 2011
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Thank you for your interest in's automotive industry news and analysis. is being integrated into a new area of Analysis now can be found at To stay connected via social media as well, please follow on Twitter@edmunds and fan on... more

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Despite Strong September, Economy Slows Car Sales

By Lacey Plache October 12, 2011

Consumer confidence, a strong stock market and employment gains bolstered car sales momentum in the first half of 2011, but the current economic environment no longer includes these factors. Instead, several negative factors are contributing to the erosion of new vehicle demand: falling confidence; limited wealth effects; and a floundering labor market recovery. And while buying conditions are improving for consumers, expects these negative economic factors to remain dominant forces in the months to come. A growing recession risk at home and the European debt crisis pose additional threats to auto sales. expects auto sales to grow, more

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Renewed Supply, Incentives Spur Car Sales

By Lacey Plache October 11, 2011

The economy may be floundering but don’t tell that to the auto industry. Supply is up, prices are down, and car sales spiked in September to 13.1 million on a Seasonally Adjusted Annualized Rate (SAAR) basis from 12.1 million in August. A key reason for this upswing is the recovery of Japanese automakers from the March earthquake. Supply is also growing for other automakers that faced high demand in recent months but were unable to immediately respond with increased production. more

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U.S. Gasoline Demand Drops To Decade Low For July

By Danny King August 24, 2011

U.S. demand for gasoline last month was at its lowest for July in a decade as the slower-than-expected economic recovery appeared to cause many people to either cut back on driving or buy more fuel-efficient cars. U.S. refinery gasoline production in July dropped 2.3 percent from a year earlier, marking the first year-over-year drop for 2011, the American Petroleum Institute (API) said in a report released late last week. Gasoline demand relative to previous summers appeared to be hindered by a stubbornly high unemployment rate. more

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Rising Auto Loan Rates Shouldn't Be A Worry

By Lacey Plache August 10, 2011

There are plenty of things to worry about with the latest debt “crisis,” but rising auto-loan rates on new vehicles won’t be one of them. Interest rates on auto loans are not in danger of rising substantially in the near term, despite the downgrade of U.S. government debt by Standard & Poor’s on August 5.  There will be limited pressure on yields to rise on loans that are connected to government debt (in the form of U.S. Treasuries) – including auto loans. And, the Federal Reserve said this week it intends to continue to support lower interest rates across more

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Low Job Growth Won't Stop Car Sales For Now

By Lacey Plache July 13, 2011

Despite the second month in a row of almost no job growth in the U.S., the potential impact of employment weakness on car sales is still somewhat limited, at least in the short run. Deferred demand that accrued during the recent supply disruptions caused by the Japan earthquake in March should support car sales in the coming months as production returns to normal and automakers rebuild their inventories. Ultimately, sustained significant growth in auto sales will require sustained significant growth in jobs. However, there is potential in the short-run for car sales to regain some momentum even before the more

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Top Factors Driving 2011 Auto Sales

By Lacey Plache May 31, 2011

U.S. automotive sales are finally gathering speed on the road to recovery from the Great Recession as several factors, including a strengthening labor market, support their growth. Demand is likely to remain strong through the rest of 2011, given the continuing economic recovery and the sizable amount of pent-up demand set to be released. However, various headwinds are blowing that could exert considerable drag on the auto sales recovery. The level of auto sales will be influenced primarily by demand momentum driven by pent-up demand, supply shortages from the Japanese earthquake's effect on production, and higher prices resulting from more

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Strong Employment Bodes Well for 2011 Car Sales

By Lacey Plache May 9, 2011

For the third month in a row, labor market recovery has demonstrated growing strength, with 244,000 non-farm jobs added to the economy in April. This stronger than expected job growth in April indicates strength in the economy itself and is further supported by upward revisions to February and March payroll employment numbers of 235,000 and 221,000, respectively. The result is particularly encouraging as it occurred in spite of growing economic uncertainty from multiple sources. more

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Uncertainties in Japan Threaten U.S. Sales

By Lacey Plache April 15, 2011

Although in January forecast U.S. auto sales to be 12.9 million in 2011, consistent strengthening in the nation's economy for much of the first quarter made it appear that estimate might be proven conservative. That was before the March 11 earthquake and subsequent tsunami in northeast Japan that exacted an enormous toll on the region's people, infrastructure and commerce. The ramifications of the disaster are only beginning to be accurately evaluated, but it now seems clear Japan's crisis will impact global auto production in a significant fashion. more

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Consumer Psyche is Economic Key

By Dale Buss March 28, 2011

Even something as number-centric as economic forecasting can’t account for the most important factor in what it predicts: how consumers feel —about their pocketbooks, about the national economy, about life in general. That’s why it’s so difficult for economists and the people who depend on them to draw a bead on where the U.S. economy may be headed over the next several months. And it’s the reason there remain highly divergent views of what direction that might be — backward into a “double-dip” recession, or a continued, if erratic, path upward. more

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