- U.S. consumers are expected to buy or lease 16.4 million new cars and light trucks in 2014, according to the National Auto Dealers Association.
- That figure agrees with a forecast by Edmunds last October.
- The increase would be a 5.1 percent improvement over U.S. sales in 2013.
McLEAN, Virginia — U.S. consumers are expected to buy or lease 16.4 million new cars and light trucks in 2014, according to the National Auto Dealers Association.
In a statement, NADA Chief Economist Steven Szakaly said: "Consumers will be far better off in 2014 than last year. Employment is improving. Debt has been reduced, and home prices across all regions of the country will remain stable or will rise, yielding a positive wealth effect."
As a result, NADA is predicting a 5.1 percent sales increase in 2014, compared to 2013 when U.S. light-vehicle sales reached 15.6 million units, marking the fifth straight year of increases since the global financial crisis.
Sales in 2013 would've been even stronger, said Szakaly, had it not been for "a series of contentious fiscal crises in Washington and a federal government shutdown last fall."
The NADA prediction agrees with a forecast by Edmunds in October that also said to expect sales in 2014 to reach 16.4 million units, the highest level since 2007.
At that time, Edmunds.com Chief Economist Dr. Lacey Plache said: "Even though the economy has yet to achieve the momentum typically seen in previous recoveries, enough progress has been made toward recovery that consumer willingness to buy new cars has not been daunted by recent fiscal crises."
Dr. Plache cited a number of reasons for the anticipated strong sales, including demand from buyers who had deferred purchases during the recession, a large number of expected vehicle lease returns and increased trade-ins of older vehicles, in addition to overall improvements in the economy.
Edmunds says: Consumers are in a buying mood, which means that showrooms should be busy places this year.