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AutoPacific U.S. Light Vehicle Sales Forecast Shows Relaxed Growth in 2014 as Market Stabilizes


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TUSTIN, CA--Jan. 21, 2014: AutoPacific today officially announced its forecast for 2014 U.S. light vehicle sales. Predicting greater than a 550,000 unit increase over 2013, AutoPacific forecasts a 2014 year-end total of 16.1M units.

"This represents progressing recovery in the U.S. light vehicle market, made possible by continued economic recovery, an improving job market, good access to credit, and pent-up demand as consumers replace older vehicles they held onto through the recession," explains Ed Kim, Vice President of Industry Analysis at AutoPacific. "With this continued recovery on multiple levels, consumers are more comfortable making a vehicle purchase."

AutoPacific's first quarter forecast for year-end sales has proven to be exceptionally accurate over the years. With forecast accuracy of 97.4% in 2013, AutoPacific achieves a 10-year average accuracy of 95%. As researchers and analysts, AutoPacific's sales forecast methodology includes a review of economic factors as well as consumer data collected annually by AutoPacific to better understand vehicle buyer purchase intentions, including brand consideration and future segment intentions.

2014 will continue to see strong gains, though at a relaxed pace compared to years prior, as the market recovery stabilizes. "Today, automakers are generally producing the volumes that the market dictates and selling vehicles at profitable margins," said Kim. "The days of filling plant capacity and then piling on incentives to move the metal are over. Sales are strong, but just as importantly, sales are being earned in a healthy and sustainable manner."

AutoPacific's forecast shows truck products in particular will continue to fuel growth in 2014 as they did in 2013, with strong full-size pickup sales growth reflecting economic recovery as businesses and entrepreneurs invest in themselves. Crossover SUVs will also continue to draw family buyers with their compelling blend of utility, style, and fuel efficiency.

Beyond 2014, industry growth is expected to continue to taper, reaching about 16.7M units by 2019, as the light vehicle market returns to pre-recession stability.