DETROIT Nov 21 U.S. auto sales are rebounding
after Superstorm Sandy cut sales in late October and early
November, and this month should show a 12 percent increase from
a year before, consultants JD Power & Associates and LMC
Automotive said on Wednesday.
November auto sales have been rising each week, and there
are signs that December will be a strong sales month to end the
best year for U.S. auto sales since before the financial crisis
of 2008, JD Power said.
On a seasonally adjusted annualized basis, November sales
are seen at 15 million new vehicles, LMC and JD Power said. That
would be the highest monthly sales rate of the year, topping the
14.94 million rate for September.
Total light vehicle auto sales for November are expected to
be 1.11 million vehicles, up 2.2 percent from October, the
consultants said in a joint statement.
The U.S. fleet of vehicles is about 11 years old, and the
need to replace aging vehicles has been cited as a reason for
increased auto sales all year.
"The irrepressible need and willingness of consumers to
replace aging vehicles is stronger than the effects of natural
disasters and fiscal turmoil both here and abroad," Jeff
Schuster, senior vice president of forecasting at LMC Automotive
"A sustained recovery pace in auto sales is expected over
the next six months, barring any fiscal cliff hangover, but the
medium-term forecast is still dependent on more pronounced
economic activity and growth."
LMC Automotive also maintained its 2012 full-year forecast
of 14.4 million vehicles, which would be a 12.5 percent rise
The auto industry has been steadily recovering since 2009,
when U.S. sales hit a 28-year low of 10.4 million vehicles.