DETROIT The global auto market may experience an "outright collapse" in 2009 amid growing concerns around credit availability of credit and general economic stress, an influential industry tracking firm said on Thursday.
J.D. Power and Associates forecast U.S. light vehicle sales would fall to 13.2 million units in 2009 after likely settling at 13.6 million units this year, adding that a pronounced recovery is more than 18 months away.
"While the global automotive industry is clearly experiencing a slowdown in 2008, the global market in 2009 may experience an outright collapse," said Jeff Schuster, executive director of automotive forecasting for J.D. Power.
"While mature markets are being impacted more severely than emerging markets, no country or region is completely immune to the turmoil," Schuster said.
(Reporting by Soyoung Kim)