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Auto Industry Trends For 2012

Jan 13, 2012 has identified several trends that could help the retail automotive industry find greater continued success in 2012, building on the up-and-down ride the industry endured in 2011. It is expected that recession-weary car buyers will continue to trade in their aging vehicles for something new. And with gas prices moderating, they won’t necessarily be headed for compact cars. Newly designed vehicles will draw buyers to the midsize car segment, and the compact crossover SUV segment should see some increased attention as well. Regardless of what car buyers choose, though, they won’t face the skimpy lots of 2011. Indeed, increases in production will allow dealers to restock and protect or gain share. There shouldn’t be nearly as many empty lots due to production shutdowns that plagued several manufacturers for a good part of 2011. Tight supply is expected to persist for used cars in 2012, according to Edmunds. This will keep prices high and driving many would-be buyers to new cars. Uncertainty at home and economic threats from abroad will continue to constrain car sales. And America’s love affair with trucks won’t be ending any time soon—aging vehicles, stable gas prices, some revival of housing construction and easing credit conditions as well as increasing fuel efficiency for many truck models will help shore up a steady stream of buyers. Edmunds is forecasting 13.6 million vehicles will be sold in 2012.