J.D. Power Lowers 2009 U.S. Auto Sales Forecast to 10 Million but Increases Global Sales Estimate

According to a revised report from J.D. Power and Associates, automakers will sell just 10 million cars and trucks in the U.S. this year, making 2009 the worst year in more than three decades. In a previous study, J.D. Power had predicted that total new light-vehicle sales in the USA in 2009 would reach 10.4 million units. The renowned forecaster said that the revision was driven primarily by a projected reduction in retail sales of 230,000 units to total 8.3 million units in 2009, as well as by expected reductions in fleet sales.

"While there are some signs of stability in the automotive market, current sales rates indicate that achieving recovery will not be a quick proposition," said Gary Dilts, senior vice president of J.D. Power's automotive operations.

The forecaster said that while the rate of decline in new-vehicle retail sales in the U.S. slowed down in May compared to the previous 12 months, consumer uncertainty has led to a flattening of sales with the company now projecting a delay in market recovery of two to three months beyond the spring selling season.

"We remain optimistic that the fundamentals will continue to improve and that we will see an uptick during the summer sales season, which will help the industry stabilize further and help build consumer confidence," said Dilts.

But while it may take a while for the United States to recover, J.D. Power has revised upwards its volume forecasts for global auto sales. "As major international automotive markets continue their recovery, we have increased our outlook for 2009 global light-vehicle sales to 58.6 million units, from 57.5 million units forecasted in March," said Jeff Schuster, executive director of global forecasting at J.D. Power.

Source: J.D. Power