I have to admit, when I came up with my estimate last January for the AutoFinanceNews.net 2012 Car-Sales Crystal Ball Challenge, I was a bit hesitant. At the time, all indications pointed to a 13-million-unit year. My prediction, on the other hand, topped 14 million units (14,099,841, to be exact).
But the thought that vehicle sales would climb less than 10% just seemed too low. The economy was on the mend. Credit was readily accessible. There was a lot of pent-up demand. Cars were getting old. And high used-car prices would bump at least a portion of the buyer base into new cars.
Sure enough, we broke through the 14-million-unit barrier in 2012, closing out the year at 14,455,270 units, according to AutoFinanceNews.net’s tally. Sales exceeded 1 million units in all months but January, and total volume was 10.3% off the 16.1-million-unit SAAR recorded in 2007.
So where does that put us for 2013? Just days into the new year, industry experts were already boosting their sales expectations. First I saw estimates of 15.1 million units, then 15.3 million, then 15.4 million.
As for my official guess for the AutoFinanceNews.net 2013 Car-Sales Crystal Ball Challenge, I’m going to stay on the high side again. Drumroll, please… 15,944,163.
Post your guess in the Comment box below, and we’ll see who’s closest come January 2014.
So who offered the prediction that came closest to the actual SAAR in 2012? Well, you are reading her post.