January 13, 2018 -
The National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) has predicted sales of 16.7 million new cars and light trucks in 2018.
'We expect 2018 to be a robust year,' said NADA Chairman Mark Scarpelli, a multi-franchise dealer near Chicago. 'NADA's sales forecast is indicative of a stable and healthy market for new vehicles in 2018.
'Every dealer in America would be thrilled with annual sales above 16 million. Because it means that the market is stable and demand is healthy,' Scarpelli added. 'We are looking at a stable market where demand - particularly for light trucks, SUVs, crossovers and pickups - continues to be very healthy.
'Automakers are continuing to meet that demand with a fantastic mix of vehicles that really do suit the needs, desires and budgets of our customers, so the inventories that we're carrying in our showrooms are aligning very well with what our customers are looking for,' Scarpelli said. 'This is a very positive forecast.'
According to NADA senior economist Patrick Manzi, the vehicle segment mix will continue to favor light-truck sales in 2018, accounting for more than 65 percent of sales.
Manzi added that the overall economic outlook for 2018 remains strong with projected gross domestic product (GDP) growth at 2.6 percent, average employment growth at about 180,000 jobs per month, and the price for regular-grade gasoline at about $2.50 per gallon.
Outlining some areas of concern, Manzi said rising interest rates, ever-increasing loan terms and higher vehicle transaction prices will likely lead to a slower but still strong sales pace in 2018.