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After a stellar 2015, auto sales look to stay strong [Video]

Posted on Monday, January 4, 2016 at 10:58:39 AM

Last year was a banner year U.S. auto sales, and now analysts are wondering if 2016 might be even better. Sales of cars and light trucks in the United States hit a record high of about 17.5 million in 2015, according to The Wall Street Journal, breaking the 17.4 million record set in 2000. With a sales figure so astonishingly high, analysts can't help but wonder if breaking 18 million sales is possible. 

They aren't without encouragement. Multiple economic factors - including low interest rates and a strengthening labor force - point in 2016 being the healthiest year the American auto industry has seen in several decades. Affordable gas prices, which have made sport utility vehicles and pickup trucks more appealing to drivers with auto financing, have also been a real boon to sales. 

These promising fundamentals are doing a lot to temper consumer concern over the Federal Reserve's intentions regarding future rate hikes, Fox Business reported. Lending terms are still very beneficial to drivers, leading some to say that the auto industry needs no special favors in 2016.

Others, however, caution that a jump to 4 percent from 3 percent in car loan rates might dampen consumer spending to the tune of about $1,000 less at point of sale.