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Have auto sales peaked? [Video]

Posted on Monday, February 8, 2016 at 11:59:36 AM

Have auto sales reached their peak? It's a question on the minds of analysts across the country. Some don't think sales can get any higher than the 17.5 million reported in 2015, and that they will pull back shortly. Others however, including General Motors, disagree. The Motley Fool reported that GM has an optimistic outlook for the next few years. 

"The strong performance in North America for GM, as well as for the industry in general has sparked a debate whether the U.S. industry is peaking or plateauing," said Chuck Stevens, CFO of General Motors. "A number of people, including GM, believe the industry is plateauing with many years of strong performance ahead, similar to the 2000 to 2007 timeframe after the industry peaked in 2000."

GM's confidence can be accounted for by the enduring presence of a number of the same factors which made 2015 a record year for auto sales. 

"We believe that industry fundamentals, such as the age of the vehicle fleet, firm used car pricing, credit availability, and low fuel prices remain supportive [of a continued strong market]," Stevens continued. "And overall, car manufacturers are in much better health [than they were in 2007], with lower inventory levels, lower breakeven points, and strong capacity utilization."