I think its clear that President Obama made the smart and correct choice in helping the auto industry.
MARCH U.S. AUTO SALES
Chrysler poised to lead U.S. auto sales gains as gas rises
April 2, 2012 - 10:25 am ET
"Light-vehicle sales in March, set for release Tuesday, may have run at a 14.5 million seasonally adjusted annual rate, the average estimate of 16 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. That would exceed the 13.1 million pace from a year earlier and set an average rate of 14.6 million for the first quarter, ahead of analysts’ estimates for full-year deliveries. Small-car sales were especially strong."
Total light-vehicle sales may rise to 1.42 million, the average of eight analysts’ estimates. That would be the highest monthly total since August 2007, according to Autodata.
The 1.2 million jobs created the past six months, the best six-month job growth stretch since 2006, has sent unemployment to a three-year low, according to Labor Department figures. The Conference Board’s consumer confidence index held near the highest level in a year in March as a growing number of Americans said they planned to buy cars, homes and appliances, the New York-based private research group said on March 27.
Compact and subcompact sales were 23 percent of U.S. retail sales through the first 18 days of March, the highest level since the government’s “cash for clunkers” program in August 2009, according to LMC Automotive.
“The people who have been sitting on the sidelines and want to get a less-expensive car, which probably correlates with better fuel economy, those people are more able to get financed and at the lower borrowing amounts,” said Alan Baum, principal of Baum & Associates.
Toyota and Honda’s inventories are recovering after Japan’s tsunami in March 2011 disrupted their production and depleted their car inventories to lows of 34 days and 28 days’ supply, respectively, in August. Entering last month, Toyota carried 36 days’ supply and Honda had 50 days, according to Kelley Blue Book.
“Vehicles that are two, three or four years old are within $3,000 or $4,000 the cost of brand-new ones,” she said in a phone interview. “I’d rather spend a little bit more and be satisfied and get exactly what I want.”
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