U.S. auto sales were pretty good the first half. But the second half will be substantially better, I firmly predict.
The numbers support that, starting with thumping good June volume. But my conviction is more about feel. I sense sales rising like an achy knee portends rain.
And here's what my hunch is based on:
Pickup sales are booming. Contractors are rational buyers. They buy because they know they'll be working more.
The new cars are cooler. There are lots of new models with gotta-have technology. And all of them get better fuel economy than the model they replace.
We had a springtime swoon for a fourth straight year. But this time it was just a May quiver. Compared with 2010, 2011 and 2012, that's a hiccup instead of taking to bed with the vapors.
Congress hasn't done anything stupid (enough to damage the economy) for weeks and weeks. And therefore can be ignored by car buyers. In short, a greater percentage of people who can afford to buy a new car aren't scared by Congress any more.
It ain't exactly science. But I have a good feeling about this rally. I think the car biz finally got its legs.