SAN FRANCISCO - Concerns about the impact of war with Iraq on new-vehicle sales trouble many in the industry. But Van Bussmann, director of global forecasting for
J.D. Power and Associates of Westlake Village, Calif., is convinced that war will not be an issue for the U.S. industry.
Power predicts 16.4 million sales this year and assumes a war will occur, Bussmann said Thursday, Jan. 30, at the J.D. Power International Automotive Roundtable here. That would be down 400,000 units from
2002. The decline will not be caused entirely by war, Bussmann said, noting that the industry is cooling down from historic high sales.
"The war will have a temporary but reversible impact," the economist said. "There will not be a major effect."
Power predicts 2004 vehicle sales will rise by 200,000 units over 2003, followed by another 200,000-unit rise in 2005.
Bussmann outlined the assumptions of Power's war forecast: