May 27 -- Here's an optimistic view. Toyota's top U.S. sales official says the auto industry is on the brink of a new golden era in which light-vehicle sales will hit 20 million units a year.
That's hard to imagine with the economy stuck in second gear and retail incentives becoming less effective at drawing customers.
Heck, the best year ever was 2000 when the industry sold 17.4 million cars and trucks. Last year, the total was 16.8 million and the rate is slower than that this year.
Toyota's Jim Press didn't say when all this would happen, but he sees a growing economy and more drivers on the road.
Are 20 million sales really possible any time soon? This year, automakers will be lucky to sell 16.5 million.