LAS VEGAS -- A painfully slow recovery in U.S. auto sales will likely continue next year, but beyond that, annual sales will get back to the range of around 15 million units “sooner rather than later,” a Federal Reserve economist says.
“I just don't think consumers are going to want to live with older vehicles,” said William Strauss, senior economist for the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, in a presentation here Tuesday at the 2010 Auto Finance Summit hosted by the Royal Media Group.
“I think there's pent-up demand,” he said. Straus cited an average forecast for “blue chip” analysts of 11.4 million light vehicles for 2010. He said forecasters expect 2011 U.S. light-vehicle sales of around 12.6 million.