New-vehicle sales remain strong, and delinquency rates are still low. So, it's tempting to conclude that financially, consumers can keep handling those bigger auto loans, rising interest rates and higher monthly payments. But sticker shock and budget constraints could push many customers to consider other options.
The percentage of seriously delinquent auto loans reached its highest level since March 2012 recently, and the New York Fed is keeping a close eye on a recent uptick in auto loan originations to borrowers with subprime credit and an increase in delinquencies among younger buyers.
Acura management gets high marks for responding to the desires of its U.S. dealers, said Alan Dibre, chairman of the Acura National Dealer Advisory Board. Dibre said dealers "loved" it, when Acura repriced the Acura ILX in time for a facelift last fall.