R. L. Polk & Co. predicts a return of US light duty vehicle sales to 15 million units in 2013, according to its most recent US light vehicle forecast. The SAAR in September 2009 was 9.22 million units, according to figures from Autodata, with total US LDV sales through Sep 2009 of 7.8 million units.
Anticipating a U-shaped recovery for the US light vehicle market, Polk’s forecast indicates a return to more normal levels of activity by 2013. In addition to the forecast, Polk expects the market share for Japanese brands to stabilize, reaching 40.1% in 2013, which is similar to their current market share.
We also expect a more even split between passenger cars and light trucks, with passenger car volume reaching 8.3 million units.
—Dave Goebel, North American forecast consultant for Polk
Polk’s outlook also reveals implications for vehicle repair demand. By 2011, there will be 10 million fewer vehicles in operation under four years of age. Noted Uwe Biastoch, director of global forecasting for Polk, “This will undoubtedly have consequences for the OEM service network which may offer opportunities for the independent aftermarket if they take more aggressive action.”