Toyota sees a modest growth of the US auto market this year

Toyota sees a modest growth of the US auto market this year image

The world’s biggest automaker by sales expects another auto sales record year in the United States, but the actual growth will be slightly over the 2015 figures.

There are many predictions regarding the outcome of the auto market in the United States at the end of the year, with almost all of them pointing out towards another sales record. However, more realistic forecasts are somewhere between 17.5 and 17.8 million vehicles sold in total. Toyota also made a prediction in this direction and it sees the US market with a modest increase this year. The industry will come slightly over 17.5-million units, thus bringing a seventh-consecutive year of growth, Jim Lentz, Chief Executive Officer, Toyota Motor North America, said at the 2016 American International Automobile Dealers Association annual meeting.

He expects the luxury segment to outpace once again the mainstream brands, while SUVs and pickup trucks, which claim nearly 60 percent market share, will continue to outperform passenger cars. Even if the expectations are modest, Toyota sees some growth opportunities, especially from off-lease cars coming back to market over the next few years, a good prospect for dealers to make more certified pre-owned sales.

Another topic touched by Toyota’s CEO was the hot issue of ride-sharing. As some analysts predict it could have a negative impact on new vehicle sales, there are some other studies showing another side of the coin. Lentz said that according to Deutsche Bank analysts, such services could actually create growth for automakers and its dealers. In their study, more ride-sharing in highly-populated areas would reduce the number of cars in each household. However, this decrease will likely coincide with shorter life-cycles, of about three years, for vehicles in ride-sharing fleets. And that is because on-demand vehicles will be driven a lot more than personally-owned cars, resulting in a higher rate of turnover.

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