Next year’s sales of new cars and trucks will be slower than any time in the past nine years, according to CSM Worldwide, a Detroit-based marketing analysis firm.
CSM says annual sales next year will top out at 16.2 million units. This year’s sales have been estimated at about 16.4 million units, barring a disastrous December.
CSM’s Joseph Barker blames an empty customer pool for the sales dip. “Depleted pent-up demand is at the root of our forecast,” Barker said in a release. Zero-percent financing and massive rebates are at the heart of the sluggish demand for new vehicles, CSM added.
Another interesting point of their assessment is that new models are practically crowding each other out of the showrooms. CSM says 60 new models were launched in 2006 and another 40 are expected in 2007, all clamoring for fewer buyers.
CSM also says better reliability has cut into demand for new vehicles.
“Higher prices, a shortage of ‘gotta have’ new products, slowing scrappage rates, and the sizeable number of consumers with negative equity in their vehicles are all disincentives to re-enter the market,” said Barker.
CSM predicts GM will have 23.5 percent of the market next year; Ford, 18.2 percent;