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Steven Ratner, the ex-Car Czar, has a healthy prediction for US automotive sales this year. Ratner believes the magic number will be 14 million for 2011. In 2012, the number will climb to 15 million, per Ratner's estimates. Why the optimism?

Ratner sees shrunken fleets, improved business conditions in Detroit and signs of sustained recovery in the US economy. Prior to ousting Rick Wagoner at General Motors, the automaker would only be able to make a profit in an environment when 16-17 million cars were being sold. Now they have been reworked and profits can be produced from 10-11 million sales per year. Ratner believes that Chrysler is following the same pattern as well.

If Steven Ratner's estimates are true, it would be a strong sign that our economy is heading in the right direction. For what it's worth, the National Automobile Dealer Association analysts are predicting a more conservative climb to just under 13 million units sold in 2011. Who will be correct? Who knows... but if either prediction comes true, we'll be in better shape than we were just a few years ago.

[Source: Ward's Auto | Image: Neilson Barnard/Getty]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 7 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      So, is the 14 million for just GM, or just the big 3, or is it for all car companies that sell in the US? If GM needs to sell 10 million cars to make a profit it seems they are screwed unless that 14 million is just for them.
      • 4 Years Ago
      He says "improved business conditions in Detroit" does that mean, assemble more vehicles in Mexico and other countries? Chrysler just announced they are going to assemble the Patriot/Compass in Italy and who knows how many other vehicles Detroit assembles elsewhere besides the US and ships them here.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Patriot and Compass will be built in Italy for the European market, you know, just like Toyota builds cars here for our market. They are still going to be built in Illinois along with the Caliber.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Instead of forecasting sales of cars, this guy should be making license plates for them.
      • 4 Years Ago
      14mil? That's how many where sold in 2007 right? When the economy was still booming. here in 2011, the economy is not so good. We'll be lucky to get 12mil this year.
      • 4 Years Ago