Auto sales have grown steadily since the U.S. and its auto industry performed a synchronized swan dive. But, unfortunately for automakers, those numbers have risen at a painfully slow pace.

The 'slow and steady' trend is likely to continue for the foreseeable future, but The Detroit News reports that both Ford and General Motors see continued sales increases in 2012. Ford economist Jenny Lin thinks that sales should progress beyond the 12.5 million to 13.5 million units forecasted for 2011. Lin added that a lack of new car sales over the last few years has led to a quickly aging fleet of vehicles on U.S. roads. In fact, the average vehicle on our roads is 10.6 years old, an all-time high.

GM chief economist Mustafa Mohatarem seems to agree, adding that demand is high and sales would be higher if Honda and Toyota could ramp up production. Mohatarem says the two Japanese automakers are still struggling to fill dealer lots in the wake of Japan's March earthquake and tsunami. As a consequence, he believes some buyers are sitting on the sidelines until they can pick up the Toyota or Honda of their choosing.

As for what the new yearly sales figure is projected to be, Mohatarem sees U.S. new vehicle sales hitting 16 million units as soon as 2014 or 2015.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      emperor koku
      • 3 Years Ago
      Wouldn't count on it, but not because the product is bad. The demand won't be there.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Not gonna happen.......
        • 3 Years Ago
        Given the way the economy is going, I agree. But honestly, I'm seeing people buy the Euro-based Focus more than a Corolla or Civic. The 2012 Civic and Corolla's interior and build seems very crappy compared to the Chevy (Holden) Cruze and the Ford Focus. Even the Koreans have stepped up their game with the Hyundai Accent.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Ford yes, GM prob not.
      • 3 Years Ago
      if the bankers continue to **** up our world economy this will not happen!
      • 3 Years Ago
      Part of the reason cars are on the road longer is because of better build quality and reliability. As these two things continue to improve, I think you'll see people owning their cars for longer and longer durations.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Sales would really increase if they made interesting cars. Most of the cars today are bland designs with little character. Why buy a new car that looks like all the other cars out there. They are mostly bland inside and out. The dashes are nothing but plastic facades that hide low quality gauges and switchgear.
      • 3 Years Ago
      • 3 Years Ago
      I cringe at the thought of demand turning sharply the opposite direction and overproduction, layoffs, etc. once again occurring.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Sales will increase because those people that have jobs but where foreclosed on will go buy a new car since they don't have good enough credit to get another house.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Perfect post. Here’s a tool that lets youbuild all types of online reporting with graphs and charts for sales, marketing, finance, HR, support, etc.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Not a chance in hell! The economy is going to tank big time.
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