Bloomberg reports that if U.S. auto sales continue at their current pace, 2012 will mark the best year for the industry since 2007. The news comes after word that both Ford and Chrysler have slimmed or entirely eliminated the traditional summer shutdown at their manufacturing facilities to keep pace with demand.

All told, sales may reach 14.3 million cars and light trucks, according to analysts, thanks to factors like a gradually improving economy and easier credit. If the pace continues, 2012 will mark the third year of 10-percent gains, which marks only the fourth time that's happened since the Great Depression.

Car sales stalled in 2008, and 2009 saw manufacturers move just 10.4 million units. As Bloomberg points out, that's the lowest number since 1982, but buyers took home 11.6 million vehicles in 2010 and 12.8 million in 2011. The industry saw a 10.3-percent increase through the first four months of this year. As a result, General Motors, Ford and Toyota have adjusted their yearly sales forecasts accordingly.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 30 Comments
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
        • 3 Years Ago
        [blocked]
          caddy-v
          • 3 Years Ago
          She tells the dirty little truth and you can't handle it.
          Human
          • 3 Years Ago
          Try typing whole words and leaving out the simplest ones. Your opinion will gain at least some weight.
        gop.hates.america
        • 3 Years Ago
        well, Ronald Reagan had a much higher unemployment rate when he was president. Ever since his failed economic experiment, also known as Reagonomics was implemented, the median household income has declined - for 30 years straight. And I am glad that you hate capitalism. You are clearly upset with the fact that car sales are increasing.
        QCRamAir
        • 3 Years Ago
        To quote Family Guy: "Shut up, Meg."
        axiomatik
        • 3 Years Ago
        ummm, 8% unemployment means that 92% of workers are employed, bringing home a paycheck. 18-29 year-olds don't buy many new cars, even in a booming economy. It's not a bubble. Cars on the road are older than they ever have been before. Many need to be replaced, and people are doing it.
        Human
        • 3 Years Ago
        Its the missing middle class, Meg. While 80% of us stagnate since the Reagan 80s The other 20 have seen our wealth up 10x. Then theres the .01% that saw their wealth up 1000x. Didnt you get your free 100 ft yacht this year?
        Steve
        • 3 Years Ago
        Meg, Not all see the doom and gloom that you do. The company I work for had its best year (last year) in 40 years. We have been hiring people, not laying them off. My wifes company had its best quarter in over 6 years by a larger margin. I had a large raise this year. We plan to buy a new car in sometime in the next year. I only know of 1 person that has been unemployeed for a couple years and he stopped looking for a job and takes care of his 2 kids instead of sending them to daycare..... Things are not as bad as you want them to be.
        BG
        • 3 Years Ago
        hat Meg may be pointing out is the immense gap between rich and poor in the US. Record numbers do use food stamps, but yet record numbers of car buyers (leasers) think $50k is the new normal. They are more than willing to put that into a depreciating asset.
      protovici
      • 3 Years Ago
      Amazing what will happen when the domestics are finally out performing the imports. Good financing doesnt hurt either.
        • 3 Years Ago
        @protovici
        [blocked]
          protovici
          • 3 Years Ago
          Let me go more in-depth. Vehicles in general from 2010 to current. Domestic vehicles today are much better then most imported vehicles.
          Steve
          • 3 Years Ago
          Yes, Toyota's output was limited a lot because they heavily rely on foreign components and imported cars.
      RobbieAG
      • 3 Years Ago
      There's a lot of pent up demand out there. I'm about to replace our minivan that just turned over 200k miles.
        Sean Conrad
        • 3 Years Ago
        @RobbieAG
        Good on you for holding on to and maintaining a vehicle for that long.
      Human
      • 3 Years Ago
      Wow. Thank Mitt rMoney for this good news! ( I hear he is taking credit for killing Bin Laden now also)
        Aaron
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Human
        We know Barry Soetoro is taking credit for it. Obama is even running TV commercials telling us how HE even researched, HE interrogated suspects, HE tracked in the middle of the night, and HE even pulled the trigger. Obama is even claiming he dumped the body at sea.
      avanti
      • 3 Years Ago
      What Meg also fails to realize also is that a lot of us didn't buy into the last crisis. We've been smart with our money. Bought a home we could afford. Don't live beyond our means on credit cards and money we don't have to buy things we don't need. Hence we've had the financial ability to weather the downturn and now are ready to make those purchases we've been holding off on. I feel awful for people who bought or were subject to the bad candy that the banks and the government were selling . Our household alone has purchased one new car the past 7 months and we are preparing to replace another this fall when the new models debut. It's not all gloom and doom Meg. Lot's of Americans have jobs and are doing fine. At my company we simply can't find enough qualified people to fill all the open positions we have. Unemployment is on the decline and consumer confidence is stabilizing. Americans need more hope and less despair and fearmongering. If you only focus on the bad . . . . than the bad is all you'll see :)
        Steve
        • 3 Years Ago
        @avanti
        Well said Avanti! My company had its best year last year ever. That is with a 40 year history. We have been hiring. We are in the automotive field. I also have been getting several calls from other companies and head hunters for job openings. I will also be purchasing a new car in the next year.
        avanti
        • 3 Years Ago
        @avanti
        By the way glad to see that the Auto Industry. A strong american manufacturing base is doing well. It's what we need more of in America. The ability to manufacture and sell products, not just financial services.
        BG
        • 3 Years Ago
        @avanti
        "can't find enough qualified people to fill all the open positions ." That is an issue of poor education, lack of vocational and technical training, and sheer laziness among many young Americans who expect lucrative jobs to be handed to them without their needing to work. I have heard the same inability to find qualified employees many times.
      brucec039
      • 3 Years Ago
      One bubble bursts (housing), they just inflate another one (government debt) so that the illusion of prosperity continues a little while longer. You'd think people would eventually learn their lesson about debt, but nope, you still see 72 month new car loans on $16,000 cars for people w/o a pot to whizz in.
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      Rob J
      • 3 Years Ago
      I would rather see a decline in the total sale of vehicles while increasing their quality, durability and yes, price. I just find it appalling how fast people go through cars. Such a waste of resources going from one hum-drum daily driver to another.
        Randy
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Rob J
        @120000 miles and a near flawless car I'm happy with my quality and durability. What are you driving an 85 Datsun? Geesh!
        MechE
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Rob J
        I can't help but think the cost of repairing/maintaining a vehicle factors into people purchasing a new vehicle. After that third or forth $2000 trip to the shop or dealer to repair some simple part people get fed up and opt for a new car. If only more shops didnt inflate their prices so much and add a bunch of extra work to fluff the bill people would be able to keep their cars longer. For example, take a car in for new front brake pads. The shop comes back with "can't just replace the pads, we gotta replace the rotors also, flush the brake system, replace the abs sensor, repack the bearings, front end alignment and balance the wheels, while we're in there we should also replace the johnson rod. Your car requires ALL special parts, also we should go ahead and do the rear brakes too....$1795." F that, I'll go ahead and do it myself in my garage for $40 and some bloody knuckles. Magic, I did it without a brake flush and alignment, oh yeah I checked the rears and they are fine. Many others would choose to either not do the work and let their car fall further into disrepair or that might just be the last string to justify buying a new car.
          BG
          • 3 Years Ago
          @MechE
          You know, the brake fluid SHOULD be flushed regularly, at 2 year intervals, 3 years at the most. That really helps preserve everything in the brake system. My local independent mechanic makes a lot of money replacing exactly all those things you listed for customers who have never flushed brake fluid.
          MechE
          • 3 Years Ago
          @MechE
          I was just making an example. All fluids need to be replaced, brake fluid doesnt necessarily need to be flushed EVERY time the pads are replaced (which can be sooner than 2 years). Many shops will claim extra work is required, lots of extra work to pad the repair bill. Not all, but many do this.
      Carbon Fibre
      • 3 Years Ago
      All while greed a** sellers are only interested in selling instead of smiling hypocritically to us.
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