Car sales were so abysmal this year it’s hard to imagine they could get any worse, so it's not a huge surprise that J.D. Power and Associates is predicting a 15% sales jump for 2010. That would mean an increase from an expected 10 million units in 2009 to 11.5 million for 2010.
This comes in the face of predictions from politically conservative analysts that sales would drop off substantially following the end of the Cash for Clunkers program. J.D. Power cites several factors to repudiate this more negative line of thinking.
First of all, an improved credit market and an upswing in consumer confidence should help, as should smoothly functioning financial markets (well, at least a little more smoothly functioning than last year).
The firm also expects sales to pick up for the remaining months of 2009, increasing to 12 million units on an annualized basis for August. The final tally should include 200,000 more units than originally expected. This can be partly attributed to the government’s Cash for Clunkers program.