US auto sales are revving up
Posted: Monday, January 10, 2011 6:02 pm
DETROIT (AP) — Auto sales rose in the United States last year for the first time since the recession. They’re still far from what they were just a few years ago — but that’s just fine with the downsized auto industry, which can post profits even if they sell millions fewer cars and trucks.
For the year, car and truck sales came in at 11.6 million, up 11 percent from last year, automakers reported last week. For December alone, sales were 1.14 million, also up 11 percent from a year earlier.
While the figures have some in the industry talking about a return to the glory days, it’s a fragile idea. Rising gas prices or more economic trouble could still shake the confidence of American car-buyers.
But for now, executives are optimistic about this year. General Motors, Ford and Toyota all predict sale will come in at 12.5 million to 13 million for 2011.
It will take years, analysts expect, to get back to the peak sales of the middle of last decade — more like 17 million.