As US automakers wring their hands waiting for an auto sales recovery, market firm R.L. Polk and Company says sales in the auto market should be heading up by 2011. The majority of US consumers they surveyed (55%) plan to buy their next vehicle within 2 years. The highest numbers of purchase intenders were in the Plains states and lowest in the Great Lakes region. This is obviously good news for automakers who have excess inventory to move.
On the other hand, here are some other pieces of information from the study that aren't as rosy for automakers.
- The average length of vehicle ownership is increasing (up to 56.3 months now)
- 70% of respondents would consider a used vehicle
- Two-thirds of people are likely to keep their vehicles longer than they would otherwise
If people are willing to hang onto their cars longer and consider used vehicles, the market for new cars is still looking on the weak side. What's your take?