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  • kurtz550 kurtz550 Jul 19, 2013 12:39 PM Flag

    JD Powers Sees Stronger Second Half of 2013

    DETROIT, July 19 (Reuters) - The U.S. auto industry is poised for a robust second half of the year with sales nearing levels recorded before the 2008-2009 economic downturn, influential industry analysts J.D. Power & Associates and LMC Automotive said on Friday.

    "The overall trend in vehicle demand has outshined economic growth, and looking forward, the improving economic fundamentals should hold demand at the current level, if not accelerate it over the next several months," said Jeff Schuster, senior vice president of forecasting at LMC Automotive.

    "With a strong tailwind, it is not unreasonable to think about a 16 million-unit level of demand in 2013," said Schuster.

    If 2013 auto sales indeed rise to 16 million, it would represent the highest annual sales rate since 2007's figure of 16.1 million vehicles.

    While Schuster says this year's sales may hit 16 million, LMC and JD Power on Friday raised their forecast for 2013 to 15.6 million from the previous 15.4 million.

    A large fleet of older vehicles that need to be replaced, stronger pickup truck sales linked to a growing construction industry and improving consumer confidence have helped spur auto sales so far this year.

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