U.S. car companies released domestic sales figures for December Wednesday (Jan. 4), but the bigger story may have been their upbeat view on the 12 months ahead.
Forbes reported that General Motors, Ford Motor and Chrysler each said U.S. sales were comfortably above year-earlier levels in December, with the latter showing the biggest gain of 37% to 138,000 units. Ford sales climbed 17% to 210,000 units and GM’s were up 5% to 234,000 units.
Aside from the sales numbers the commentary from executives was also upbeat, with Ford saying it has not seen such a strong rebound in production since the 1980s and touting a 2012 industry-wide sales forecast of 13.5-14.5 million. The forecast from GM, which only includes light vehicles, was equally strong, at 13.5-14 million units.
“When we add improving economic fundamentals to pent-up demand and an aging vehicle fleet, it’s now clear that auto sales should continue to grow in 2012, barring a shock to the system,” said GM’s VP of U.S. sales Don Johnson.