In this appearance on Bloomberg’s Taking Stock on September 4, 2013, I discuss the double digit growth rate of auto sales in the U.S. in August, 2013. While the sales are up and tracking to a 15.5M unit sales year, this is down considerably from pre-recession 17M unit levels. Further, the deficit of sales during and post the recession likely is 15-20M units. Further, average vehicle age is up to about 11.8 years, a record. So with almost free money to finance sales, and a huge need, this level of sales is poor and indicates an ongoing weak economy. Of course behind every large company auto maker is a whole network of small businesses who are suppliers and dealers who continue to be hurt from this lack of recovery.
— Steve Odland