US auto sales remain flat

US autos Oct11.pngThe good news about US auto sales last month was that they were the highest September sales since 2007. The bad news was that they were still below the 1.1 million level, which was the minimum monthly sale from 2005 – August 2008.

The reasons for the slight increase in sales were also quite prosaic. The average age of autos on the road is now a record 10.7 years, and so people are being forced to replace older vehicles. And even so, a rise in incentives to an average $2716/auto was required to boost sales.

The blog’s EPCA meetings also revealed that the size of the average auto sold is getting smaller, as consumers cut back spending. This reduces the actual amount of chemicals and polymers used per car. In turn, it means the benefit from the impact of greater fuel efficiency standards may be less than the blog had hoped.

About Paul Hodges

Paul Hodges is Chairman of International eChem, trusted commercial advisers to the global chemical industry. He also serves as a Global Expert for the World Economic Forum. The aim of this blog is to share ideas about the influences that may shape the chemical industry and the global economy over the next 12 – 18 months. It looks behind today’s headlines, to understand what may happen next in critical areas such as oil prices, China and Emerging Markets, currencies, autos, housing, economic growth and the environment. Please do join me and share your thoughts. Between us, we will hopefully develop useful insights into the key factors that will drive the industry's future performance.

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