Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 04/15/2014 -- US light vehicle sales ended 2013 up 7.6% at 15.60mn, in line with BMI's forecast of an 8.2% increase to 15.68mn. With macroeconomic conditions largely favourable, we expect further growth, albeit slightly slower at 3.6%, to be achievable in 2014, taking the market back to 16mn units for the first time since 2007. We expect light trucks to continue to outperform the car segment, led by a slew of new product launches.
Looking ahead, positive data from the residential housing sector, as part of an increasingly bullish macroeconomic picture, suggests that the truck segment will carry this growth into 2014 (see 'Weekly Data Analysis: Positive Housing, Manufacturing And Consumer Data', December 2). We forecast 5.3% growth in light truck sales in 2014, which is still robust by historical standards, despite representing a slowdown from current levels.
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As we expect the major themes that drove US economic growth in 2013 to continue in 2014 and result in GDP growth accelerating from 1.8% in 2013 to 2.8% in 2014, conditions will remain supportive of highend spending. While the market is also a key area of many premium carmakers' growth strategies, we expect the luxury segment to again be a driver growth in the passenger car segment, which we expect to achieve slightly lower growth of 2.0% in 2014.
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