Jan 27, 2014 Philip Burgess
The domestic auto manufacturing sector has been one of the most volatile industries in the United States in recent years. During the Great Recession, American automakers exemplified the struggles of the domestic economy. Many manufactures were inefficient, lost money and experienced a drop in sales as a result of years of mismanagement.
However, in the last year, America's car companies have roared back, becoming major players in the global auto market once again. Highlighting this return to prominence for the national industry were the robust sales numbers for 2013 reported by Ford.
According to the Associated Press, Ford sold more than 2.4 million car and truck units in North America during 2013. That made it the top-selling brand in the U.S., just ahead of Toyota.
Also, the Michigan-based vehicle giant noted that it expected to sell more than 600,000 passenger units by the end of the year. That mark is the single highest total recorded by Ford since 2000. The A.P. cited high demand from the West and Southeast regions as a catalyst for the spike in transactions.
Providing more optimism was the fact that Ford announced that all of its departments experienced double digit sales spikes in the last year, based on the A.P. report.
Style and quality key to growth
In a recent discussion about the spike in popularity of American vehicles, Bloomberg News' Jamie Buters noted that improved styling has been a major factor in the sales growth.
He indicated that Detroit automakers have dominated the truck market for years. However, only recently have Ford, General Motors and Chrysler started to overhaul their car lines to create more stylish, quality cars that are attracting consumers.
More importantly, Buters expressed optimism that growth will continue in 2014. Although he stated that sales numbers may not reach the level they did in 2013, they should remain strong.
For those outlets within the American auto finance sector, that's certainly a positive sign. Since the onset of the recession in 2008, lenders have struggled to keep business up due to the lagging new vehicle market. However, with more activity in the domestic auto sector, loan providers are likely to see sustained business for years to come.
Although there is no way to know for sure if the market will continue to expand, the outlook is indeed positive. Potentially, this could create a more lucrative auto loan landscape in 2014.