December 12, 2002

J.D. Power and Associates lowers American auto production forecast

Westlake Village, California – J.D. Power and Associates has lowered its 2003 North American light-vehicle production forecast to 16.1 million units.

“Our concerns with growing domestic inventories and the fact that consumers are becoming numb to a (U.S.)$2,000 average sales incentive have led us to lower our North American production forecast to 16.1 million units for 2003,” said Jeff Schuster, director of North American forecasting at J.D. Power and Associates. “With a slowdown in sales going into 2003 being the primary driver, we expect production to be down nearly 350,000 units, or 4 percent, in the first half of the year compared with the same period in 2002. The lost volume will not be shared equally among producers, as new model activity at Honda, Nissan and Mitsubishi will drive their production volume higher in 2003.”

In fact, even with respectable redesign and new model activity at General Motors and DaimlerChrysler, J.D. Power and Associates expects the traditional Big Three share of production to fall to an all-time low of 73 percent, down from 75 percent in 2002.

The firm’s monthly sales forecasts are derived from a joint effort between its Global Forecasting Department and Power Information Network (PIN), a division of J.D. Power and Associates that compiles new-vehicle retail transaction data from more than 5,900 participating auto franchises in 26 U.S. markets.

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