Cox Automotive Insights: ‘Not so Bad’ Featured

By Staff Writer January 14, 2020


Positive signs around consumer sentiment, wage growth, dealer sentiment and unemployment meant for a relatively upbeat presentation at the Cox Automotive Industry Insights Breakfast in Detroit on Jan. 13.

Jonathan Smoke, chief economist, and Charlie Chesbrough, senior economist, were just two of the speakers during the event which coincided with the North American Car, Utility and Truck of the Year awards.

In addition to positive dealer sentiment, especially among independents, the sentiment was strong about the used-car market, Smoke said.

Despite the good news, Smoke also pointed out a few challenges in the market.

“No. 1, we’re seeing automotive finance slow down,” Smoke said. With a record amount of loans outstanding, the question is how much growth is there still to come, he said.

Also, auto affordability was a prime concern among dealers and consumers and Smoke mentioned the cost of subprime loans and the cost of new cars as just two factors.

Chesbrough expects a slowdown in the new-car market in 2020 since he doesn’t expect to see the big fleet and rental volumes that were seen in 2019. He said growing fleet volume from the current numbers would be a challenge.

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Last modified on Friday, 17 January 2020 14:21

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