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Is The Party Over?


The boundless optimism of a bull market in any industry is intoxicating. So when the curious accounting of sales days in September due to the Labor Day holiday caused the auto industry to see its first year-over-year monthly decline since June 2011 — it begs the obvious question ”is the party over?”

Most analysts agree that the fundamentals of the robust growth and recovery of the auto industry of recent years are still on track. There should still be substantial pent-up demand with the general improvement in the economy and the average age of all cars on the road at a record high 11.4 years.

And while passenger car and crossover sales faltered, stand-out small cars like the new Toyota Corolla, Honda Civic and Hyundai Elantra still posted modest gains and the Ford F-150 and Chevy Silverado pick-up trucks both saw increases in the 10 percent range.

And then too — Fall is the traditional new car season and there’s a big sales buzz on the 2014 Chevrolet Corvette, Mercedes S Class and the Jaguar F-Type at the high-end — and the more modest but hotly awaited new Jeep Cherokee and the popular Mazda 3.