Polk Expects 2013 U.S. New Vehicle Registrations To Reach 15.3 Million

    Polk Expects 2013 U.S. New Vehicle Registrations To Reach 15.3 Million

Compact, subcompact and pickup segments will push industry up 6.6 percent over

PR Newswire

SOUTHFIELD, Mich., Jan. 2, 2013

SOUTHFIELD, Mich., Jan. 2, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --New light vehicle
registrations in the U.S. in 2013 are expected to rise 6.6 percent over 2012
levels to 15.3 million vehicles, according to Polk, a leading global
automotive market intelligence firm. At the same time, Polk analysts forecast
North American production volumes to increase to the 15.9 million unit range
(an anticipated 2.4 percent increase from 2012), driven by an improving
economy and capacity expansion in the region.

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According to Polk's analysis, new vehicle introductions in 2013 will escalate
dramatically, with 43 new vehicle introductions in the U.S. planned for the
year, up nearly 50 percent over 2012 levels. In addition, 60 vehicle redesigns
are expected in the coming year. New launch and refreshed product activity is
likely to result in an uptick in registrations as showroom traffic and, in
turn, sales tend to increase in the timeframe surrounding new introductions.

"Polk expects continued recovery in the industry in 2013 and 2014, a positive
sign for the U.S. economy," said Anthony Pratt, director of forecasting for
the Americas at Polk. "The auto sector is likely to continue to be one of the
key sectors that lead the U.S. economic recovery, however, we don't expect to
realize pre-recession levels in the 17 million vehicles range for many years,"
he said. "However, our baseline forecast hinges on Washington's ability to
draft a budget plan that will avoid $600 billion in spending cuts and tax

Segments to Watch in 2013

The large pickup truck segment, which has declined over the past five years,
will likely grow with several important new launches in 2013 and into the 2014
model year, with GM, Toyota and Ford planning to showcase redesigned vehicles
in this segment during the next 18-24 months. Increased marketing activity to
support these launches, together with a recovering market for new housing
starts, which impacts registrations of new pickup trucks within the
construction industry, will result in growth in this segment in the coming
year, according to Polk.

The mid-size sedan segment will continue to lead the industry. Currently at
more than 18.5 percent of the overall market, the industry's largest by two
percent, Polk anticipates it will continue to grow in the coming year.

"Recent redesigns of nearly every vehicle in the mid-size segment are forcing
more competition and continued growth," said Tom Libby, lead analyst for North
America at Polk. "The current array of options for consumers in the market for
a new mid-sized vehicle makes it a great time to buy a new car."

The luxury segment in the U.S. also will be one to watch in 2013, according to
Polk, as it will see significant launch activity within its compact sedan
segment, which currently accounts for 2.9 percent of the overall industry.
In addition, if gas prices continue to decline, Polk analysts expect the
small luxury crossover segment will continue to swell.

In addition, non-luxury compact crossover vehicles have grown by more than 50
percent in the last five years. Additionally, increased competition in this
segment has created pricing pressures, which will result in continued growth,
according to Polk analysts.

Polk also forecasts the industry will experience continued growth in the
compact and subcompact segments, as OEMs are introducing several new models in
the coming year.

"This anticipated growth is largely based on increasing CAFE requirements and
significant new product launch activity in the U.S., as well as increased
interest by younger buyers just coming into the market," said Libby.

While the number of available hybrid models in the U.S. will increase this
year, Polk anticipates only a slight improvement in this category from its
current level of approximately 2.9 percent of the overall market. Reasons for
this include the continued significant price differential between hybrids and
traditionally-powered vehicles, and the high number of traditionally-powered
vehicles that achieve similar mileage targets as those in the hybrid segment.

Looking Ahead

Polk analysts are currently reviewing global light vehicle forecasts with
customers through 2023. Polk expects a return to 16 million units in the U.S.
by 2015, if not before, barring any unusual activity in the marketplace. The
U.S. market last achieved 16 million units in 2007.

Polk's forecasting team analyzes market trends by region and serves as a
comprehensive resource for manufacturers, dealers and suppliers to the light
and commercial vehicle markets. Polk's complete light vehicle forecast
(including passenger cars and light truck registrations and North American
production volumes) through 2016 is as follows:

              2013 2014 2015 2016
U.S. New
Vehicle       15.3 15.8 16.2 16.0
American      15.9 16.3 16.6 16.7

Source: Polk  (units in millions)

About Polk

Polk is the premier provider of automotive information and marketing
solutions. The organization collects and interprets global data, and provides
extensive automotive business expertise to help customers understand their
market position, identify trends, build brand loyalty, conquest new business
and gain a competitive advantage. Polk helps automotive manufacturers and
dealers, automotive aftermarket companies, finance and insurance companies,
advertising agencies, media companies, consulting organizations, government
agencies and market research firms make good business decisions. A privately
held global firm, Polk is based in Southfield, Michigan, with operations in
Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Spain,
the United Kingdom and the United States. For more information, please visit

Available Topic Expert(s): For information on the listed expert(s), click
appropriate link.
Anthony Pratt


Website: http://www.polk.com
Contact: Michelle Culver, Lambert, Edwards & Associates, +1-313-309-9505
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