Has the Government Shutdown Shut Down the Automotive Industry?
So, the government was shut down for sixteen days. Did that keep shoppers away from the car lots? Apparently not! According to Michigan Live, car companies, including the Big Three, reported a combined sales of 1.2 million vehicles in October. Doesn’t sound much like a slump does it? In fact, it was an eleven percent increase over last year’s figures.
According to Jessica Caldwell, a senior analyst at Edmunds.com, “This was a really interesting month. Probably one that hasn’t seen such volatility in quite some time. It definitely had a lull when the government shutdown went longer than people anticipated.” Caldwell elaborated with the fact that October sales picked up as soon as the Shut Down was over. Each of the Detroit car makers reported double-digit gains in October. Many automakers and experts have actually upped their yearly sales estimates from the low- to mid-15 million ranges to around 15.6-15.9 million vehicles. At least for now, the automotive industry seems “shut down” proof.
With a slow and gradual economic recovery, today’s consumers are more careful about spending their hard-earned money, even if it means putting the performance of their vehicle at risk. The average age for most vehicles in the United States is more than 11 years according to automotive research firm R.L. Polk and Co. Most consumers would rather hold on to their current vehicles while hoping the performance and functions of the vehicle hold out long enough to avoid the purchase of a new vehicle. Proper maintenance of the current vehicle will go a long way towards ensuring the vehicle stays on the road longer.