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The National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) has issued a bullish forecast on vehicle sales for 2015.
NADA chief economist Steven Szakaly said sales were set to rise by 17% for the year on the back of low interest rates and falling fuel costs.
Szakaly was speaking in the lead up to the 2015 National Automobile Dealers Convention and Expo in San Francisco, which takes place 21-25 January in San Francisco.
ASE, in association with media partner Motor Trader, will once again be hosting the largest UK delegation to the world’s biggest franchised dealer event.
Delegates will enjoy full access to the convention’s extensive workshop sessions, comprehensive exhibition and a guided tour of a local dealership.
“Rising employment and wages, continued low interest rates and lower gasoline prices all signal an increase in new light-vehicle sales in 2015,” said Szakaly.
“The economy will continue to build on the solid growth established in 2014, and we also expect the fundamental conditions to improve in the year ahead,” he added.
The 2014 run of Bangers4BEN raised £35,000 for the automotive charity, with a record number of entrants.
The theme for the latest run was based on the classic film The Italian Job, with teams running on the Stelvio Pass before visiting the Fiat Factory in Turin, complete with a tour of the famous rooftop test track. The event was organised by Car Dealer Magazine and invited anyone involved in the automotive industry to take part.
38 teams and two AA patrol vehicles completed the route in cars with a maximum cost of £750. Cars were permitted to be re-sprayed, decaled or branded to draw attention to themselves and the charity, with drivers also encouraged to wear fancy dress. . This year’s prize winning entries were; Blackshaws’ Suzuki Ignis Dog for best-themed car and InAutomotive’s ‘Bananas in Pyjamas’ for Best Fancy Dress.
Speaking after the event Kelly Neal, BEN Events Manager, summarised by saying: “Having completed the Bangers4BEN Rally, the cars are auctioned to raise as much money as possible which contributes towards the care and support BEN provides to everyone who works, or has worked in the automotive industry in times of personal stress or hardship. BEN helps thousands of people every year through the support of automotive workers, manufacturers, dealers, garages and, of course, magazines like Car Dealer.”
A solid jump in car sales this October means that 2014 could be the first year of growth for the European automobile industry since before the financial crisis.
A 6.5pc increase in sales this October on the same month in 2013 has led European car registrations into their 14 consecutive month of year-on-year growth.
The year-on-year performance was the strongest in Europe in five years, according to the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA), who compiled the figures.
The bounceback in registrations comes after sales hit a two-decade low last year, following six years of decline.
The experience of Europe as a whole contrasts starkly with the UK, where car sales are now on track for their strongest performance in 10 years.
Of Europe’s five biggest economies – Germany, France, the UK, Spain, and Italy – only one suffered a fall in sales in October, compared with the same month a year earlier.
Total registrations in the free-trade area – the sum of registrations in the European Union and the EFTA – have risen to 10.27m in the year to October, compared with 9.76m in the same period in the preceding year.
Volkswagen Group maintained their dominance of the European market, accounting for more than a quarter of sales this October.
The company’s core Volkswagen brand made up more than 49pc of the units sold by the group in the month.