Auto Sales Rise, EPA Makes Moves And Other Auto Industry News

The automobile industry in the United States has gone through many enormous changes during the past few years. It has seen ups and downs. Many governmental regulations have also stunted growth. This could be about to change very soon, thanks to the new Trump administration. Also, the United States auto industry rebounded in March. What is driving the increase in sales and the industry back at peak levels? It has been projected that United States auto sales rose in March. It is believed that strong consumer confidence has a lot to do with the surging sales. However, it is also important to note that the industry is still most likely going to post a decline for the full year.

Edmunds has projected a three percent increase for the industry, when compared to the previous year. Cox Automotive has the number slightly lower at 2.6 percent. Automakers have benefited from making the transition from passenger cars to bigger and much more profitable vehicles. GM has also announced that it would be making changes to its reporting system. The company intends to report sales on a quarterly basis instead of a monthly basis. Cox believes that GM will increase their sales by as much as seven percent. Only time will tell. The actual results are pending but should be released in the near future.

Another important bit of news from this week is the increase in auto loan interest rates. The rates have climbed to their highest point since 2009, according to Edmunds. March was the second straight month of rate increases. The average for the month was 5.7 percent, which was an increase from 5.2 percent in February. In March of 2017, the number was 5 percent. In March of 2013, the rate was 4.4 percent. Suffice to say, consumers should be on the lookout for rising rates for auto loans. To counteract the increase in these rates, you can use some strategies, such as saving on car maintenance costs. For example, on Groupon we find many coupons to save on car maintenance and on the cost of the garage, also using the Groupon discount code of 15%, valid only for new users, we could save further on our first car inspection.

Nevertheless, the increasing interest rates could very well cause auto sales to shrink in the immediate future. Edmonds points out that March experienced a significant decrease in the number of loans falling in the 2 to 4 percent bracket, while 4 to 7 percent loans climbed higher.

On Monday, Scott Pruitt, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator, announced that he would “roll back the federal goal of an average vehicular efficiency standard of more than 55 miles per gallon by 2025.” He went on to say that he would also revoke a 2010 waiver that allowed California to set its own efficiency standard. Other states will also be affected by this decision, since they previously accepted California’s standards. In fact, these standards govern approximately 35 percent of the nation’s auto market.

Revoking the waiver will not be as simple as filing a motion, because it was written into the Clean Air Act, a comprehensive law that regulates air emissions from mobile and stationary sources. Only after extensive study and negotiations did the Obama administration finalize the full waiver.

Melissa Thompson
Melissa Thompson writes about a wide range of topics, revealing interesting things we didn't know before. She is a freelance USA Today producer, and a Technorati contributor.