A surge in auto sales is forecast for 2012, which should translate to strength in the TV advertising market.
Automotive News reports: “Rising employment, better credit availability, new products and urgency to replace aging vehicles will drive U.S. auto sales higher in 2012, forecasters say.
“Sales predictions from 11 independent analysts ranged from 13 million light vehicles (Wells Fargo Securities) to 14 million (Morgan Stanley). The average outlook of 13.6 million would be up 6 or 7 percent from this year’s sales, which are likely to finish between 12.7 and 12.8 million units.”
Automotive advertising is a critical component of the television advertising market, so an improved market for autos is good news for TV networks.
Strength in the automotive market in 2012 is expected to be resilient even if other economic factors experience problems. Automotive News adds: “All the analysts expect as much disruptive and unsettling economic news in 2012 as there was this year. But they say American auto buyers don’t scare as easily as they did three years ago, when the financial crisis hit.”
Alec Gutierrez, senior market analyst for Kelley Blue Book, noted that auto sales defied trends during the debt-ceiling crisis in summer 2011. "The Dow fell 1,500 points — and car sales stayed smooth and consistent," he said. "The American consumer has seen so much gone wrong. If they have to buy a car, they will."