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NY Auto Show Rundown: Sales Solid, But Politics a Concern

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March 29, 2018—According to a Forbes report, the U.S. economy—along with auto sales—should operate relatively smoothly over the next couple years, unless politicians intervene.

Forbes spoke with Nariman Behravesh, a chief economist for IHS Markit, whom expressed confidence that the U.S. economy could avoid a recession for at least two years. Behravesh said U.S. auto sales should stay around 17 million annually for the next few years. He predicted that annual sales will be between 16.9 million and 17.1 million through 2020.

However, Behravesh warned that the U.S. auto industry could take a hit in the near future if inflation rises faster than many analysts expect, resulting in the Federal Reserve stepping on the brakes, so to speak, raising interest rates uncomfortably high. The economist also warned of a potential trade war between the U.S and key trading partners like China, largely due to tariffs on imported steel and aluminum.

“If we raise tariffs, we do more harm to ourselves than the trading partners,” Behravesh said. “Trade wars are bad. … A trade war is a negative-sum [game]; there are more losers than winners.”

Among the other highlights from Wednesday’s media preview of the New York Auto Show:

  • Cadillac debuted its XT4 crossover, which is viewed as a key vehicle for the luxury brand as it aims to expand its appeal in a market that’s increasingly disinterested in passenger cars, noted USA Today
  • Additionally, Toyota showed off its revamped RAV4 SUV, which now features a more efficient engine and sharpened looks.
  • Finally, the Lincoln Aviator SUV returned to the fore, after being resurrected for the first time since 2005. The new Aviator rides on an all-new rear-wheel-drive unibody platform, FOX News noted.

The New York Auto Show officially opens for the public on Friday, and runs through April 8 at Manhattan’s Jacob Javits Center.

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