THE ACCESS ALMANAC: SLOWDOWN AHEAD FOR THE DOMESTIC AUTO INDUSTRY

Trends in the domestic auto industry are examined. Yearly vehicle sales doubled between 1960 and 1973, but has now nearly flattened out. This trend will continue. Comparison of the growth in the number of personal-use vehicles versus the growth of the population of driving age shows that, from 1950 to 1970, the vehicle population grew 2.9 times faster than the human population of driving age. From 1970 onward, there is evidence of vehicle saturation. The auto industry, sized to accommodate disproportionate vehicle growth, must now confront the implications of ownership saturation. Manufacturing capacity is excessive, and the "temporary" layoffs and plant closings of the last few years are likely to become permanent. Policies such as strict import quotas, future expansion of geographic markets, and trying to persuade each household to expand its portfolio of vehicles will not be easy to implement and do not promise large, long-term gains.

Language

  • English

Media Info

  • Features: Figures;
  • Pagination: p. 40-41
  • Serial:
    • Access
    • Issue Number: 6
    • Publisher: University of California Transportation Center (UCTC)

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00719434
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
  • Report/Paper Numbers: HS-041 819
  • Files: HSL, USDOT
  • Created Date: Mar 19 1996 12:00AM