Automotive headed south in two ways, analysts say

Nov 01, 2007 | 03:30 PM | Scott Robertson

The North American auto market is heading south in more ways than one next year—primarily in the number of vehicles that will be produced, but also in geographic terms.

Two panelists who presented a market overview as part of AMM's Auto Steel and Metals conference in Nashville said cost-cutting attempts by major North American auto manufacturers combined with a depressed housing market mean automakers are likely to make fewer vehicles in 2008 than they will this year.

Joe Langley, auto analyst with CSM Worldwide, Detroit, told conference participants that auto builds in 2008 likely will total around 14.7 million units, down from slightly more than 15 million this year and their lowest level in more than a decade. His prediction supported that made last week by Kim Korth, president of IRN Inc., who said at CRU International Ltd.'s inaugural North American steel conference in Chicago that a 2008 recession would result in vehicle builds of less than 15 million units.....

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