The upward-bound numbers in automotive production in 2011
have given scrap metal producers and processors a reason to
hope that some daylight might finally be peeking through, at
least in that corner of the U.S. economy.
Auto output was on track to total more than 12 million
vehicles, well in excess of 10.5 million cars and trucks sold
in 2010 and a significant rebound from 2009, when fewer than 10
million vehicles were sold, according to data from the National
Automobile Dealers Association. Projections from several
leading analysis companies call for sales to rise still further
That seems good for the future of automotive scrap
generation and sales. However, those figures are still far
below the 17-million-vehicle levels reached in the early 2000s,
when the industry was riding high, credit was readily available
and cars were racing out of showrooms.
Furthermore, some auto industry analysts say that despite
the gains, scrap industry players should be lowering their
forecasts for automotive metal needs for the next decade.
Its hard to sign up for a new vehicle when you see
the value of your house going down every year,
DetroitBureau.com quoted Dennis DesRosiers, president
of DesRosiers Automotive Consultants Inc., Richmond Hill,
Ontario, as saying at a Michigan auto conference earlier this
Many consumers remain skeptical about buying a new vehicle
as the economy continues to come back from the worst recession
since the Great Depression of the 1930s, DesRosiers said.
(September was) a tough month and a worrisome month for
the industry as the market just refuses to grow, he said
in a note concerning sales in North America, particularly
DesRosiers said he expects slower growth in the number of
miles driven. He also expects the scrappage rate to go down,
meaning owners will keep their vehicles longer. In all, he
expects an 8.7-percent decline in auto sales in the current
decade vs. the last one.
Sean McAlinden, executive vice president of research and
chief economist at the Ann Arbor, Mich.-based Center for
Automotive Research, agrees that sales growth will be moderate.
He projects vehicle sales rising to 14.4 million units in 2013
and 14.9 million in 2014.
The latest news from the automotive industry seems to bear
out that slow optimism: third-quarter auto sales were up 6
percent in the United States and 14 percent in Mexico, a
growing market for U.S. automakers. Despite some pessimism
among analysts, there are those who offer a different outlook.
For example, aluminum die casters in the automotive sector are
forecasting stronger business as automakers continue to show