More than two dozen new cars, trucks, crossover vehicles and concept cars debuted at the New York International Auto Show, an annual event that is set to boost the American car market.
Despite the almost optimistic speeches made during the show on Wednesday, the media expressed growing concern, even absolute distrust, during interviews and private conversations with market analysts and leaders.
“At best, stagnation is projected for 2019,” said Steve Rich, vice president of automaker Autoneum, during the opening ceremony of the event, which runs until April 28. “And this may be an overly optimistic point of view.”
Sales of new vehicles in the United States suffered a long delay in January and February, although many industry participants tried to minimize the bad impression by bad weather across the country. The situation did not look much better in March as total demand fell nearly 4% in the first quarter. Even major manufacturers like Toyota and General Motors fell, with only four brands completing the first three months of the year with an increase in retail sales.
“Manufacturers try to have a positive attitude”. Reid Bigland, the sales manager of Fiat Chrysler in the US, said earlier this month that it was a complicated Q1, but with the spring finally starting to appear and the economic indicators still solid. We are confident that demand vehicle sales will increase.
Optimists quickly pointed out that after a modest 2% decline in 2017, the first economic slowdown since the end of the Great Recession, the US market last year surpassed expectations with a further downturn of modest increase to 17.27 Million vehicles. But most observers see this as an unexpected blow.