“The U.S. economy and vehicle sales have been rebounding since 2009, and we believe there is still plenty of room for the auto industry to grow,” Ms. Barra said in a statement. “The strength of the labor market, better job security and the recovery in home prices have consumers feeling pretty good about the future.”
Ms. Barra estimated 2015 light-vehicle sales of between 16.5 million and 17 million in the U.S., compared with 16.5 million sold last year. The 2014 tally was the highest level since 2006. The last time the industry hit sales of 17 million was in 2001.
GM expects to see the return of younger consumers to the market this year. While auto makers have been enjoying a boom in demand, difficulties finding jobs and higher prices for both new and used cars kept many of these younger shoppers away from showrooms.
For GM, the year gives Ms. Barra a new chance to shift attention back to the auto maker’s products and away from vehicle recalls that engulfed her first year as CEO. GM’s share price fell 14% over the course of 2014.
Read more: The Wall Street Journal