“Closing Bell” that at the trough of the auto cycle, the average age of a car is about 11 years old. At the peak, it is about 7 years old. This year, the average age of a car is about 10 years old.
“Auto sales, as far as an upgrade cycle or a necessity purchase cycle, have a long way to go,” Feinseth said.
“You also have people who buy new cars every three years because of the lease cycle, and also one of the biggest motivators of new car purchases is all of the infotainment and collision-avoidance features that are now available in new cars, so I think that the runway still has a ways to go for GM and Ford,” he added.
He said Ford has a lot of room to grow in the luxury market to compete with GM.
“Ford needs some redesign in a number of their vehicles and they need a bigger push in the luxury market,” Feinseth said, noting that Cadillac is the dominant American luxury car brand.
However, he thinks Ford is winning in pickup trucks and sports cars.
As for GM, it “has the best line-up it’s ever had as far as vehicles in the company’s history. They are led by one of the best CEOs in the company’s history, so I think the wind is at their back,” Feinseth added.
Michael Ward, an auto analyst with Williams Research Partners, also thinks the auto cycle will go higher.
“In an environment where the unemployment rate is low, confidence is high, interest rates at an all-time low and income growing, you’re not going to have lower car sales,” Ward said on “Power Lunch” Wednesday.
“You might be down 1 percent; that’s because the industry is not goosing them up with incentives. I think you’re probably going to see industry sales at 17 million units each in the next two or three years, and to me, that’s what the market is missing,” he added. “That will enable companies like General Motors and Ford and the suppliers and dealers to generate record profitability.”
He also said electric cars will be key in growth.
“Electrified vehicles include hybrids,” Ward said. “That is where you’re going to see the most growth because they can be in trucks, they can be in cars, they can be in every sized vehicle. Fully electric vehicles are still going to be a very small portion of the market, 1-2 percent at most in the next five to 10 years.”