TRAVERSE CITY, MI – Resolution of the national debt crisis on Tuesday should help boost consumer confidence, Mike Jackson, senior manager-North America vehicle production forecast at IHS Automotive, tells Ward’s.

Uncertainty over the outcome kept consumers on edge, which was hardly conducive to selling cars and trucks, he says.

“The market has been turbulent, yet there are plenty of opportunities out there for both OEMs and suppliers,” Jackson observes.

Jackson addressed a session at the Center for Automotive Research’s Management Briefing Seminars here.

Earlier this year, vehicle sales ran at “depressed levels” well below expectations, yet there have been many successful product launches, he points out.

Looking into 2012, Jackson says auto makers introducing new vehicles or significantly redesigned models have the best chance for market success.

IHS forecasts U.S. light-vehicle sales this year to reach 12.7 million and climb to 14.3 million in 2012.

“We were running over 13 million in April, but then there was a dip in May and June, mainly due to limited availability (caused by the impact of Japan’s tsunami),” he says.

Jackson forecasts production will top out at 13 million (units) this year and 14.4 million in 2012.