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Analysts forecast U.S. vehicle shortages as supply chain woes persist

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(Reuters) - Cox Automotive on Tuesday lowered its U.S. auto sales forecast for 2022, as analysts at both Cox and Carmax-owned Edmunds.com said continued supply chain disruptions will leave dealers short of new vehicles for the foreseeable future.

Cox dropped its full-year forecast to 14.4 million vehicles from 15.3 million, but forecast a slight month-to-month uptick in sales in June.

Edmunds said second-quarter U.S. vehicle sales will be higher than in the first quarter, but will still trail last year's depressed volume.

"A recovery in vehicle production in 2022 seems highly unlikely at this point (but) profit margins are staying high and pent-up consumer demand will only continue to build as shortages continue,” said Jessica Caldwell, Edmunds' executive director of insights.

Cox Senior Economist Charlie Chesbrough said: "Even though economic conditions have worsened in the past months, the lack of supply is still the greatest headwind facing the auto industry today.”

(Reporting by Ben Klayman and Paul Lienert in Detroit; Editing by Jan Harvey)

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