Automakers can expect the good times to keep rolling, and one optimistic analyst told an industry conference in Acme that Americans could come close to buying 17 million cars a year by mid-decade, a peak not seen since 2001.

Itay Michaeli, an analyst with Citi Investment Research, predicted the U.S. market will reach between 16 million and 17 million by 2016. The industry’s best year was 2000, when Americans bought 17.3 million, and 17.1 million in 2001.

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Analyst Says Sales Won't Top 17 Million Until More Jobs Are Created And Millennials Start Buying

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