More evidence that the economy is getting worse
The nation's top automakers reported disappointing sales Wednesday, resulting in the worst August for industrywide auto sales in 27 years.
According to sales tracker Autodata, U.S. new vehicle sales fell just short of 1 million vehicles, a drop of 21% from a year ago, which included Cash for Clunkers. That federal program created a sugar rush of sales by dangling an incentive of up to $4,500 in cash for buyers who traded in older gas guzzlers for more efficient models.
Industry sales also fell 5% from July levels. August sales typically outpace July, as deals become available on older models ahead of the fall introduction of new model year cars. August sales would equate to an annual sales pace of about 11.5 million vehicles.
"Car buying is far from repaired, and consumers hesitate before they make a big ticket purchase," said Jesse Toprak, an analyst with the auto pricing Web site Truecar.com. "It shows that the recovery is going to be much slower and more painful than expected."
This year was the weakest August sales total since the 993,100 sold in 1983. Analysts had been forecasting a weak month, with expected sales of about 1.03 million. Most of the major automakers fell short of estimates. The soft demand for autos is seen by economists as another sign of growing weakness among nervous consumers. . . . .
Labels: Economy, stimulus