August Sales Expected to be Dismal

U.S. auto makers are expected to report big declines in August domestic sales despite increased incentives, reports the Wall Street Journal.  Industrywide sales are expected to improve slightly from July’s depressingly low rate.

J.D. Power & Associates expects sales in the last few days of August to increase because of GM’s 100th anniversary employee pricing sales event.
The J.D. Power report estimates sales for August will come in at around 1.21 million vehicles, or 13.4 million vehicles on a seasonally adjusted annual rate.  That is down from the August 2007 seasonally adjusted rate of 16.2 million vehicles, but up 6.3% from July.
"Both cash rebates and APR programs continue to rise from year-ago levels, as auto makers struggle with weakening light-truck sales," said J.D. Power.  The average time a vehicle sat on the lot during the first 14 selling days of the month rose 14% from a year ago, it said, "adding pressure to increase incentive programs."
Nissan is the only automaker expected to finish the month with higher sales, up 1.5%.  Declines of 24% to 30% are projected for GM, Ford and Chrysler, while Toyota is predicted to have a 13% decline.