September Auto Sales Figures are Downright Ugly

Things were not pretty for automakers in September. All the usual contributing factors again led to a month of slow auto sales. Tight credit, economic worries and high gasoline prices combined to drop sales significantly in September. Ford’s sales dropped 34%, Toyota’s fell 32% and GM’s were down only 16%.

Ford saw its worst sales month of 2008 while it seems that GM’s employee discount helped them fare a little better than their competitors.
Hyundai’s U.S. sales fell 25% and Honda’s dropped by 24%.
Many dealers blame the low sales numbers on the credit crunch, reports the AP and USA Today. Reportedly, customers are having a much harder time qualifying for auto loans, as banks have restricted lending because of the widespread mortgage crisis that led to chaos in the financial markets and the collapse of several banks.  Also, when several automakers’ finance arms started limiting or discontinuing leasing totally, it made it harder for buyers to secure financing.
Since dealers didn’t sell much in September, they more than likely have a surplus of 2008 models sitting around. Now could be the time to snag a 2008 model for a great deal.