U.S. Auto Sales May Hit 28-Year Low as Discounts Flop


Keith Naughton and Tim Higgins
Bloomberg
September 1, 2010

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U.S. auto sales in August probably were the slowest for the month in 28 years as model-year closeout deals failed to entice consumers concerned the economy is worsening and they may lose their jobs.

Industrywide deliveries, to be released tomorrow, may have reached an annualized rate of 11.6 million vehicles this month, the average of eight analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg. That would be the slowest August since 1982, according to researcher Ward’s AutoInfoBank. The rate would be 18 percent below last year’s 14.2 million pace, when the U.S. government’s “cash for clunkers” incentive program boosted sales.

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“Home sales are way down, the stock market is way down, the unemployment report is very disappointing and consumer confidence is sputtering,” Jesse Toprak, vice president of industry trends at TrueCar.com, said in an interview. “People just don’t want to make big-ticket purchases because they’re uncertain about their jobs and the value of their homes.”

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