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US Auto Manufacturers Sales Sagged in March 2008
Jun 02, 2008

Sales of the US auto industry dropped 12% in March 2008 as the sales of major auto players including General Motors and Toyota shrunk.

According to the officials of US automobile industry, March 2008 was very disappointing for the auto industry as sales plunged 12%. General Motors Corp sales fell 13% and Toyota Motor Corp experienced decline of 3.4%, as reported by
Reuters.

The automobile industry experts disclosed a decline of 2.5% in the industry sales last year to 16.15 Million Units. Comparing the US auto industry sales during January-March this year with the same period last year, an 8% decline was noticed. Also, sales recorded by pick-up trucks and SUVs dropped 18% last month. This has severely hit heavy truck line-ups of the US auto manufacturers because consumers are turning their attention to light and fuel-efficient vehicles.

Soaring global oil prices are solely to blame for shaking the confidence of consumers to buy new vehicles. Hence, people in the US are switching over to trains and other public transportation modes for commutation.

Apart from this, the US banks are forcing consumers to avoid getting auto loans, particularly for those with marginal credit. The impact of slowdown in housing, energy and credit industry is certainly to fall upon the auto industry. At the same time, the country is thriving to raise the wages and employment rate and therefore, they collectively impacted the auto industry sales in March.

The industry experts, in the wake of bad performance by the auto industry, begin to debating on the industry performance in the second half of 2008. It’s not just decline in sales but the US auto manufacturers are feeling the pressure to cut cost. Also, discounts, including concessional financing and rebates, have gone up, particularly on trucks. Given this, the experts have started to lower the forecasts for this year, with most predictions now in the range of around 15.5 Million to below than 15 Million vehicles.

According to a Senior Research Analyst at
RNCOS, “The US auto industry is fast loosing its confidence as the consumers are showing no interest in the auto market. Therefore, the auto dealers should extend their support to customers in getting auto loans on easy terms. They should also offer discounts to attract consumers towards the sagging market and hence, regain the lost confidence.”

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