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New Research Forecasts Further Decreases in Sales for 2009

July 17, 2008

BOSTON and NEW YORK — New research by Global Insight and Standard & Poor's has caused both firms to lower their U.S. new-car sales forecasts for this year and next, creating the prospect of an even rougher road ahead in 2009.

Boston-based Global Insight, who had previously predicted sales of 14.7 cars and light trucks in 2008, lowered that figure to 14.4 million. Consequently, the research firm adjusted its forecast for 2009 from 14.7 million units to 14.2.

Similarly, New York-based Standard & Poor's lowered its sales forecasts to 14.4 million vehicles in 2008, dropping to 14.1 million in 2009. Previous forecasts predicted 14.6 million units in 2008 and 14.5 million next year.

Analysts have also pointed to cutbacks by General Motors and restructuring efforts by Chrysler and Ford as indications that the major U.S. automakers are scrambling to prepare for changes in consumer demand.

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