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U.S. Auto Sales Fall 6% for August, But Incentives Buoy Demand

September 5, 2001

U.S. auto sales fell 6 percent in August 2001 from a year earlier, but industry executives and analysts said widespread sales incentives offered by the car companies are sustaining demand despite weakness elsewhere in the

economy.

According to preliminary figures compiled by researchers at Autodata Corp., August sales came

to 1.5 million vehicles, which equates to a seasonally adjusted, annualized selling rate of 16.4 million vehicles, down from the 17.2

million rate of a year earlier and the lowest rate this year.

Dealers said discounts, which include rebates and subsidized financing, continue to lure buyers, but many customers are becoming cautious.

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