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November Auto Sales Expected to Show Sharp Falloff from October

November 21, 2001

Payback time has arrived for automakers offering

zero- and low-interest financing, according to two recently-released industry reports. While November sales won't be released until Dec. 3, both Deutsche Bank AG and CNW Marketing/Research predict the numbers will show

the annualized sales rate cooling off by more than 4 million vehicles from the sizzling 21.6 million rate of October, to between 17 million and 17.4 million.

The annualized rate indicates how many vehicles would be sold in a calendar year if sales remained at the same pace for all 12 months.

The sales rate may slow even further in the latter part of the month because even though Ford, General Motors Corp. and the Chrysler Group of DaimlerChrysler AG all extended their 36-month, zero-interest programs into January, interest rates for longer-term financing are as much as a percentage point higher starting Nov. 21, according to an Associated Press story by Ed Garsten.

Inventory at many dealerships is also lower than normal due to huge sales numbers. "Zero-interest financing sucked up inventory in October," said CNW's Art Spinella. "The mix of inventory is not good."

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