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November Light-Vehicle Sales Remain Flat

November 19, 2002

U.S. light-vehicle sales in November are on

pace with September and October, according to J.D. Power and Associates.

According to the company, three key factors are affecting November sales. First, on a seasonal

basis, November is historically weaker than October, which means if that

November's unit sales match October's, then the SAAR would be higher than

October's 15.4 million-unit seasonally adjusted annualized rate (SAAR).

Second, Thanksgiving occurs late in the month, leaving November with fewer

selling days during the holiday shopping season, which should hold down the

SAAR. Finally, the average cash-plus-interest subvention, now at

approximately $1,200 per vehicle, continues well below the peak level set in

August when consumers saved an average of $1,480.

"We're in a period when consumers are starting to think more about

buying holiday gifts and less about buying new vehicles," said Walter

McManus, executive director of global forecasting at J.D. Power and

Associates. "That, coupled with a traditionally slower selling month and

automakers continuing to pull back incentives, should keep new-vehicle sales

at about the same level they've been at for the past two months."

New-vehicle sales through the second week of November are down 6

percent from the same period last month and down 20 percent compared with

the same period last November.

Based on Power Information Network (PIN) retail sales data from the

first two weeks of the month, November sales are projected to come in at a

15.7 million-unit SAAR. Actual units sold in November are expected to reach

1.18 million.

October ended with actual sales of 1,302,494 units. In November

2001, 1,327,990 units were sold for a 17.6 million-unit SAAR.

The J.D. Power and Associates 2002 calendar-year new-vehicle sales

forecast is 16.6 million units.

The firm's monthly sales forecasts are derived from a joint effort

between its Global Forecasting Department and Power Information Network

(PIN), a division of J.D. Power and Associates that compiles new-vehicle

retail transaction data from more than 5,900 participating auto franchises

in 26 U.S. markets.

Headquartered in Westlake Village, Calif., J.D. Power and Associates

is a global marketing information services firm operating in key business

sectors including market research, forecasting, consulting, training and

customer satisfaction.

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