The Industry's Leading Source For F&I, Sales And Technology

Top News

U.S. Auto Sales Seen Falling to Four-Year Low in March

March 19, 2003

Even as U.S. auto sales are being forecast to fall in March, Toyota Motor Corp. is reporting that its sales are booming as it gears up for introduction of its next generation gas-electric hybrid car, according to the Wall Street Journal.

U.S. auto sales this month are likely to drop to a seasonally adjusted, annualized rate of 15.25 million vehicles, down about 8 percent from last year and the lowest level in more than four years, according to consultants J.D. Power and Associates.

The consultants expect sales to rebound if war in the Middle East ends relatively quickly. Bob Schnorbus, chief economist at J.D. Power, said in a telephone interview that data from the more than 5,000 dealers who report sales to his company showed that while sales for the first two weeks of March were running only about 0.5 percent below year-earlier levels, the gap in the last four days of that period widened to about 10 percent.

NADA Chief Economist Paul Taylor pointed out that three key factors are reflected in the modest 0.5 percent sales decline in the first two weeks of March. They are: "catch-up" sales in the East following the February snow storm; uncertainty about the war, driven by media coverage, which may defer some sales from March into the second quarter; and the Federal Reserve's indication that it may lower interest rates in a seldom-used, but appropriate, inter-meeting conference call, if economic conditions deteriorate.

Your Comment

Please note that comments may be moderated. 
Leave this field empty:
Your Name:  
Your Email: