Detroit — As the economy weakens and consumers find little relief in discounts from auto makers, General Motors Corp., Ford Motor Co. and Toyota Motor Corp. have reduced their forecasts for industry sales this year, according to Dow Jones.
GM projects sales of 16.5 million vehicles in 2007, a decrease of almost 1 million from last year. This projection is similar to the one made by Ford. Light-vehicle sales are projected at 16.1 million, the lowest since 1998.
Toyota expects light-vehicle sales to reach 16.3 million, only slightly higher than the other companies’ projections.
This drop in sales may force auto makers to cut vehicle production or give more sales incentives; both would decrease profits.
GM’s vehicle production has increased over the past year, while sales dropped about 20 percent in each of the past two months. Truck production was cut slightly in July.
Ford has been more cautious of the situation, maintaining a production level that is below average for the company compared to past production.
Toyota’s vehicle production has also been more modest. However, the company expects an increase in sales in the second half of 2007.