Auto Service World
News   October 16, 2008   by Auto Service World

J.D. Power finds Oct. sales tracking below 12 million rate


J.D. Power and Associates, which tracks U.S. auto sales on a daily basis, sees October sales on track to fall below 12 million units on an annualized basis, extending a downturn that automakers hoped had hit bottom in the summer.
f the October sales rate dropped below 12 million units, overall U.S. sales for 2008 could also drop below the 13.6 million units the forecasting firm has projected, a senior J.D. Power analyst said.
The monthly sales rate has not fallen below 12 million since April 1991, when it hit 11.8 million units, according to U.S. Department of Commerce reports. The lowest rate recorded since 1976 was 8.8 million units in December 1981, according to the reports.
“The sad news that we’ve been getting month after month after month is likely to continue in October,” J.D. Power economist Bob Schnorbus said in a presentation to industry executives and analysts.
“If we continue to see the weakness in the fourth quarter that we’re seeing in October, we could end up having to take a few hundred thousand units out of our forecast.”