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Fuel Prices, Housing Crunch Affecting Auto Sales


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Here is an interesting article:

 

Southfield (WWJ) -- High fuel prices and falling home prices are starting to affect the auto industry.

 

General Motors reported an 11% drop in U.S. sales for November, citing "softening industry demand" and reductions in low-margin business with car-rental companies.

 

Sales analysis manager Mike DiGiovonni says because of the problems in the housing market, he doesn't expect things to pick up significantly before the middle of 2008.

 

Chrysler reported a 2% decline in sales compared with a year ago.

 

"Despite consumer concerns, Chrysler LLC sales are off only 2 percent showing customers are still purchasing quality and value. High fuel prices and falling home prices continue to impact vehicle sales in November which remain below trend," said Darryl Jackson, Vice President - U.S. Sales.

 

The bright spot for Chrysler was the Sebring Convertible, which saw a sales increase of 946% in November.

 

High fuel prices impacted Jeep brand results which were down 2 percent versus November of last year.

 

Ford reported a slight increase, .4% for November, ending a yearlong string of year-over-year losses.

 

"It is encouraging to see our newest cars, crossovers, hybrids and industry-first SNYC technology resonating with customers," said Mark Fields, president, The Americas.

 

In the first quarter of 2008, Ford plans to produce 685,000 vehicles in North America. In the first quarter of this year, the company produced 740,000 vehicles.

 

Toyota continued its drive to overtake Ford this year as the No. 2 automaker by U.S. sales, outselling Ford by nearly 15,000 vehicles. Toyota's sales were flat for the month compared with last November, with a 4 percent increase in car sales offset by a 5 percent drop in sales of trucks and sport utility vehicles.

 

"Rising fuel prices and sliding home values delivered a one-two punch," Toyota sales executive Jim Lentz said in a statement.

 

Nissan said its sales were up 6 percent over last November, largely on the strength of the new Rogue crossover and the Versa subcompact, which saw sales jump 67 percent.

 

http://www.wwj.com/pages/1278641.php

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There is no doubt the housing problems will affect the auto industry. Together with high gas prices, the mortgage crisis and the customer perception of the economy, we may be in for rough ride this year.

 

I think it's a general feel in the entire country right now tha the economy is doing poorly. Today the senate passed that economy stimulus plan...

 

"Congress passed deal aiming to speed rebates to taxpayers"

 

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/23052292/

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