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Old 10-26-2009, 09:56 AM   #1
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Default J.D. Power Reports October Sales Close To Matching Pre-Economic Crash Levels

WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif., Oct. 23 /PRNewswire/ -- October new-vehicle retail sales are expected to decline only 6 percent compared with one year ago--the first single-digit decline since May 2008, according to J.D. Power and Associates, which gathers real-time transaction data from more than 8,900 franchisees across the United States. This decline marks the most significant improvement in 17 months, excluding August 2009 when year-over-year sales were up 13 percent due to the CARS program.
(Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/...7/LAF028LOGO-a)
October new-vehicle retail sales are expected to come in at 651,600 units, which represent a seasonally adjusted annualized rate (SAAR) of 8.3 million units. With fleet volume down only 4 percent from one year ago, total sales for October are projected to come in at 816,600 units, down 6 percent from October 2008.
"While year-over-year comparisons benefit from a low selling base in October 2008, improvements in consumer confidence and credit are propelling the return to positive sales gains relative to last year," said Gary Dilts, senior vice president of global automotive operations at J.D. Power and Associates. "October's selling rate is expected to come in at 10.3 million units--nearly flat compared with 10.5 million units one year ago--which is an encouraging sign for the industry and in line with our expectations for the rest of the year."
J.D. Power and Associates U.S. Sales and SAAR Comparisons - October 2009

October 2009(1) September 2009 October 2008
retail sales 651,600 units 565,446 units 668,159 units
(6% lower than
October 2008)(2)

Total vehicle
sales 816,600 units 744,161 units 834,018 units
(6% lower than
October 2008)

Retail SAAR 8.3 million 7.2 million 8.7 million
units units units

Total SAAR 10.3 million 9.3 million 10.5 million
units units units

(1) Figures cited for October 2009 are forecasted numbers based on the
first 15 selling days of the month.
(2) The percentage change is adjusted based on the number of selling days
(28 days vs. 27 days one year ago).
While most of the retail segment mix remains relatively unchanged from September, the share of pickup trucks increased to nearly 14 percent from less than 12 percent last month, driven mainly by strong marketing programs, incentives and stable fuel prices.
J.D. Power and Associates is maintaining its forecast for 2009 at 10.3 million units for total sales, with retail sales projected to come in at 8.6 million units. The 2010 forecast remains at 11.5 million units for total sales and 9.5 million units for retail sales.
"As economic conditions improve, there's a renewed sense of optimism and momentum building in the industry," said Jeff Schuster, executive director of global forecasting at J.D. Power and Associates. "While 2009 has been a difficult year, this crisis will lead to innovation and efficiency gains, ultimately creating a healthier industry. Total sales in 2010 are expected to improve 12 percent from 2009, but given the right conditions, next year could be even stronger than currently predicted."
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