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New-Vehicle Retail Sales Volume Deteriorates as August Closes

WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif., Aug. 31, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — The August new-vehicle retail sales pace has declined sharply during the second half of the month, as the impact of negative variables—weak consumer confidence, delayed purchases in the hopes of bargains, and inclement weather—take hold, according to J.D. Power and Associates, which gathers real-time transaction data from more than 8,900 retail franchisees throughout the United States.

The August retail seasonally adjusted annualized rate (SAAR) is expected to come in at 9.7 million units, which is an improvement from July’s 9.5 million unit SAAR. The total light-vehicle selling rate is expected to be 11.9 million units, a slight decline from July’s 12.2 million units as a result of a weaker fleet mix.

“With the economic woes, summer vacations and Hurricane Irene taking center stage, August may be a lost month for vehicle sales, but the slight increase in the retail selling rate from last month is still a step in the right direction,” said Jeff Schuster, executive director of global forecasting at J.D. Power and Associates. “Marketing and incentive focus has already shifted to September with the upcoming Labor Day weekend, so with improved inventory, the sales pace could show marked improvement next month.”

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