J.D. Power: No Recovery in 2011 for Auto Sales

Toyota's Camry is still the top selling car in the United States.

Toyota's Camry is still the top selling car in the United States. (image by Toyota.com)

Citing the continued stall on hopes for an economic recovery, industry ratings company J.D. Power has lowered its 2011 automotive projections for production and sales from 12.9 million to 12.6 million units. They say that they now expect a recovery to extend into next year.

“The selling rate in August is expected to be slightly stronger than in July, but without a significant increase in incentive levels or a reversal of the economic woes, there isn’t a compelling reason for those consumers sitting on the fence to return to dealer showrooms and purchase a vehicle,” said Jeff Schuster, executive director of global forecasting at J.D. Power and Associates. “There is little question that a strong level of pent-up demand exists, but economic and financial uncertainty is keeping it from being released.”

Despite the lowered expectations, new car sales in August are up from the 2011 low point in May. Sales in August are currently on pace to reach 898,000, based on data J.D. Power collected on the first eleven selling days this month. That would represent a six percent increase in new car sales from August, 2010.

“The economy and automotive industry continue to wrestle with a series of unsettling developments, which are now likely too strong to overcome within 2011,” said John Humphrey, senior vice president of automotive operations at J.D. Power and Associates. “While it is not time to hit the panic button, it is clear that ascending from the recession is proving to be just as bumpy as the decline into it, and a full recovery in vehicle sales is further down the road than previously thought.”

With continuing slips in consumer confidence – August saw the lowest levels since the start of the recession – and yet another rise in applications for unemployment, it seems automakers, like the rest of us, are in for a rough ride.

About Cecil Helton

Cecil Helton Cecil Helton is a U.S.-based writer and editor with passions for cars, motorcycles, boats, technology and social media. Much of his professional life since 1996 has been web-centric, and he’s written and developed content on a variety of subjects. His work in the houseboat industry received wide acclaim, such as winning the 1999 Cisco Systems Growing with Technology award and being named one of five finalists in the manufacturing sector of the 2000 Computerworld-Smithsonian Awards. As an Air Force brat, he spent much of his childhood in a two-year cycle of moving to a new place, making new friends, establishing a life, and then moving again. Destinations included: Kentucky, Illinois, Texas, the Greek isle of Crete, California and Ohio. Today you’ll find Cecil coping with his 15 year old son’s decision to pursue a motorcycle license at the same time he gets his driver’s license, being active across the web on multiple social media sites, and of course, writing articles and creating content on automotive and car insurance related topics right here at CarInsurance.org.

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