Edmunds Says The Party Is Over

  • August 26, 2009
Edmunds.com, which comes out with August sales predictions on Thursday, says things won't look good for the fourth quarter because of the "Cash for Clunkers" program, which offered up to $4,500 in cash for trade-ins for more fuel-efficient vehicles. Essentially, said the L.A.-based firm, those trade ins pulled a lot of sales forward that would normally have bolstered fourth-quarter sales.

Edmunds.com sees steep sales declines because Edmunds analysts are noticing a steep decline in new-vehicle interest in the shopping and research Web site.

"Current purchase intent is down 50% from the Cash for Clunkers peak, and down 11% from the June average," said Edmunds.com Senior Analyst David Tompkins, in a relesase. "Day by day, intent is slipping: Sunday activity was down 21% from Saturday, then Tuesday activity was down 16% from Monday."

The company says the government's CARS program stimulated sales when sales were already on the mend, so many buyers who would have purchased in the fall bought cars earlier.

"The sales surge depleted inventories and pushed up prices. In addition, with inventories at low levels, many manufacturers have little reason to be generous with incentives. Limited selection and higher prices will create further downward pressures on sales," said Edmunds.com Senior Analyst Jessica Caldwell in the release.--Karl Greenberg



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