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Vehicle sales to decrease 34% this month

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New vehicle retail sales for the month of February are expected to total 580,000 units, a 34% decrease from February 2008, according to a new J.D. Power and Associates report.

"All automakers are feeling the economic pressure and the effects of record-low consumer confidence," says Gary Dilts, senior vice president of global automotive operations at J.D. Power.

"Each one of the 10 major new vehicle manufacturers suffered a retail sales decline in early February compared with one year ago."

Reflecting continued market conditions, J.D. Power has revised its total new light vehicle sales forecast for 2009 to 10.4 million units from its previous forecast of 11.4 million units.

Despite this, J.D. Power believes "we are are nearing the bottom of this (economic) cycle," says Jeff Schuster, executive director of global forecasting. "Our expectation is for February and March to be the low point, but a high degree of uncertainty and risk remains for the second half of 2009."


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