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New vehicle sales to reach lowest point in 10-plus years

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New vehicle sales in 2008 are expected to reach their lowest levels since 1994, dropping to 14.95 million cars and light trucks, according to a new report from J.D. Power and Associates. New vehicle sales were originally forecasted to reach 15.7 million units this year.

Declining consumer confidence and spending, "as well as turbulent financial and economic market conditions," are driving the decline, says Jeff Schuster, executive director of automotive forecasting for J.D. Power and Associates.

"Additionally, a weaker retail and fleet market both contributed to the overall reassessment of total new vehicle sales."

Fleet sales have already experienced a "weaker-than-expected" start in 2008, "but a further decline is anticipated, as daily rental sales are not projected to return to pre-2007 levels."

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