2009 has been a sales disaster for the automotive world, as industry figures have dropped to the lowest levels in three decades. Cash for Clunkers has been a boon for the otherwise poor year, though, as hundreds of thousands of Americans have traded in their old cars for new, more fuel efficient metal.

J.D. Power has analyzed sales data from 10,000 dealers over the first two weeks of August, and the industry research powerhouse feels the program will boost August sales to 1.1 million units. Even better, their analysts have informed The Associated Press that the bulk of those sales will come from retail customers, with total sales of over 1 million units. If Power is right, August sales would rise 2% over August 2008, making it the first year-over-year monthly sales bump in two years.

Power reportedly feels so good about the effects of the popular program that it has lifted its 2009 sales forecast to 10.3 million sales, up 300,000 units from its April projections. The research firm does feel that C4C has pulled ahead some sales, however, so it is downgrading its 2010 forecast to 11.5 million units from a previous estimate of 11.6 million.

The Cash for Clunkers program ends Monday at 8 pm.

[Source: MLive | Image: Paul J. Richards/AFP/Getty]