A) Lame.
B) Lousy to the tenth degree.
C) Pretty sorry, I'd say.
D) Craptastic.

Indeed, August is now but a distant memory, but the auto industry is still recovering from the month o' sluggish sales. Almost every major manufacturer reported a slide. We're taking big numbers, like GM's 14.1 percent drop and Ford's 12.9 percent downhill tumble. Even DaimlerChrysler, with some of the hottest whips on the block, saw a 5.7 percent loss compared to last August. Honda and Toyota were also nailed, with 14 and 10 percent declines, respectively. What gives? Well, Hurricane Charley swept through a major chunk of the Southeast, and higher oil prices didn't help. Then there were fears about the job market that led to a lull in consumer confidence. Finally, the reduced number of selling days (25) didn't give dealers a lot of time to hawk their wares, as Labor Day and its incentive-laden sales events fall late this year, whereas last August a favorable calendar layout allowed for a highly unusual 317 days of sales.



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