J.D. Power said on Friday that U.S. sales of new cars and trucks at the retail level have taken a noise dive. Retail vehicle sales were down 33 percent across the industry in the first nine days of October, according to Power Information Network. Sales were down across all nine major automakers, but GM and Ford led the decline with 57 and 45 percent respectively. Chrysler reported a 32 percent drop, while Toyota and Honda experienced a 14 and 8 percent drop in their respective sales for the first nine days. Honda had the lowest drop of any automaker. Jeff Schuster, executive director of global forecasting at J.D. Power and Associates says that "we're on track for an October like we haven't seen since the early 1990s." Combining heavy summer incentives with high energy prices can have a negative impact on new vehicle purchases.
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