This time last year some analysts were saying that a downturn in auto sales was around the corner. Well, it looks like those chaps were right on the money, as 2007 is projected to finish with 16 million sales, down one million units from 2005 totals. If a look at dealer orders is indicative of things to come, automakers are in for another tough year in 2008. One-third of dealers surveyed by Wachovia Capital Markets stated that they intend to cut back on new vehicle orders in 2008, which is up from 20 percent just a few months back. Automakers have been very careful with planned production volume for the next few months, and some have already cut shifts from assembly plants. Renault-Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn thinks demand could shrink by another 500,000 units next year, which would put everybody in a tough spot. If the U.S. heads into a recession, the outlook could get even gloomier.

It seems as though almost every automaker is projecting global growth in the next few years, but with the way things are going in the world's largest automotive market, it looks like there will be a few executive boards in an uproar come '08.

[Source: Detroit News]

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