J.D. Power and Associates have lowered their U.S. sales light-vehicle forecast for 2008 to just 14.2 million units. This is the third time the global information services company have updated their numbers. In March, they announced that sales would not hit their initial 15.7 million estimate, instead they would come in at about 14.95 million units. Now, the company is estimating sales at 14.2 million units (the industry sold 16.2 million units in 2007). J.D. Power is citing the prolonged credit crisis, deteriorating economic conditions, and the high cost of fuel as reasons consumers are holding off on purchasing new vehicles. Not helping the matter, fleet sales (a common way for the automakers to boost sales in the past) are also down 21 percent from last year.
[Source: Automotive News, subs. req'd]