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This article is from our archives and has not been updated and integrated with our "new" site yet... Even so, it's still awesome - so keep reading!

Published on Mon, Sep 6, 2010

By: The LACar Editorial Staff

Dodge at the Woodward Dream Cruise

Much has been made so far about how terrible August sales were compared to this time last year. While it is no secret that we were in the midst of the government-sponsored “Cash-for-Clunkers” program that artificially inflated sales this time last year, August 2010 results strike us as reasonable given the state of the economy and the beginning of model-year closeout sales. Perhaps a better gauge of how consumer vehicle sales are trending is to focus on month-over-month sales, rather than year-over-year. Shopper activity on Kelley Blue Book’s is tracking more than 16 million visits per month, and holding steady at that rate. While the interest is there on the part of the consumer, most are reluctant to dive into another financing program, and many more are likely holding out hope for big incentives going into Labor Day. Equally important when trying to understand this year’s sales is the fact that the manufacturers seem to have learned hard lessons from the past and are holding production levels in line with real and honest demand. If consumers are waiting for a "fire sale,” then chances are they will be kept in anticipation for a very long time. We see that incentives are up year-over-year, but not at the insane levels I think some consumers are looking for. September could be just as challenging as manufacturers are hoping to train consumers to not expect BIG deals. James Bell, Executive Market Analyst, Kelley Blue Book

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