DETROIT -- J.D. Power and Associates today lowered its 2008 U.S. sales forecast to 14.95 million vehicles -- the lowest 2008 projection on record from a major industry observer.
Most watching the industry expect 15.5 million to 15.7 million U.S. vehicle sales this year, down from the roughly 16.1 million vehicles sold in 2007.
The continued flow of bad economic news about tightening credit markets, the suffering housing market, declining consumer spending and record oil prices have contributed to what J.D. Power expects to be the lowest year for new-car sales since 1994.
While the automotive industrys slow performance in January and February certainly contributes to the anticipated drop in new-vehicle sales, declining consumer confidence and spending, as well as turbulent financial and economic market conditions, are primarily driving the decline, Jeff Schuster, J.D. Power executive director of automotive forecasting, said in a statement.