With flat sales expected for the month of August, problems on the stock market and renewed talk of a recession, many analysts are downgrading their year-end sales expectations, cautioning that the industry might fall short of the totals that were predicted at the beginning of the year.
In January, many analysts felt like this would be a comeback year for the industry. Sales were hot at the end of 2010, and they continued through January and February. However, things cooled off considerably after that, not helped by high fuel costs and the Japanese earthquake.
Now, with many analysts not forecasting a major second-half bounce-back, some are tempering their 2011 expectations - and beyond. Automotive News reports that six analysts have shaved 200,000 or more vehicles off of their projections. Others are already looking ahead to a slower-than-expected 2012. Goldman Sachs and IHS Automotive both cut their expectations by more than 1 million cars for 2012.
Jeff Schuster, an analyst for J.D. Power, was not much more positive. He shaved 300,000 of his estimates for 2011, down to 12.6 million. For 2012, he took off 600,000 cars, down to 14.1 million.
"We're going to grow out of this stall," he told the news source, "although slower than we anticipated."