'Cash for clunkers' hangover: US car buyers avoiding car lots

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Indy Lifestyle Online
(Relaxnews) -

As predicted, with no "cash for clunkers" incentive to encourage US consumers, car sales fell last month to their lowest point since February, according to industry research firm Autodata on October 1.

Sales were down significantly compared with a year earlier, to the tune of 23 percent.

In terms of models, sales of the Toyota Prius are nearly outpacing inventory while the Ford F-Series pickup trucks defied the eco-friendly wave and rose for the second straight month.

Among manufacturers, General Motors was the top seller, but the recently bankrupt company has seen its overall market share fall from 29.1 percent in September 2008 to 20.8 percent a year later, a staggering fall of 44.8 percent.

Toyota, Ford and Honda followed the leader and have benefited from GM's demise but still reported monthly sale decreases between 6 and 20 percent compared with September 2008.

Chrysler, another company just out of the poorhouse, has dropped to fifth in popularity and has lost 42 percent of its car buyers since last September.

Allied South Korean brands Hyundai and Kia have risen to seventh and eighth place in popularity in the US and were the only major automakers to report year-on-year gains last month, each above 24 percent.

European automakers have held steady over the clunker era, with Volkswagen, Mercedes-Benz and BMW occupying spots 9 through 11.

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