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Monthly Sales Expected To Slide Some Compared To February

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On: Fri, Apr 1, 2011 at 4:18PM | By: Tim Healey

Monthly Sales Expected To Slide Some Compared To February

With sales numbers expected to be released on Friday for the month of March, automotive-industry analysts and experts are expecting numbers to tumble somewhat month over month.

There are three main reasons for that: Supply disruptions caused by the natural disasters in Japan, higher gas prices, and the expiration of some incentives.

The high gas prices have especially negatively affected consumer confidence, along with truck and SUV sales. And the parts disruption caused by what's happening in Japan hasn't helped. As consumers worry that they might not be able to take delivery of a certain model—or even choose a certain color—they might put off purchases until the situation is more settled.

Even with those threats to the marketplace, there is a possibility that sales could actually be up, driven by small-car sales. The increase in small-car sales could offset losses in the truck and SUV categories, although small cars tend to be less profitable for automakers.

It's also possible that the market experienced a run on Japanese-built automobiles, with buyers fearing that supply disruptions could make those models more scarce in the next few months.

No matter what happens on Friday, it's clear that March has been an interesting month for the recovering market. The bigger question analysts must now ask is this: Will high gas prices and the situation in Japan continue to impact the industry going forward into the spring and summer?

The only way to answer that is to look at the sales reports as they are released each month.

It's an unpredictable industry, and this is an unpredictable time.


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