The downward spiral in the US auto industry is accelerating, and there may be no improvement anytime soon.
According to a new report by CNBC, October is shaping up to be another terrible month for the industry, after an already abysmal September, as auto dealers around the country have been plagued by marked drops in retail sales and customer traffic in their showrooms.
Scott Adams, the owner of a Toyota dealership in Lee’s Summit, Missouri, told CNBC: “We are definitely seeing business pull back. September was off some, but this month our car sales are down 12 percent and our truck sales are down 23 percent." The report notes that the drop in sales was most pronounced last weekend.
Another dealer in Tampa Bay, Florida said that sales this month were down 13%. Mark Scarpelli, president of Raymond Chevrolet and Kia in Antioch, Illinois stated that "Customer traffic has moderated. There is a little bit more of a pause because of the higher interest rates." He said that although sales are keeping pace with the prior year, people are taking longer to buy.
Recall that in September, the average new car loan jumped $724 year-over-year to $30,958 in Q2 2018, while used vehicle loan amounts increased $520 to reach $19,708, both records.