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US auto sales expected to drop in May on shortages

The Associated Press - Jun 1, 2011

The U.S. auto industry hit a pothole in its recovery in May, as shortages of cars and a dearth of deals kept consumers home.

Automakers are expected to release May sales figures starting around 11 a.m. EDT Wednesday.

Analysts are expecting total sales of around 1.1 million cars and trucks, down 8 percent from April and down 4 percent from last May. The annualized pace of sales which shows what sales would be if they stayed at the same pace for the whole year is expected to fall below 13 million for the first time since January.

The shortage of Japanese cars after the March 11 earthquake is one reason for the slump. Toyota Motor Corp., Honda Motor Co. and Nissan Motor Co. curtailed production after the quake. While they had some vehicles in their inventory that sold in March and April, the product shortages were most acute in May. Honda said last week that it expects to return to near-normal production in North America by August. Toyota expects a return to 70 percent of normal production in North America this month.

Read Full Article from The Associated Press

- Posted: 2011-06-01 09:34:25

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