It seems like the decision of scaling back the discounts took by automakers, didn't make it better for U.S. car sales. It's gonna be for the first time in the last 7 years when car sales get lower than even expected. Tomorrow the August auto sales reports are gonna arrive and while we really want some proof on our expectations, we can not forget that this sounds a bit strange even for us.
The reports may show a seasonally adjusted annual sales pace of about 17.2 million cars and light trucks according to a survey, that's down from a 17.9 million rate in July which was the highest of the year. Incentives were lower than in July, when General Motors Co. offered 20% cash back on several Chevrolet models. Car makers are not chasing sales, this practice has helped GM and Chrysler to restructure through bankruptcy, back in 2009. Transaction prices are at a record high as buyers opt for bigger vehicles with nicer interiors, electronics and driver-assist features. This discipline is gonna help the auto industry to stay profitable since it's backed up by: low unemployment, available credit, high quality valuations, cheap gasoline.
But even with this good plan, investors seem to be preoccupied a lot by the lack of growth in the U.S. market and potential disruption to the industry from new technology, new entrants and new concepts of personal mobility. With the discounts eased, industrywide sales may have fallen about 3.5% in August. Among the projected declines we've got Ford with 8.2%, GM with 4.9 %, and Volkswagen with a 6.6% decline.