Auto Sales Slumped Badly in April

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Auto and light truck sales went from lackluster to downright bad in April:

The Wall Street Journal provides additional reasons to worry:

Another troubling sign: It is taking dealers far longer to sell off inventory, resulting in a glut of unsold cars and trucks. GM, the No. 1 U.S. auto maker, has nearly 1 million vehicles of unsold units on dealer lots….Fred Rentschler, a dealer in Slatington, Pa., said his family’s Chevrolet store has 120 models on the lot and another 50 being delivered, nearly 20% more than the same time last year. “They’re coming through with inventory,” he said. “We’re just not selling them as quickly.”

Also: discounts are high and interest rates are low. But that’s still not enough to get customers onto the lot. This is a modest downturn at the moment, but it’s yet another sign that something seems to be out of whack between what people say (consumer confidence is high) and what people are doing (retail sales are sluggish).

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