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Auto Sales in trouble (again!) likely never to regain 2005 peak of 17.4 million

Buyers are only just easing back into the market, reports the Seattle Times, January 5, 2011, page A-7.

Auto sales peaked at 17.4 million back in 2005 and dropped to 10.6 million in 2009. The peak was fueled, in part, by big incentives – like employee-discounts-for-everyone schemes popular in 2005.

GM vice president of U.S. sales for GM Don Johnson says GM expects sales eventually will creep back to 15 or 16 million, but not much higher.

The average vehicle on the U.S. roads is now 10.2 years old, the oldest since 1997, and a full year older than in 2007.

Cars made up 49.8 percent of sales in 2010, while truck sales made up 50.2 percent,a nd trucks and SUV sales keep growing: in December 2010, they were 54.3% of total sales.

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