June auto sales down, but not out - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

June auto sales down, but not out

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MADISON (WKOW)--While 2009 has been a dismal year for the auto industry, there are signs that U-S auto sales may be turning a corner.

And Ford is in the driver's seat; the only one of the big three that has not filed for bankruptcy. 

Ford reported a drop in U-S sales of nearly 11% in June.  That's better-than- expected, considering the carmaker was bracing for a drop of up to 20%.

"I think Ford beating analysts expectations is a good sign and not only that, they've kind of done it for a few months now, " says auto analyst Jessica Caldwell of Edmunds.com.

In second place, Toyota. Their U-S sales are down more than 30%.

"They have been struggling for quite a few months now.  They're not as well equipped to deal with the crisis situation and how to handle it, how to turn sales around because they haven't had to in this country," says Caldwell.

General Motors sales fell by 33% and Chrysler, 42% from June, 2008. Both automakers are working through bankruptcy, raising the stakes for taxpayers when it comes to their results.

"They own part of GM, and own Chrysler.  Anything that comes out good, bad, negative has an effect on all of us really."

Analysts warn GM and Chrysler sales could continue to decline, because many of the incentives that are getting Americans into their showrooms may not be around much longer now that inventories are shrinking.

"Really the story for consumers is: if you're thinking of buying a new car, now a good time to take a look."

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