[/can't be seen by Forbes lawyers]Standard & Poor's Ratings Services described domestic demand for motor vehicles since the beginning of the year as "sluggish." However, S&P in a new industry report also said it still expects total 2004 U.S. light-vehicle sales of 16.8 million units, which would represent an increase over the 16.6 million vehicles sold here in 2003. According to S&P, "Better general economic conditions should enable some abatement of price competition. However, the 'pull-forward' effect of past price discounting, plus the dampening effects of rising interest rates, declining lease terminations, and lengthening consumer auto loan terms will all constrain the extent of volume and pricing improvement." The report predicted difficult long-term industry trends, including mature North American and Western European markets, a proliferation of competing products, and continued excess production capacity. S&P also projected "sub par financial performances" for the automotive operations of General Motors (nyse: GM - news - people ), Ford Motor (nyse: F - news - people ) and DaimlerChrysler's (nyse: DCX - news - people ) U.S. unit Chrysler Group.
It has been a buyers market. Most good shoppers can buy virtually any makes (including but not limited to Porsche, BMW, Mercedes, and even Lotus except the Elise) for no more than $1000 over invoice.babak said:So does that mean bettter buyers market?