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August U.S. Light-Vehicle Sales Rise but Miss Expectations

Executive Summary

Lean inventory, elevated prices and lukewarm incentives, combined with rising interest rates, could be keeping more buyers out of the market. Some could be waiting for more deals which often was the case in the summer months in most years prior to the pandemic’s start in 2020, as automakers and dealers offloaded excess inventory before widespread availability of next model-year vehicles in the fourth quarter – a strategy not used in recent years, including 2023, due to a lack of excess inventory caused by the pandemic/supply-chain disruptions.

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