Auto sales expected to have improved slightly over past months

Many automotive companies and analysts are predicting that July’s sales numbers will show only a mild improvement over May and June as the industry recovers from the production setbacks that followed in the wake of the earthquakes in Japan.

As dealers recover their inventories, many drivers remain wary of purchasing vehicles due to high unemployment rates and an unsteady economic recovery. USA Today reports that dealership incentives last month were 15 percent less prevalent than in July 2010.

“Most of the used car inventory is created by cars coming off leases and they tend to run in three-year cycles,” Joe Lombardo, sales manager at Volvo of Charlottesville, told The Daily Progress. “Most of the used car inventory now is made up of cars sold in 2008, but 2008 sales were pretty low because of the economy – I used to see 1,200 cars coming off of lease in any given month, but this year it’s sometimes as few as 64 to 200.”

Vehicle availability and an unstable market may factor directly into auto sales, but there are still plenty of affordable options for people who want to purchase cars, new or used, with auto loans.