U.S. auto sales are picking up, with an annual selling rate that could exceed 12 million cars and light trucks in October, a senior Toyota Motor Corp. sales executive said Oct. 14. That would be the highest selling rate since last August, when "cash-for-clunkers" rebates stoked demand. Since then, the selling rate has been between 11 million and 12 million light vehicles.
"The truth is the industry is on the mend, but the economic recovery is much slower than many forecasted and certainly slower than many of us would have liked," Don Esmond, senior vice president at Toyota Motor Sales USA, told the Automotive Press Association.
"The good news is that the job market, personal consumption, capital spending and residential investment are inching up," he said. "The bad news is that lingering high unemployment and erratic stock prices are restraining consumer confidence and spending."