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Automotive Industry Has a Cruel, Cruel Summer

The impact of the mortgage crises fallout continues to plague the automotive industry. July sales for light vehicles fell to 12.5 million from 15.3 million last year. Pick-ups and SUVs were down 31 percent; car sales, down 7.4 percent, according to The Economist (opens in new tab).

The publication said other automotive sectors were being dragged down as well. Used trucks prices are down 20 percent from last year, driving down the resale value of leased vehicles to the point where Chrysler announced that it was getting out of the business of leasing.

The July sales figures followed depressing quarterly results for Ford, which logged a record $8.7 billion loss, and GM, which reported a loss of $15.5 billion. Privately held Chrysler did not report financial data.

The automotive industry represents the single largest buyer of TV time. The Television Bureau of Advertising reported this month that spending in the category was down 17 percent in the second quarter compared to the same period last year.