A year after the government’s massive spending program, Cash for Clunkers, United States automakers are reporting disappointing sales figures, suggesting that the long term effects of the initiative may be less stimulating than intended.
New vehicle sales for August fell 21 percent compared to last year when Cash for Clunkers was still rolling, according to CNN. The numbers are down 5 percent from July. In total, U.S. automakers sold fewer than 1 million vehicles for the month.
Some commentators have blamed the sluggish economy and slower than expected recovery for consumers’ reluctance to make major purchases.
"Car buying is far from repaired, and consumers hesitate before they make a big ticket purchase," Jesse Toprak, an analyst with the auto pricing site Truecar.com, told the news source. "It shows that the recovery is going to be much slower and more painful than expected."
Auto sales typically pick up in August, as manufacturers offer significant savings on their current inventory in anticipation of the new model year, which begins in the fall. However, sales figures for this past August were the lowest monthly figures in 28 years, according to Bloomberg News.