U.S. auto sales in August probably were the slowest for the month in 28 years as model-year closeout deals failed to entice consumers concerned the economy is worsening and they may lose their jobs.
Heading over the peak of a non-recovery into a double-dip recession is no fun at all, certainly not like the rush of going over a peak on a roller-coaster. The market for cars in the U.S. is mature and will decline as gasoline gradually becomes priced out of reach for the poor and working class American. Natural gas finds all over the world are certainly increasing but the energy industry will need years to convert those supplies to deliverable vehicle fuels available to Joe Six Pack.
There may be a silver lining in these auto numbers. Americans who can't afford cars anymore may have to move to places where work commutes are serviced by mass transit. I sincerely hope that buses and trains become the preferred mode of transit for most Americans.
Full disclosure: No positions in makers of cars, trains, or buses at this time. I do drive a blue 2003 Ford Mustang but I also take BART and SF Muni as much as possible.