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Will Auto Sales Heat Up This Summer?

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AP

Ask Ford President of the Americas Mark Fields if he expects strong sales in the month of May, and you get an interesting response.

Yes, he expects double-digit industry growth and Ford should have a relatively strong month, but his interest has already shifted to June.

June, according to Fields, will be the true indication if this is a strong summer for the auto industry, or if the car companies will have moderate growth.

Ask dealers, and you'll hear the same thing.

There is a concern consumer confidence will start to lag and put the brakes on a solid, if not spectacular rebound in auto sales.

Who can blame dealers for being worried?

In the last two months a collection of issues have put some doubt in the minds of many potential buyers.

With inventory levels lean, the automakers are in position to withstand less than robust sales. Still, a pause in sales is not what the industry needs right now. Which is why so many people will be watching to see how business goes Memorial Day Weekend.

Memorial Day has historically been one of the strongest weekends of the year for auto sales. This year, sales should be fairly strong according to a number of analysts. If that in fact turns out to be the case, it could bode well for June.

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