GM also fears effects of shutdown on sales image

As the government shutdown reaches its third week, some automakers are already voicing their concern that it could potentially slow the industry’s robust increase tallied so far this year.

General Motors, the biggest US automaker, said the prolonged shutdown was a blow to the consumer confidence that automakers rely on to sell cars, even though for now it was rather early to forecast the potential full impact of the fiscal standoff.

“The longer this issue goes unresolved, the growing anxiety among consumers and the market will not help the industry keep up its strong pace,” said Greg Martin, a spokesman for General Motors.

Earlier this week, Hyundai also said its sales could go down by around 10% in October as uncertainty surrounds the shutdown, according to declarations made by John Krafcik, chief executive and president of Hyundai Motor America.

“Anytime you turn on the news, it’s all you’re hearing about,” Mr. Krafcik told Bloomberg on Monday. “We think that anxiety is the sort of anxiety that keeps customers, potential buyers, on the sidelines when they’re thinking about a big purchase like an automobile.”

The automakers are also riding the wave of a rather sluggish September, which registered a new vehicle sales decline of 4.2%. That was the first time industry deliveries had dipped since January 2011. Now, the increased economic uncertainty is another factor to concern  for analysts and industry observers in their forecasts for the rest of the year.

Via New York Times