The slumping US economy is casting shadows over the New York Auto Show, as industry forecasters this week cut their projections for sales of new cars and light trucks in 2008 to less than 15 million, the lowest level in 14 years. Chrysler, GM, and Ford, who had been projecting sales of 15.5 to 15.7 million, are preparing for a fresh round of belt tightening, the Wall Street Journal reports .
Earlier predictions of a rebound in the second half of the year are looking dubious. "Clearly, the economy is contracting," a Ford exec said. "It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see that." He said Ford would not resort to discounts in order to boost sales but would "keep ahead of what we see in the marketplace and adjust production accordingly." Two years ago the Big Three were selling 17 million new vehicles.