General Motors, Ford and Toyota reported dramatic declines in sales for August stemming from the weak US economy and record gas prices, Bloomberg reports. Ford's domestic sales plunged 27% and GM's 20%, and both automakers will cut second-half production by the tens of thousands. Toyota fared better, down just 9.4%, though all saw large declines in the sales of SUVs.
The dip in demand could spell a larger market share for Japanese automakers, analysts say. But some expect the slump to reverse as gas prices level out and "panic shoppers" move away from fuel-efficient vehicles. One GM rep said the company expects "some resurgence in demand for full-size SUVs and pickups" next year.