Analysts are reducing estimates for U.S. automobile sales for 2011 and 2012, citing weak consumer confidence that has slowed the pace of recovery since May. J.D. Power & Associates lowered its estimate for U.S. auto sales in 2011 by 300,000 light vehicles to 12.6 million, the Westlake Village, California-based researcher said [Thursday] in a statement. The reduction by J.D. Power follows analysts at IHS Automotive in cutting expectations below the sales forecasts given by General Motors Co. and Ford Motor Co., the largest U.S. automakers. “The thought of a second-half recovery is just not in the cards,” Jeff Schuster, J.D. Power’s executive director of global forecasting, said [Thursday] in a phone interview.
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