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Auto Industry Predictions Too Optimistic?  

Comstock/Thinkstock(DALLAS) -- This was supposed to be the year for a major turnaround in U.S. auto sales. Now, those predictions are being tempered. The big, bold voice of the automakers has been drowned out in the last few weeks by a stock market that threatens to cut into consumer spending on things like cars and trucks.

Earlier predictions of auto sales topping $13.5 million this year now seem overly optimistic. One positive is that banks are loosening up on lending, and that may convince some Americans that it's time to replace that old car.  

But one report issued Thursday by consulting firm A.T. Kearney says that auto sales should return to normal in 2012, according to USA Today.  The firm says potential buyers will get back to spending for new vehicles, including those who put off buying during the recession.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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