Ford trucks parked in a lot in 2008 when U.S. automakers were hit by plummeting auto sales.
Spencer Platt | Getty Images
U.S. auto sales are estimated to have fallen by about 2% during the first half of the year, setting the industry up for its second year-over-year decline since it emerged from the Great Recession nearly a decade ago, two new studies warn.
How much deeper the downturn will go is a matter of debate, as is the timing of a market recovery, according to researchers from both the AlixPartners consultancy and auto data firm Edmunds. But even the modest decline predicted over the next three or so years, the studies agree, will strain the resources of automakers who have seen costs rising, even as sales and revenues slow.
“Automakers are fighting a war on multiple fronts right now,” said Jeremy Acevedo, manager of industry analysis for Edmunds, which released its midyear forecast Wednesday. “Old cars are piling up on dealer lots, a glut of affordable off-lease vehicles are…