Toyota sales are down about 1 percent from this time last year.
Toyota sales are down about 1 percent from this time last year. - 
Listen To The Story

Toyota has just released its latest earnings report.

It comes on the heels of its July sales report, which showed that sales were down roughly 1 percent from this time last year. Sales at Ford and GM also fell last month.

It’s safe to say that auto sales in the U.S. are leveling off.

“Yeah, it does look that way,” said Dave Sedgwick, a correspondent for Automotive News. “The economy expands, auto sales go up.  The economy shrinks, auto sales go down. A lot of people believe that the economy in the U.S. is starting to tail off a bit.”

Another roadblock? Leased vehicles are flooding the used car market, taking a bite out of new car sales. But while car sales may have plateaued, they’re still high.

"Plateauing at a level of high 16 million to low to mid 17 million units is still very healthy," said David Whiston, an equity strategist at Morningstar who covers the auto industry. "So it sort of depends how you look at it.”

Whiston said, remember, sales bottomed out at around 10 million vehicles a year during the recession.

“I think the best compliment I can give is not to say how much your programs have taught me (a ton), but how much Marketplace has motivated me to go out and teach myself.” – Michael in Arlington, VA

As a nonprofit news organization, what matters to us is the same thing that matters to you: being a source for trustworthy, independent news that makes people smarter about business and the economy. So if Marketplace has helped you understand the economy better, make more informed financial decisions or just encouraged you to think differently, we’re asking you to give a little something back.

Become a Marketplace Investor today – in whatever amount is right for you – and keep public service journalism strong. We’re grateful for your support.

Follow Nancy Marshall-Genzer at @MarshallGenzer