US vehicles sales in 2003 are likely to be close to the near-record levels racked up so far this year, a senior General Motors executive told reporters at a Forbes Magazine forum in New York yesterday, according to Reuters.

According to Reuters, GM vice chairman and chief financial officer John Devine said that 2003 was shaping up to be a “reasonably good year” for the industry after incentives like zero-percent financing have fuelled near record vehicle sales this year.

Reuters said August sales of cars and trucks in the US soared to an annual rate of 18.7 million – second only to the record 21.3 million annual rate last October – thanks to the alluring deals that kept consumers rushing to showrooms.

Some analysts have feared that consumers will begin to lose their appetite for new vehicles, especially if the incentives are removed or the mortgage refinancing boom slows, Reuters added.

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