Sales of cars and light trucks will slow down during the first few days of war with Iraq, but buyers are expected to return to showrooms at a typical rate after that, JD Power and Associates told Automotive News on Thursday.

A JD Power spokesman told the automotive trade newspaper that the research firm already had built war into its yearly and monthly sales forecasts. JD Power’s forecast for U.S. sales of cars and light trucks in March is 1.375 million, compared to 1.518 million in March 2002, Automotive News said, while the seasonally adjusted annual sales rate, based on March projections, is 15.25 million, down about 9.4% compared with March 2002’s SAAR.

“People will be kind of tuned into their TV set for the first few days, but we believe people will get back into their normal lives the best they possibly can, and that includes going out and buying vehicles,” said JD Power’s John Tews told Automotive News.