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Detroit automakers feeling the bite of COVID-19

Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0
General Motors headquarters in Detroit

Financial rating services are eyeing Detroit automakers as the COVID-19 outbreak slams auto sales.

On Wednesday, Moody's placed General Motors on negative watch for a possible ratings cut to junk level due to the disruption around the pandemic.

The rating service says GM is vulnerable to shifts in the market, due to “unprecedented operating conditions.”

Earlier in the week, Fitch, another ratings agency, downgraded Ford Motor Company’s credit rating. 

Some analysts expect vehicles sales to slide 35% this month, as consumers focus more on buying related to the coronavirus.

Going into 2020, analysts predicted U.S. auto sales would top 16.6 million this year.   Those predictions are now dropping to more than 14 million vehicles. 

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Radio since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.