Unless you must have a car now, if you are considering a domestic car–or even any car that directly competes with a domestic car–I would wait. Many proposed measures to save the domestic auto industry would have the effect of cutting car prices by thousands of dollars. If you buy a car now, you could pay thousands more.
The most ambitious proposal was made today by retired execs Hal Sperlick and Don Runkle (Automotive News article, sub required): the U.S. goverment should provide a $3,000 incentive towards any purchase of a domestic car.
My initial reaction: such an incentive would be unfair in so many ways that it just won’t happen.
But it, or something like it, could happen anyway.
What is clear: for GM and Ford to survive (I wrote off Chrysler when Cerberus bought them), auto sales cannot continue at their current level. To boost auto sales in the current economy, actual purchase prices are going to have to come down. A lot. And if even one manufacturer cuts prices, the others will have to follow.
So, if you don’t want to pay too much, wait.