Late each month, J.D. Power and LMC Automotive issue a projection for the month’s final automotive sales and the estimate for August is not looking good: new-vehicle retail sales are expected to be down 6.5% from a year ago. GM is expected to report lower sales for the 5th consecutive month. General Motors has lost nearly a full point of market share this year, although one executive says it’s because of reduced rental sales, which are less profitable anyway. GM has dropped from the top automaker for rental vehicles to No.4 this year…. As automotive sales slow, the Chief Economist of the National Automobile Dealers Association thinks it’s likely that leasing will become even more of a factor in keeping sales numbers up. Leasing accounted for over 31% of new vehicle transactions in the year’s first half, but Steven Szakely of the NADA expects it will go up, saying, “I think this could easily be 40% of the market.” Edmunds.com senior analyst Jessica Caldwell agrees, saying “I think (leasing can increase) because consumers really like it.” The percentage of leasing transactions generally runs higher for more expensive vehicles….Chevrolet has confirmed the Bolt battery-electric hatchback will reach dealers before the end of the year—there had been some reports the model would be delayed into 2017. Chevy has said the Bolt can go more than 200 miles on a single charge. It’s priced as low as $30,000 after a $7,500 federal tax credit.