Auto Sales Crater

Ford:  Sales down 26%, Cars down  8.9%, Trucks off 32.3%.  This was, according to Bloomberg, their 21st decline in 22 months. Sales of cars and trucks dropped to 155,690 from 212,120.

Volvo: Sales off 48.8%

Nissan: Sales rose 14%, to 108,493 vehicles in the U.S. last month. Gains were led by the new Maxima sedan, and the Rogue crossover.

Toyota sales falling 9.4%, while Honda fell 7%.

Daimler (Mercedes-Benz, and the Smart) said sales fell less than 1%.

GM announced Employee-Discount-For-Everyone deals continuing through the end of September. Despite the incentives, General Motors sales fell 20%.

Chrysler reported that August 2008 sales in the US were down 34%.

See also:
Honda Passes Chrysler as Asia Brands Widen Share in the U.S.
Alan Ohnsman and Mike Ramsey
Bloomberg, Sept. 4 2008
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=aesgmsvAHU0o& 

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  1. VennData commented on Sep 3

    The BK(s) will be interesting. The PBGC and Medicare will take care of the “human costs.”

    I feel like the guy at the dinner table after everyone’s skipped out, checked their wallets (“No cash, Man,”) their purses (“I need to go to the ATM”)

    “… no, I’ll get it… it’s all right, let me pick up your pension and health care, my treat.”

  2. rj commented on Sep 3

    Ouch on Volvo. 49%.

  3. Jeff M. commented on Sep 3

    All aboard the D-Train! All aboard!!

  4. Vermont Trader commented on Sep 3

    My calc’s have rolling averages of daily volume at the lowest levels in 5 years…

    If this was a bull market we would see volume ramp up as the market challenges resistance.

    We are seeing the opposite.

    BR- how is traffic?

    In the 2001 reccession there was a spike in traffic for CNBC as the market started to roll over. But once it got really bad traffic dropped because people didn’t want to know and they just stopped watching……

  5. Rob Dawg commented on Sep 3

    Ventura Volvo (on the left coast) has closed its doors after being on track to sell only 100 cars in 2008. 28 employees. Shakeout a’comin’.

  6. johnnyvee commented on Sep 3

    Commodities are a drop’n. It’s hard to cheerlead when everything has lost money this year and there is no bottom in sight. I am waiting for some real big black days.

  7. Stuart commented on Sep 3

    Terrible and telling. Still, all that seems to matter is that the Treasury dept continues to get it pound of flesh so it can pay the bills.

  8. Jeff M. commented on Sep 3

    The economy sure does look healthy to me…..when is the bailout for GM and Ford? How many bailouts can this nation afford and still have a functioning economy (and currency)?

    NEWS ALERTfrom The Wall Street Journal Sept. 3, 2008GMAC Financial Services and its Residential Capital unit plan to close all 200 GMAC Mortgage retail offices and reduce ResCap’s work force by 60%, or 5,000 jobs. ResCap, a large subprime-mortgage lender, lost $4.3 billion in 2007, and GMAC spent much of the year restructuring the firm, including job cuts and an overhaul of the business model. But the losses have continued to mount. GMAC, once a wholly owned unit of General Motors, is now 51% owned by private-equity firm Cerberus Capital Management.

  9. everyone’s an expert online commented on Sep 3

    ***sigh*** Billy Ford killed Volvo by neglecting product development.

    If any brand could have thrived in a $4-gas/green-conscious/hybrid world it should have Volvo.

    Hyundai should buy Volvo to shed its frumpy image.

  10. everyone’s an expert online commented on Sep 3

    ***sigh*** Billy Ford killed Volvo by neglecting product development.

    If any brand could have thrived in a $4-gas/green-conscious/hybrid world it should have Volvo.

    Hyundai should buy Volvo to shed its frumpy image.

  11. everyone’s an expert online commented on Sep 3

    ***sigh*** Billy Ford killed Volvo by neglecting product development.

    If any brand could have thrived in a $4-gas/green-conscious/hybrid world it should have Volvo.

    Hyundai should buy Volvo to shed its frumpy image.

  12. everyone’s an expert online commented on Sep 3

    ***sigh*** Billy Ford killed Volvo by neglecting product development.

    If any brand could have thrived in a $4-gas/green-conscious/hybrid world it should have Volvo.

    Hyundai should buy Volvo to shed its frumpy image.

  13. Big J commented on Sep 3

    Volvo is going the way of Saab…an irrelevant brand that will become a pointless drain on corporate resources. Of course, this is happening because they have the mothership (aka Ford) making all the big decisions for them.

    Volvo is supposed to be the safest car on the road, right? So when was the last time you saw a Volvo ad featuring safety??? Probably around 1999 when Ford acquired them. Way to go, Bill!

    Ford has not made one dime in profit on any of their acquisitions. First it was Jaguar, now Volvo.

  14. Brendan commented on Sep 3

    I’ve been saying for years, and my opinion still holds, that there have been too many cars produced for the last several years. People were able to make the irrational decision to trade in cars every few years when the house ATM was still dispensing cash, but now the reality is setting in. Cars have gotten so much more reliable in the last decade that the “conventional” thinking to trade up every few years is no longer applicable (or logical). Prices in the used car market has been quite depressed, if you really analyze it. $2K for a 60K major tuneup and another worry free 60K miles out of your current car, or $20K for a new car. The answer changed two years ago when the house stopped dispensing cash and the car companies are feeling the effects. Computer sales might be a better indicator of the state of the economy!

  15. Hal commented on Sep 3

    the beige book says auto sales slow–ummmm

    also, on cars–the sales tax on cars is huge–3-4,000–so its easy to justify keeping and repairing a car

    leasing–at least in my state-you pay sales tax when leasing. Then, when you get a new car 3 years later–another sales tax–or if you buy out the lease, you pay sales tax a second time

    reasons to buy cars getting fewer and fewer

  16. leftback commented on Sep 3

    Jeff M. @ 1:05:04 PM

    All aboard the D-Train! All aboard!!

    Thank you, Jeff. Sounds like a lot more people are going to be on the train these days – at least those who still have jobs.

  17. leftback commented on Sep 3

    Wednesdays have become very boring now that the oil madness is basically at an end – we used to have dozens of oil bulls posting interesting if insane material while the bubble was inflating. Still that’s over now – and Ospraie have been carried out on a stretcher.

    Anyone care to share what technicals they are watching? I have been following Barry’s advice: “Don’t just do something, sit there!” while keeping an eye on resistance at XLF 22.00, and half an eye on the 2-year yield at 2.25.

    I am also beginning to look at the $ index and wondering how long this bull move can continue before we see a correction. Trends are important but it is not usually one-way traffic.

  18. AGG commented on Sep 3

    Volvo sales down?
    Shrinks are facing depression.

  19. mike commented on Sep 3

    “The 45 percent drop compared to the previous year is in line with Porsche expectations and can be explained by the upcoming launch of the new 911 Carrera and Targa models,” it said in a statement.

    It’s quite clear Ford and GM don’t have the right product lines if Nissan can eke out sales gains. Economies like this will sort out the companies with poor product lines from the quality ones.

  20. NOR commented on Sep 3

    Whats your problem?
    All the autostocks are up today anyways..

  21. rj commented on Sep 3

    As far as Nissan’s sales gains, if Cerberus ever decides to throw in the towel on running Chrysler, the common wisdom in Detroit is Chrysler will be bought by Nissan-Renault.

  22. larster commented on Sep 3

    What a bunch of brainy guys at Cerebrus. Chrysler and Rescap. Maybe Dan Quayle and John Snow are actually making decisions and not just taking up space on the masthead. Seems to me we need some people to think outside the box and get our auto industry to the next stage w/o billions of sunk federal dollars. The retention of profits over here and the jobs make this a must do, but we have a group of uber rich people running the country that say “what’s the problem?”.

  23. Peter B commented on Sep 3

    The Beige Book describes the economic growth environment as “slow.” What stands out the most is the comments on exports. “A # of districts reported that export orders were bolstering mfr’g activity, but mfr’s in several of those Districts have noted some recent slowing in growth from this source.” Consumer spending was slow in most districts. Residential was soft and commercial RE was slow and “some districts reported further slackening in demand for office and retail space.” On banking, bank lending was generally steady or showed slowing growth with weakness in demand for residential mortgages and consumer loans but near steady demand for C&I loans. Standards tightened everywhere. On inflation, “all districts reported continuing upward price pressure from elevated input costs, although several noted recent retreats in” commodity prices. Labor mkt’s were unch or somewhat softer than the last report.

  24. Jeff M. commented on Sep 3

    @Larster: “….but we have a group of uber rich people running the country that say “what’s the problem?”.

    If you watched the GOP convention last night, that would be the conclusion any sane thinking (or even breathing) person would come to……

    Not one mention of the economy last night. All is well in old white rich guy fairy tale land. Shit, if Fred Thompson doesn’t personally know anyone who’s struggling, then the economy must be just fine!

  25. Scorpio commented on Sep 3

    none of this matters because Sarah Palin is the second coming of somebody or other, and she’s going to make things all right

  26. Eric W commented on Sep 3

    Re: Nissan sales. One of the major “frugal” websites has a 170 something PAGE thread on the Nissan deals over the past two months. SUV’s and trucks for about 40% off MSRP. There was apparently an unpublicized dealer incentive of $5000 on top of all the regular publicized inventives. The Nissan numbers don’t surprise me as they had a “fire sale” on their larger vehicles

  27. Eric W commented on Sep 3

    Re: Nissan sales. One of the major “frugal” websites has a 170 something PAGE thread on the Nissan deals over the past two months. SUV’s and trucks for about 40% off MSRP. There was apparently an unpublicized dealer incentive of $5000 on top of all the regular publicized inventives. The Nissan numbers don’t surprise me as they had a “fire sale” on their larger vehicles

  28. Eric W commented on Sep 3

    To add to the above post – Quest vans were also included in the incentive plan.

  29. BobC commented on Sep 3

    So the durable goods increase had no autos in the mix?

  30. bluestatedon commented on Sep 3

    “Billy Ford killed Volvo by neglecting product development.”

    He’s continuing the fine tradition started by his father, who’s neglected product development of the Detroit Lions for over 44 years. Unfortunately, killing Volvo is going to affect people in a much more serious way than just producing football assclownery every Sunday.

  31. Mbuna commented on Sep 3

    Daimler sales down less than 1%? See, it’s the whiners that aren’t buying those other cars. “They need to stop whining and go see their auto dealer!” a hypothetical quote from Phil Gramm

  32. Jon H commented on Sep 3

    “If any brand could have thrived in a $4-gas/green-conscious/hybrid world it should have Volvo”

    No kidding. Around Boston, Volvos and Priuses are everywhere. A serious hybrid Volvo (rather than a “you’re not even trying” hybrid that gives a 2 mpg benefit like the Malibu) ought to sell like hotcakes.

  33. ben commented on Sep 3

    hmmm. this is interesting, clearly the consumer is levered up but perhaps:

    people don’t want to buy new cars because they constantly hear about alt. energy, or all the new buzz about electric or nat gas cars and wonder why they should spend the money on a new car right now if they won’t be able to drive it at some time in the future. my guess is up until a year ago suv’s were still selling and now they can’t give them away so it has an amplified impact on the numbers posted here.

  34. Pool Shark commented on Sep 3

    Suggested advertising campaign:

    “At Ford, quality quantity is job 1.”

  35. Blue Bellied Yankee commented on Sep 3

    There has to be something wrong with the auto sales numbers. GDP up several percent, inflation down so how can the auto sales numbers be right? Better have the auto company adjust them for the whiners discount.

  36. huxrules commented on Sep 3

    I’ve personally wanted to get in on the super cheap pickups. 25k for a crew cab 4×4 sweet! However the problem is your trade is worth ziltch. Most dealers suggest you sell your own car first. Also most car loans are 6% or heigher. For most people this means they stay in their old car. Similar to the housing market in most respects. I would watch out for insurance companies as more and more cars get “torched” and “stolen”.

  37. nathan commented on Sep 3

    Trucks may be down a lot due to a double whammy: construction and real estate slowdown along with gas prices elevated.

  38. David Davenport commented on Sep 4

    As far as Nissan’s sales gains, if Cerberus ever decides to throw in the towel on running Chrysler, the common wisdom in Detroit is Chrysler will be bought by Nissan-Renault.

    Why does Nissan need to get involved with the UAW? Why does Nissan need any former Chrysler production capacity?

    Maybe the only valuable item Chrysler has is the rights to the “Jeep” brand name.

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