By on January 6, 2010


What’s wrong with this picture? TTAC loves sales data, but lately we’ve become a little jaded with our own efforts to provide a thorough look under the hood of the industry. And as everyone in the auto business knows, when the going gets tough, the tough get outsourcing. TTAC is proud to announce that we’ve concluded a deal with the fine data crunchers at Morgan & Company, giving us (and you!) access to their magical spreadsheet kingdom. Needless to say, we’ll be spending much of 2010 wallowing in the beautiful data in hopes of providing a better picture of the industry’s nuts and bolts. For now, check out this chart of Detroit’s market share swan dive since the early 90s. One of these things is not like the other…

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32 Comments on “Now Playing At TTAC: New Car Sales Since 1993...”

  • avatar

    GM and Chrysler are in a race to the bottom.  Looks like Chrysler is winning.

  • avatar

    Ya, but Chysler had a huge head start!… Don’t count out GM just yet… In the race to zero, they just might surpise you!

  • avatar

    To beat a meme to death, overlay Hyundai’s market share onto that graph.

    I’m guessing that you’d be able to discern the impact of the introduction of the last gen Santa Fe, current gen Sonata and the 5/60k & 10/100k warranties on Hyundai’s sales.

  • avatar

    Hey, here is a challenge for all you B&B; what makes Ford’s line different than GM and Chrysler’s?

  • avatar

    nice :thumb up:

    I guessed it was them…

  • avatar

    While GM’s decline is more or less steady, there’s a sharp drop for Chrysler beginning in late 2007. And that, friends, is where a) the sale to Cerberus closed, and b) their current crop of minivans came on the market, and promptly bombed.

    Painful to watch.

  • avatar

    Wow, GM lost 5% market share in 1 year!

  • avatar

    the title says sales the data is percentage.
    If you are going to pay these fine folks at least have them get it right.

  • avatar

    I suspect the bumps in the curves correspond to when the automakers turn the incentives spigots on and off.

  • avatar

    If I extrapolated correctly (using a sheet of paper) 12-11 and it’s lights out for Chrysler.

  • avatar

    How long until Ford and GM’s lines cross? That’ll be the day in infamy.

  • avatar

    Interesting point: notice how Chrysler was doing quite well just before Daimler came in to “help” them.

  • avatar
    Joe ShpoilShport

    “One of these things is not like the other…”

    Anybody else sing the song?

  • avatar
    Jeff Puthuff

    Mark Morgan Cornelius needs to read Edward Tufte’s The Visual Display of Quantitative Information

  • avatar

    Absolutely correct.  All through the 90s until early 2008, Chrysler hung pretty steady, with share ranging from around 13 to 17 percent (which, incidentally, has been their share pretty much since the 50s).  Much of this was during the time in which they were (ahem) the most profitable car company in the US.  Much of it during the time that Daimler was sucking it dry, using the cash that Chrysler was spinning off to offset the red ink of the Mercedes unit during Jurgen Schremp’s years.
    Ford, too, stayed pretty steady after coming out of its tough period in the early 80s, until the Nasser years.
    The problem with this chart is that it does not start early enough.  It needs to go back another ten years, so that it would show Ford and Chrysler in the same range that they were in during the 90s, but showing GM falling from a share in the mid 40s with no letup.

    • 0 avatar
      Steven Lang

      jpcavanaugh, you win the unofficial ‘TTAC’ comment of the week… for now…
      Very salient remark.

    • 0 avatar
      Paul Niedermeyer

      Ideally, it would go back further. Morgan started their data base in 1993. It’s very affordable, but it has limitations. We’re going to make the best of it.

    • 0 avatar
      bumpy ii

      It’s sales volume instead of market share, but this one goes back to 1982 for most of the big players in the US.

      GM has lost over HALF of its business in the last five years. They’re screwed.

  • avatar

    There’s a double-whammy here: declining shares in a significantly shrunken market.

    For Chrysler, this is the end, my friend… the end. Their downtrend will steepen, because they’re reaching the point at which prospective customers will no longer believe the company can remain in business. The worse this gets, the faster it will get worse.

    My political instinct is that the end will come sooner rather than later. The Democrats currently have a big problem brewing regarding the November elections, and I expect they will want to neutralize the Chrysler boondoggle as an issue before then. That means "selling" the pieces to whoever will take them, and closing the doors. Then they will declare that the free marketplace has spoken.

  • avatar
    John Horner

    Ford gained share last year against GM and Chrysler for two main reasons:
    1) A much better rounded product portfolio. GM has a few hits and a bunch of also rans. Chrysler has mostly also rans. Ford, on the other hand, has very few stinkers. Even its oldest products (Panther & Ranger) still are strong in their niches.
    2) Ford kept its dealer base and brand base largely intact.
    I fully expect to see the GM and Ford market share lines cross sometime in the next few years.

    • 0 avatar

      So your thesis is that part of GM/Chrysler’s declining sales is the decline in their dealer network? 

      I have reason to doubt that.    Since 1949 we’ve lost about 27,000 new car delaers.   Yet total car sales are significantly higher.    2009 was a much better year than 1949, in total sales, despite have many fewer dealers.  

      Your are probably right about brands. There will be some brand loyalists lost to GM. Hard to see why a Poncho fan would reject of Chevrolet, but that’s the way it is for some people.

      You’re probably right about the brands. There will be some Pontiac, or Saturn loyalists who will be lost to GM.

      IOW, there is simply no straightforward relationship between the number of dealers and the number of cars sold.    During the last half of the 20th century we saw the sales line go generally up and to the right, while at the same time the number of dealers dwindled.     

      I suspect your point number one sums up the situation entirely.   GM and Chrysler just aren’t making many competitive vehicles.  

    • 0 avatar

      You missed point #3:  Ford did not take the same bailout as GM and Chrysler (in the minds of the public, at least; I know arguments can be made as to other fed subsidies/loans…)

    • 0 avatar

      I have noticed over the last few decades that brands with good product design and good reliability have increased market share and those with lousy reliability have lost it.

      Geuss which domestic has improved reliability in the real world?


  • avatar

    I’m curious as to whether improved quality and reliability over time has impacted sales. For example, if  a company were to make great cars that last 20 years and over a 10 year span everyone noticed this and bought one…isn’t that second decade going to be a real kick in the shorts?

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