By on August 2, 2011

With full sales numbers reported for July, TTAC is proud to announce its first-ever auto analyst grades [analyst estimates via Bloomberg]. For now we’re simply grading SAAR projections, but we’ve included OEM projections where applicable, for your own comparison. For July, the top-rated analyst was Edmunds.com’s Jessica Caldwell, whose SAAR prediction was an uncanny .5% off the actual number. Congratulations to Jessica and the Edmunds team, as well as our other A-rated analysts, Rod Lache of Deutsche Bank and Peter Nesvold of Jefferies (who squeaked in with an A-). Hit the jump to see how we calculated our grades.


Here’s how the grading works: we calculate the percentage each analyst’s projection was off by and grade on the following scale:

<1% = A+
1%-2% = A
2%-3% = B
3%-4% = C
4%-5% = D
>5% = F

And at least for July, there’s evidence that our grade scale is a good one: the panel of analysts averaged a mid-to-high C, and there were only two Fs and one D. Be sure to check back next month, when we will again grade the panel of analysts in hopes of establishing a running track record.

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5 Comments on “TTAC Grades The Analysts: Edmunds Receives First A+...”


  • avatar
    thirty-three

    Jessica Caldwell’s projections for GM and Ford are also very close to the actual results. Her projection for Chrysler is way off though.

    By the way, what do those percentages represent? Marketshare?

  • avatar

    Year-over-year volume growth. In other words, the percentage difference between last month’s volume and July 2010′s volume.

  • avatar
    Pch101

    Personally, I would judge an analyst by their stock picks and their assessments of the companies more than I would by the SAAR or their volume forecasts.

    My memory is foggy, but as I recall, a lot of auto analysts aren’t very good. TTAC did a better job of assessing Detroit’s problems, including correctly identifying exactly what the problems were, than did the securities folks. A lot of them were duped by Wagoner’s claims that cost reductions and labor negotiations would save GM; if they had understood the problem, then they would have known that the most important problems were related to product, brand weakness and excessive channels, and that cost reductions wouldn’t be enough.

  • avatar

    Hi Ed,

    Thanks for your analyst grades. I think it’s a fantastic idea. I think the grading is a bit flawed though, since you’re going by the SAAR number, which can have its inaccuracies, especially this month, with the BEA not providing the SAAR factor until earlier today, which made SAAR a total nightmare this month. I believe the grading should be based on overall unit sales.

    For example, to look at this month, lets compare Edmunds.com vs. TrueCar.com.

    Here’s where the overall numbers lie for July 2011:

    Overall Industry:
    Industry Actual July 2011 Sales: 1,048,563
    Edmunds.com Forecast: 1,066,102 units (off by 17,539 actual Industry sales)
    TrueCar.com: Forecast: 1,041,345 (off by 7,218 actual Industry sales)

    Please let me know if you have any questions.

    Thanks,
    Chintan Talati
    TrueCar.com

    • 0 avatar

      Hey Chintan, thanks for the feedback (someone has to grade the graders)!. We’re going to be expanding our “report card” in future months to include grades for OEM estimates in addition to SAAR, and we’ll look at adding unit sales as well.


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