By on December 2, 2011

November was a rough month on our analysts. The surprisingly strong showing of Chrysler threw everybody’s aim off. Real-time powered Jessica Caldwell of Edmunds takes the top spot again – but with a degree of precision that would have landed her back in the field in the preceding months. She won because the others did worse.

Rank Analyst  GM Ford  Chrysler  SAAR SAAR Diff OEM Diff Overall
1 Jessica Caldwell (Edmunds.com) 9.9% 12.0% 43.0% 13.6 0.22% 52.90% 53.12%
2 Patrick Archambault (Goldman Sachs) 5.1% 11.0% 43.0% 13.4 1.69% 52.90% 54.59%
3 Peter Nesvold (Jefferies) 7.9% 9.6% 43.0% 13.4 1.69% 53.30% 54.99%
4 Seth Weber (RBC) 7.6% 13.0% 40.0% 13.3 2.42% 52.60% 55.02%
5 Jesse Toprak (TrueCar.com) 6.3% 10.0% 38.0% 13.3 2.42% 57.70% 60.12%
6 Chris Ceraso (Credit Suisse) 6.3% 9.2% 38.0% 13.4 1.69% 58.50% 60.19%
7 Rod Lache (DeutscheBank) 6.5% 6.1% 31.0% 13.4 1.69% 68.40% 70.09%
8 Brian Johnson (Barclays) 9.2% 10.0% 17.0% 13.5 0.95% 80.20% 81.15%
9 Alan Baum (Baum & Associates) NA NA NA 13.6 0.22% 300.00% 300.22%
10 Itay Michaeli (Citigroup) NA NA NA 13.5 0.95% 300.00% 300.95%
11 Adam Jonas (Morgan Stanley) NA NA NA 13.5 0.95% 300.00% 300.95%
12 Himanshu Patel (JPMorgan) NA NA NA 13.4 1.69% 300.00% 301.69%
13 Jeff Schuster (LMC Automotive) NA NA NA 13.4 1.69% 300.00% 301.69%
14 George Magliano (IHS Automotive) NA NA NA 13.3 2.42% 300.00% 302.42%
Average 7.4% 10.0% 37.0% 13.4
Actual 7.0% 13.0% 92.0% 13.6

The November SAAR was guessed with high precision. The average of our analysts said 13.4 million, and the final result was 13.6. As for the Detroit automakers, those who had the guts to guess them (the only way to win this game) were in the ballpark on GM, were too pessimistic on Ford, and were off by a few universes on Chrysler: The best projection for Chrysler was less than half of the real result.

Jessica Caldwell of Edmunds wins with a dead-on prediction of the SAAR and the best of the bad guesses for the Detroit 3. She shares the podium with two financial analysts, Patrick Archambault of Goldman Sachs, and Peter Nesvold of Jefferies. Real-time data are no insurance against embarrassment: Jesse Toprak of TrueCar lands on place 5.

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21 Comments on “Grade The Analysts: Edmund’s Caldwell Does It Again...”


  • avatar
    jimmyy

    It is tough to be an analyst. You can’t rely on supply and demand to make forcasts. In our socialist auto world, compliments of Obama and the dems, the partially nationalized auto industry produces cars that are not needed but built on behalf of Obama and the Democrats. We get Detroit car lots full of cars that will be sold with huge discounts, all in the name of jobs in order to help Democratic elections. This is USSR like.

    Wall street is already on to this scheme. That is why auto stocks are down by as much as 50% from their highs, while the market is near it’s highs. This ends the lession in socialism for the day.

    • 0 avatar
      mikedt

      wow that is stinky bait.

    • 0 avatar
      OhioPilot09

      Yeah, I can’t help but think everyday how much we are living in USSR, we are sooo oppressed and have little freedom to chose anything in the OSA (Obama States of America)…Come on,give me a break. If the Detroit metal were that bad then people just wouldn’t buy them, no matter the discounts (which is what happened before the end of the world, I mean auto-bailouts).

      • 0 avatar
        Patrickj

        Gotta go! The black helicopter just landed in my yard and the SWAT team has kicked in the door.

        The commander said he’s marching me off to make me buy THREE new GM cars.

      • 0 avatar
        Kevin Kluttz

        @ ohio: It is that bad. People who buy “Detroit metal” (probably made in Mexico or Bangladesh or somewhere labor is 5 cents an hour) are either ignorant, gullible, too young to have noticed the reputation, or all three. They went BANKRUPT for a reason. And those reasons have not gone away. Barbecued Volts, anyone? Cruze steering wheels in your lap at 75 mph, anyone? Sheesh.

      • 0 avatar
        daveainchina

        @kevin klutz

        Actually I was looking at the dealer satisfaction surveys on another website. And I think that if you look, you will understand why GM, and the domestics do quite well year after year even with only average cars.

        The cars are good enough, in fact I’d go so far to say for any given segment the difference between the best cars and the worst cars is less than the best to the medium cars 10 years ago. So overall any car in any segment is going to be “good enough” for your average person.

        The real difference is the dealer experience, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gone into a Mitsubishi dealership ready to walk out with an Evo only to leave in about 10 minutes because the salesman came across as what I can best describe as slimy.

        The dealership experience is a big factor here, and too often I believe it is overlooked by the auto media and investors in general.

    • 0 avatar
      Sam P

      “We get Detroit car lots full of cars that will be sold with huge discounts, all in the name of jobs in order to help Democratic elections.”

      Well, if that’s the case they’re doing a horrible job; look at how long unemployment’s been above 9%.

    • 0 avatar
      fred schumacher

      This Thanksgiving weekend, I did a vehicle count while driving on I-94 across Minnesota. Domestic vehicles outnumbered imports by four to one, and domestic trucks outnumbered imports by about twenty to one. Since a high percentage of those vehicles predate the Obama presidency, does time move backwards in your universe, jimmyy?

      • 0 avatar
        golden2husky

        Speaking of voting, I’d vote to block jimmyy into cyber hell so that worthless comments like his would no longer be on TTAC. Trolls this large need their bridge removed.

      • 0 avatar
        George B

        Fred, I think this shows that there are regional differences. Here in North Texas domestic trucks are very popular, but the Tundra isn’t uncommon. In cars, the US built Japanese brand Camry, Accord, and Altima are the most popular, but the Malibu and Fusion are fairly common too. The lack of both snow and road salt means almost no rust and fewer 4 wheel/all-wheel drive vehicles.

      • 0 avatar
        Luke42

        @Fred Schumacher: “This Thanksgiving weekend, I did a vehicle count while driving on I-94 across Minnesota. Domestic vehicles outnumbered imports by four to one, and domestic trucks outnumbered imports by about twenty to one.”

        You’ve gotta look at the VIN to see where the vehicle was manufactured. For instance, my mother’s F-150 is an import from Ontario, Canada. (If you think Canada is just like the USA, just ask a Canadian and hang on…!)

        Ford is written all over the F-150, so you’d think that it was made in the USA, but the VIN says otherwise — and there are surely a large number of electronic and plastic parts under the hood were made in China, just like everything else we buy. Cars are a global business. Get over it.

        The closest car-manufacturing plant to my house is Mitsubishi. If I want a car made by my neighbors, I have to buy a Mitsubishi with a Japanese nameplate. Or a Subaru Outback made in Indiana. Both of these plants are closer to my house than Detroit, Windsor Ontario, Atlanta, or Mexico.

        Also, the Ford Escape is really a Mazda design, as is my Ford Ranger. Even if they were assembled in the USA, are they “American” vehicles if they were engineered in Japan and built largely out of Japanese parts?

        I’m not sorry I complicated your day. Welcome to the last two decades of the global economy!

    • 0 avatar
      pgcooldad

      I second Golden’s motion!

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      When did the Freemont Troll in Seattle get a laptop and WiFi connection? Who’d a thought a troll that big in the shadow of Lenin’s statue would be reading from Rush Limbaugh’s talking points!!!

  • avatar
    Brad2971

    Bertel, you may want to take a look at Edward’s post from yesterday regarding sales. That post says Chrysler Group’s total sales were up 45% from Nov. 2010 (though the Chrysler BRAND itself was indeed up 92%).

    This means that the analysts were reasonably close on Chrysler.

  • avatar
    philadlj

    I doubt even anyone but the most optimistic execs at Fiat-Chrysler expected a near-doubling of sales, despite 2010′s dismal numbers, and if they shared such a prediction with their peers, they’d probably have been called nuts. I can only imagine how well a totally new 200 will do for them.

    Chrysler did so well, it really cushioned the blow that was the Fiat 500 launch fiasco. It’s not like the company bet the farm on it immediately having success…though some dealers did, unfortunately. Fiat needs more than one niche model.

  • avatar
    Ron

    Ignoring Jimmyy’s illiteracy and Glenn Beck-induced paranoia, I have to point out that analysts can get a grip on sales only two ways: sampling dealers or quizzing the manufacturers. With tens of thousands of dealers, sampling just doesn’t work. While the domestic 2.5 are helpful, most imports aren’t. Even with help from the manufacturers, it is hard to be close because 1) a disproportionate number of sales come in the last days of month, when sales contests close; 2) fleet sales account for such a high percentage of retail sales; and 3) analyst contacts at the automakers like to “hint” on the cautious side so that the headlines will be, “Chrysler sales were up a better-than-expected 92%.” Note that five of the eight analysts with Chrysler forecasts had an identical 38% or 42% increase. This was not a coincidence. The Chrysler analyst contact almost certainly hinted something like, “we should be up around 40%.” He or she might have been on the low side because of a huge rental fleet delivery. Shipping 25,000 units to Avis is equal to a 0.3 million seasonally-adjusted annual rate.

  • avatar
    vbofw

    …but Bertel admitting a minute inconsequential number error would diminish his crusade against outing minute inconsequential number errors in all other automotive press!

    Just yanking your chain, Bertel!

  • avatar
    don1967

    I’m sorry, but what is the point of ranking stock analysts on a monthly chart again?

    I thought this sort of analysis went out with Nasdaq 5000.

  • avatar
    thornmark

    GM Channel Stuffing Surges To All Time Record
    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/gm-channel-stuffing-surges-all-time-record

    So much for “sales”.


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