The Truth About Cars » February 2012 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Sun, 03 Aug 2014 14:50:20 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.1 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars editors@ttac.com editors@ttac.com (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars » February 2012 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/themes/ttac-theme/images/logo.gif http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com Chinese Car Sales Go Limp http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/03/chinese-car-sales-go-limp/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/03/chinese-car-sales-go-limp/#comments Sat, 10 Mar 2012 15:05:36 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=434480 China’s February new car sales are in, and they are whatever you want them to be. They are up a lot if you look at February alone. They are down if you look at the first two months of the year. They are confused for those who don’t know where to look. 1.6087 million automobiles […]

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China’s February new car sales are in, and they are whatever you want them to be. They are up a lot if you look at February alone. They are down if you look at the first two months of the year. They are confused for those who don’t know where to look.

1.6087 million automobiles (all kinds) were produced in China in February, up 28.48 percent year-on-year. Sales of new autos amounted to 1.5671 million, an increase of 24.51 percent. This according to data published by the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM) on Friday.

The results for January and February are thoroughly skewed, because this year, the Chinese New Year holidays fell into January, in 2011, the holidays were observed in February. The CAAM thankfully provides a two month picture. In January and February combined, automobile sales of 2.9543 million were recorded, down 5.96 percent year-on-year. Passenger car sales in the two month period were 2.3737 million, down 4.37 percent. In the same period, commercial vehicles amounted to 580,600 units, down 11.91 percent.

The continued weakness in the commercial vehicle sector does not bode well for the Chinese economy. In the business, commercial vehicle sales are seen as a leading indicator, passenger vehicle sales are commonly used as a trailing indicator. Weak commercial sales usually impact (Wuling-) van heavy GM. Due to strong sales of the Buick and Chevrolet brands, along with a record February for Wuling, GM and its Chinese joint ventures recorded an increase of 7.7 percent for the first two months of the year.

Copying the numbers released by the CAAM shouldn’t be too hard, but apparently, it is. Whereas officious organs, such as Xinhua, China Daily and Associated Press use the correct (rounded) number of 24.5 percent, other media, such as The Economic Times or Automotive News say the number was 26.5. That’s the number for passenger vehicle, gentlemen. Or maybe not: Chinaautoweb says passenger vehicle sales grew 25.2 percent.

The weakness in the car sector does not deter analysts. J.D. Power analyst Geoff Broderick says vehicle sales in China could jump as high as 35 million a year by 2018 — a near doubling of the market, the Wall Street Journal writes.

 

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Germany In February 2012: Same Procedure As Last Year http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/03/germany-in-february-2012-same-procedure-as-last-year/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/03/germany-in-february-2012-same-procedure-as-last-year/#comments Fri, 02 Mar 2012 18:12:26 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=433535 It looks like the German new car market decided: “Last year was nice. Let’s do it again.” For a few months, the German market had retraced the prior year. In February, the prior year number has been hit with 0.0 percent precision. 224,318 cars changed hands in February, 6.7 percent more than in January, but […]

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It looks like the German new car market decided: “Last year was nice. Let’s do it again.” For a few months, the German market had retraced the prior year. In February, the prior year number has been hit with 0.0 percent precision.

224,318 cars changed hands in February, 6.7 percent more than in January, but exactly 0.0 percent more or less compared to February 2011.

Nothing earth-shattering to report.  Subcompacts are up, speaking of which, Volkswagen’s Up! continues it’s up!ward trajectory. The upper class, which had gained a lot in the prior yer, is down.  More in the (German) data, which can be downloaded here.

 

 

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Japan In February 2012: Market In Full Bloom http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/03/japan-in-february-2012-market-in-full-bloom/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/03/japan-in-february-2012-market-in-full-bloom/#comments Fri, 02 Mar 2012 17:38:00 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=433522 When Toyota announced an ambitious sales plan for 2012, and the intention to raise sales in Japan by 36 percent, a common reaction was: “Excuse me?” In February 2011, sales of passenger vehicles excluding minivehicles had been down 14.3 percent. Sales in Japan had been down for most of the year, as a result of […]

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When Toyota announced an ambitious sales plan for 2012, and the intention to raise sales in Japan by 36 percent, a common reaction was: “Excuse me?”

In February 2011, sales of passenger vehicles excluding minivehicles had been down 14.3 percent. Sales in Japan had been down for most of the year, as a result of cut subsidies. When smaller inducements came back in fall, sales were up again. We are comparing with a low base. As matters are coming back to normal we better get used to a stretch of double digit gains.

Compared to the low base, Toyota’s plan is entirely doable. So far, the market complies and Toyota is on target.

February 2012 Sales Japan, Excluding Minivehicles

Manufacturer Feb’12 Feb’11 YoY YTD’12 YTD’11 Change
Daihatsu 287 286 0.3% 486 555 -12.4%
Hino 3,094 2,609 18.6% 5,452 4,641 17.5%
Honda 50,440 34,387 46.7% 94,709 62,187 52.3%
Isuzu 4,657 3,164 47.2% 8,101 5,309 52.6%
Lexus 3,554 3,473 2.3% 6,712 6,091 10.2%
Mazda 14,115 13,381 5.5% 26,977 24,600 9.7%
Mitsubishi 5,655 4,285 32.0% 10,404 8,009 29.9%
Mitsubishi Fuso 2,638 1,884 40.0% 4,646 3,263 42.4%
Nissan 55,679 44,212 25.9% 95,329 73,434 29.8%
Subaru 7,606 7,406 2.7% 13,523 12,297 10.0%
Suzuki 7,613 7,632 -0.2% 13,984 14,052 -0.5%
Toyota 158,877 115,000 38.2% 283,510 199,726 41.9%
UD Trucks 690 600 15.0% 1,245 1,017 22.4%
Other 18,308 14,315 27.9% 31,402 24,607 27.6%
Total 333,213 252,634 31.9% 596,480 439,788 35.6%

In February, Japan’s domestic sales of new cars, trucks and buses excluding minivehicles rose 31.9 percent  from a year earlier to 333,213 vehicles, the Japan Automobile Dealers Association says. The market is up for the sixth consecutive month.

February 2012 Sales Japan, Minivehicles

Manufacturer Feb’12 Feb’11 YoY YTD’12 YTD’11 Change
Suzuki 52,018 45,339 14.7% 94,346 82,810 13.9%
Daihatsu 63,969 50,937 25.6% 117,763 92,983 26.7%
Mitsubishi 8,875 9,481 -6.4% 16,222 16,186 0.2%
Subaru 9,572 8,187 16.9% 18,327 14,131 29.7%
Honda 26,715 14,353 86.1% 46,494 25,011 85.9%
Mazda 5,247 4,191 25.2% 9,870 8,006 23.3%
Nissan 16,440 16,167 1.7% 29,771 27,865 6.8%
Toyota 3,574 0 6,273
Other 3 3 0.0% 4 6 -33.3%
Total 186,413 148,658 25.4% 339,070 266,998 27.0%

Sales of minivehicles were up 27 percent to 186,413 units in February, data of the Japan Mini Vehicles Association shows. The share of minivehicles was 36 percent in February.

February 2012 Sales Japan, All Vehicles

Manufacturer Feb’12 Feb’11 YoY MS Feb’12 MS Feb’11
Daihatsu 64,256 51,223 25.4% 12.4% 12.8%
Hino 3,094 2,609 18.6% 0.6% 0.7%
Honda 77,155 48,740 58.3% 14.8% 12.1%
Isuzu 4,657 3,164 47.2% 0.9% 0.8%
Lexus 3,554 3,473 2.3% 0.7% 0.9%
Mazda 19,362 17,572 10.2% 3.7% 4.4%
Mitsubishi 14,530 13,766 5.5% 2.8% 3.4%
Mitsubishi Fuso 2,638 1,884 40.0% 0.5% 0.5%
Nissan 72,119 60,379 19.4% 13.9% 15.0%
Subaru 17,178 15,593 10.2% 3.3% 3.9%
Suzuki 59,631 52,971 12.6% 11.5% 13.2%
Toyota 162,451 115,000 41.3% 31.3% 28.7%
UD Trucks 690 600 15.0% 0.1% 0.1%
Other 18,311 14,318 27.9% 3.5% 3.6%
Total 519,626 401,292 29.5%

Overall, the market is up 29.5 percent. Toyota and Honda are gaining, Nissan and Suzuki are losing market share.

 

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Grade The Analysts: Caldwell Wins Race Against 15.1 Million http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/03/grade-the-analysts-caldwell-wins-race-against-15-1-million/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/03/grade-the-analysts-caldwell-wins-race-against-15-1-million/#comments Fri, 02 Mar 2012 14:37:21 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=433513     Rank Analyst  GM Ford  Chrysler  SAAR SAAR Diff OEM Diff Overall 1 Jessica Caldwell (Edmunds.com) -5.0% 18.0% 32.0% 14.4 4.64% 18.15% 22.79% 2 Brian Johnson (Barclays Capital) -3.6% 7.1% 32.0% 14.3 5.30% 20.34% 25.64% 3 Jesse Toprak (TrueCar.com) -6.1% 14.0% 27.0% 14.3 5.30% 20.94% 26.24% 4 Patrick Archambault (Goldman Sachs) -2.6% 11.0% 26.0% […]

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Rank Analyst  GM Ford  Chrysler  SAAR SAAR Diff OEM Diff Overall
1 Jessica Caldwell (Edmunds.com) -5.0% 18.0% 32.0% 14.4 4.64% 18.15% 22.79%
2 Brian Johnson (Barclays Capital) -3.6% 7.1% 32.0% 14.3 5.30% 20.34% 25.64%
3 Jesse Toprak (TrueCar.com) -6.1% 14.0% 27.0% 14.3 5.30% 20.94% 26.24%
4 Patrick Archambault (Goldman Sachs) -2.6% 11.0% 26.0% 14.3 5.30% 21.44% 26.74%
5 Peter Nesvold (Jefferies) -5.9% 13.0% 27.0% 14.2 5.96% 21.74% 27.70%
6 Emmanuel Rosner (CLSA) -3.9% 5.6% 25.0% 14.5 3.97% 29.14% 33.12%
7 Joseph Spak (RBC) -5.2% 8.0% 24.0% 14.1 6.62% 29.04% 35.67%
8 Rod Lache (Deutsche Bank) -4.0% 8.7% 22.0% 14.1 6.62% 29.14% 35.77%
9 Alec Gutierrez (Kelley Blue Book) -5.8% 5.6% 25.0% 13.8 8.61% 31.04% 39.65%
10 Chris Ceraso (Credit Suisse) -5.6% 3.4% 22.0% 14.1 6.62% 36.04% 42.67%
11 Adam Jonas (Morgan Stanley) NA  NA   NA 14.3 5.30% 300.00% 305.30%
12 Matthew Stover (Guggenheim)  NA  NA   NA 14.3 5.30% 300.00% 305.30%
13 Himanshu Patel (JPMorgan)  NA  NA   NA 14.2 5.96% 300.00% 305.96%
14 Itay Michaeli (Citigroup) NA  NA   NA 14.2 5.96% 300.00% 305.96%
15 Alan Baum (Baum & Associates)  NA  NA   NA 14.0 7.28% 300.00% 307.28%
16 Jeff Schuster (LMC Automotive) NA  NA   NA 14.0 7.28% 300.00% 307.28%
17 George Magliano (IHS Automotive) NA  NA   NA 13.8 8.61% 300.00% 308.61%
Average -4.8% 9.4% 26.0% 14.2
Actual 1.1% 14.3% 40.4% 15.1

 

The strong February was good news for the car industry, bad news for the analysts. Even the most optimistic prognosis could not withstand the mad February rush to buying cars.

February ended with a Seasonally Adjusted Average Rate (SAAR) of 15.1 million, something the world had not seen since carmageddon. Even the most optimistic analyst (and the winner of the February round of Grade The Analysts) would predict only 14.4 million.

GM had a big minus sign in front of every estimation. It came in with a 1 percent gain. Chrysler sales were estimated to grow “only” 26 percent. They grew 40.4 percent. Even with Ford, the augurs were too cautious.

As any racer will tell you: In a race where everybody is confused, the least confused wins. Despite not calling anything right, Jessica Caldwell of Edmunds wins by coming slightly closer to the truth than anyone else. Nevertheless: 22.79% deviation, that is the worst win in Grade The Analyst history.

While we are at it, we welcome three new analysts, Emmanual Rosner, Chris Ceraso, And Matthew Stover. We are pleased that two out of three FNGs decided to go whole hog and to provide estimates not just for the SAAR, but for all Detroit companies. It’s the only way to win this game. In racing, you don’t get points for not racing either.

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