It will be a suspenseful Monday. When new car sales numbers will be announced for March, I could look like carmageddon never happened. After J.D. Power had predicted sales of 1,372,400 units for March and Kelley Blue Book 1,425,000 units, real-time date equipped Edmunds now sees a total of 1,451,956 new cars changing hands. That would translate into a Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate (SAAR) of 14.9 million units. (Read More…)
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Reasonable minds can disagree about the wisdom of the auto bailout, but according to analysis by the EPA and Department of Transportation (based on data from the Department of Energy and auto forecasters CSM), the Government’s rescue of GM and Chrysler may not have been the best idea (at least from a market perspective). According to data buried in the EPA/DOT proposed rule for 2017-2025 fuel economy standards [PDF here], Fiat-Chrysler is predicted to be the sick man of the auto industry by 2025, losing over half of its 2008 sales volume, while GM is expected to improve by only 3%, the second-worst projected performance (after Aston-Martin). In terms of percentages, even lowly Suzuki and Mitsubishi are projected to grow faster than The Mighty General. Ouch.
On the other hand, the proposed rule notes that data will be finalized before the final rule comes out. Besides, the agencies appropriately admit (in as many words) that projecting auto sales so far into the future is one hell of a crapshoot. Still, with the obvious exception of “Saab-Spyker” and with some skepticism about the projection’s optimism about overall market growth aside, these are not the craziest guesses I could imagine. Who knows what the future holds, but it certainly is a bit troubling that the government’s own data suggests the two automakers it bailed out may well have some of the weaker performances of the next 14 years. At least the Treasury could have sold off their remaining GM stock before this report was released…
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.
Reuters reports that Boston Consulting Group has revised its projections for EV market penetration downwards, concluding that plug-in electric vehicles (including EREV and PHEV models) will make up no more than five percent of the US market by 2020. And ironically, the recent increases in gas prices have actually driven the estimate downwards, as Xavier Mosquet, the global head of the group’s autos practice, tells The WSJ [sub]
Electric cars will undoubtedly play an increasingly large role in many countries’ plans in the decades ahead as energy independence and environmental concerns intensify, but they will gain only modest ground to 2020. Gas- and diesel-powered vehicles are improving faster than expected and will continue to dominate the global landscape.