Here We Go: Detroit About to Get Whacked by Slowing Economy
CSM Worldwide [via Automotive News, sub] is the bearer of bad tidings: the slowing new car market will force The Big 2.8 to cut even more production in the second quarter than the first. The auto forecasting firm says Chrysler will slash second-quarter production by 19.1 percent (compared to the same period last year). Ford will trim production by 16.3 percent. And GM production will drop 8.1 percent. Joe Langley, CSM senior market analyst for North American forecasts, sees an end to the pain for Ford and GM in the fourth quarter, with production edging ahead of year-ago levels. He doesn't see a Chrysler turnaround until 2009. Saying that, Langley attributes Ford's potential upturn to the debut of the MKS (Lincoln somethingorother) and Flex (xB on steroids) and ongoing sales of a TTAC Ten Worst finalist, the Ford Focus. And just in case you were thinking this is "a falling tide sinking all boats" deal, "the three biggest Japanese automakers expect to ride out a recession without serious pain. Toyota is expected to boost North American production 3.1 percent, Honda 1.9 percent and Nissan a whopping 11.0 percent."