Economic Crisis "Worse Than $200 a Barrel Oil" for Car Industry

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago
economic crisis worse than 200 a barrel oil for car industry

Car manufacturers are transitioning from one disaster to another, as the economic meltdown makes high gas prices seems like a blessing. Automotive News [sub] reports that two of the top prognosticators in the biz have looked at the proverbial tea leaves for the year’s U.S. sales figures and come-up with a soup tureen of not good. J.D. Power says 13.6 million. Global Insight says 13.8 million. GM says who called the whole thing off? Nigel Griffiths, Global Insight group managing director of global forecasting, has the answer. “We are moving from a liquidity crisis to an insolvency crisis right now. There is increasing evidence that this has affected the real economy, and as we see the automotive industry as the heart of the real economy, we are really taking a hit now.” As opposed to the fake economy (i.e. sub-prime loans)? Makes sense to me. But here’s the weird part. “It’s worse than if we saw oil at $200 a barrel on a sustained basis. At least with that, there was a transfer of wealth to countries like Russia that are inclined to buy automobiles.” So much for GM and Ford depending on foreign markets to stay afloat. George Magliano, Global Insight director of automotive industry research for North America, says you ain’t seen nothing yet. Magliano said it could take until 2013 for sales to recover to 2006 levels.

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  • Menno_ Menno_ on Oct 09, 2008

    I think OPEC is trying for an $80 minimum per barrel basement, and will cut back oil output until they reach it. Did I hear someone in the back of the room say "those OPEC idiots have throttled the goose that laid the golden eggs"? Wasn't "just" them, my friend.

  • JEC JEC on Oct 09, 2008

    In related news (well, not really) gas has dropped 30 cents a litre here in Montreal. It's now down to 1.09 a litre, which is what it was at about a year ago. Could it be a sign? A sign of what, I'm not really sure.

  • Menno Menno on Oct 09, 2008

    A few months ago, diesel was 60 cents more a gallon in northwestern Michigan, compared to gasoline. $4.75 vs. $4.15. A few weeks ago, gasoline and diesel were virtually the same price. $4. I filled up my Prius with a week's worth of gasoline (4 gallons, 17 mile commute plus other driving) at $3.47 this morning, escewing the ethanol polluted stuff I could have gotten for $3.44. I noticed that diesel is again about 60 cents a gallon higher than gasoline. We were being totally ripped off with gas being the same price as diesel.

  • Landcrusher Landcrusher on Oct 10, 2008

    "We were being totally ripped off with gas being the same price as diesel." What do you mean, menno?