By on January 20, 2009

Have you ever opened a real estate magazine and read “House prices suck. They’re going to get worse. Stay away from real estate”? Obviously not. It’s a perspective problem shared by the American automotive press, whose Panglossian reviews rankle anyone who wants the truth about cars. Yada, yada, yada. Advertising. Unfortunately, the non-critical kudzu is starting to spread. We’ve already blogged the Motown-friendly press’ straw-grasping predictions for a sales recovery. I’d kinda assumed they’d pipe down after December’s debacle. Sigh. “Despite doomsday auto sales forecasts for 2009, promising signs continue to emerge about early January sales in the United States and their potential for growth.” The Detroit Free Press isn’t free, and this is not what I call the press. “Pent-up demand for new vehicles grew to 820,000 new cars and trucks last year, as consumers continued to wait out the dismal economic environment before making a new purchase, according to a report released Monday by CNW Marketing Research. That’s nearly four times as high as pent-up demand was in 2007, CNW said, and the research firm predicted that ‘the bulk of those postponements are slated to return to market in 2009.'” And now, a reality check…

“[GM COO Fritz] Henderson said January auto sales are shaping up no better than last month,” The Wall Street Journal reports, “when GM’s sales fell 31%.”

OK, back to the Gallactica.

“Cars.com, a consumer automotive Web site, is reporting an uptick in traffic that could signal that consumers who were taking a wait-and-see approach to car buying because of the economy might now be coming back to market.

“‘I am having a much better start in January than I thought I would have,’ said Carl Galeana, owner of Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Saturn and Kia dealerships. ‘I may have a better January than December.'” 

Could. May. How about expect?

“‘We expect to see a recovery start sometime in the second half’ of the year, Lewis Booth, Ford’s executive vice president and chief financial officer, said in an interview with the Free Press last week.”

The Freep closes the article with a realistically downbeat quote, but the un-damage is not done. Same time next month?

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12 Comments on “Automotive Press Imitates Real Estate Drivel...”


  • avatar
    RedStapler

    I’m glad to see that Baghdad Bob has found new employment.

    “There are no Foreign Autos in Detroit. Never”

    “Our initial assessment is that they will all go away and give use their market share”

    I’m just waiting to watch a couple of Land Cruisers drive into Renaissance Center and pull down the statue of Rick Wagoner on CNN.

  • avatar
    TheRealAutoGuy

    Hmmm… lots to go into here…

    I’d kinda assumed they’d pipe down after December’s debacle.

    Lessee… would that be the December where Toyota had a worse month than some parts of Detroit?

    We’ve already blogged the Motown-friendly press’ straw-grasping predictions for a sales recovery.

    They’re a local paper reporting on local car sales, as those affect the local economy. Hardly criminal. Yes, they are interested in how many cars are MADE (same reason), but misrepresenting how sales go in the rest of the country is not in their (or anyone’s) interest.

  • avatar
    skor

    I heard a really interesting ad on the radio this morning for a local Caddy dealer. The copy was positively hysterical, and I don’t mean “ha-ha” hysterical, I mean “in need of a tranquilizer” hysterical. The ad pretty much accused “enemies of America” of spreading “false rumors” and “taking advantage” of a “temporary” downturn in the US auto market. The ad concluded by exhorting the listener to do his patriotic duty and buy a Caddy, “a classic American automobile”. How much longer before they accuse everyone who doesn’t buy American of being a commie/nazi/Islamo-fascist?

  • avatar
    k.amm

    Is this the same CNWRM company that published that hilarious “research” where they claimed a H3 generates less eco damage throughout its lifetime than a hybrid Prius? That’s a rather lame paid industry shill operation with nonexisting offices and “hidden call centers” and “data centers”

    If so, no more question, thank you. :D

  • avatar
    mtypex

    “I’m just waiting to watch a couple of Land Cruisers drive into Renaissance Center and pull down the statue of Rick Wagoner on CNN.”

    Yes! Let’s do it.

  • avatar
    JuniorMint

    k.amm :

    Is this the same CNWRM company that published that hilarious “research” where they claimed a H3 generates less eco damage throughout its lifetime than a hybrid Prius?

    THAT’S where I know that name from! Eugh, I thought I smelled something. Gross, I read a quote from them! The stink is going to stay with me for weeks!

    That “assessment” has been discredited more times than Loose Change. There are NEWSPAPERS still using these people as a source?!

    I wouldn’t believe it was possible…except I’ve spent a lot of time in Michigan.

    No wonder telling the Truth About Cars is a full-time job…

  • avatar
    TEW

    Caddy does not have to worry since it’s the “Standard of the world.” But in all seriousness I see cars at my local GM dealer that still have the 08 sticker on them. I would be counted as traffic because after seeing for five weeks of them not moving I went and looked at what they wanted for it. Even if people started buying cars the damage has been done, there are way too many cars on the lots from the 08 model year that will kill off sales of the 09-10’s.

  • avatar

    I am not as familiar with the auto market as I am with the real estate market. I think retail in general is in a slump and especially higher ticket items such as cars and houses.

    People are just too afraid of the direction the economy is going, so they are hoarding whatever cash they can get their hands on. Well, guess what… that cash will probably be worth a lot less in the next year or so, too.

    Buy a house and the price will eventually recover.

  • avatar
    ronin

    Maybe there actually is pent-up demand, or maybe it is a wish. But there certainly is pent-up supply.

    There is a way to both reduce pent-up supply and to meet “pent-up demand.” Reduce the prices. Toyota thinks they can introduce a new AWD wagon and price it at 40k in today’s market.

    Let’s see who blinks first.

  • avatar

    RF – Completely agreed. I’ve been scouring the real estate media for YEARS now, and find the writing ignorantly optimistic while the market continues to plummet day after day. It’s nauseating. Automotive has gone the same way.

    At least I expected my car to depreciate. As for the house I can’t sell in the Detroilet Metro… that’s another story.

  • avatar
    fincar1

    “I’m just waiting to watch a couple of Land Cruisers drive into Renaissance Center and pull down the statue of Rick Wagoner on CNN.”

    RedStapler, would that be Toyota or Studebaker Land Cruisers?

  • avatar
    Prescott Arizona Houses

    Investing in anything that devalues has “strings” attached. The government knows how to devalue any monetary possession while holding it. Cars, Houses, Art, etc. Only things in limited supply have constant demand. For instance, cars will never be valuable except to people who find them valuable. Some people could care less about cars and wouldn’t pay a nickle for a ’69 Corvette…but they might buy gold or real estate and vice-versa.

    Land doesn’t change, gold, silver, precious stones, and items in limited supply. In other words finite commodities.

    I like what Allen said, buy a house and the price will eventually recover.

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