Credit Suisse: Truck Sales Protecting D3's Market Share (Such as It Is)

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago

À l’impossible nul n’est tenu. The “impossible” that ain’t likely to happen: domestic car makers recapturing the lion’s share of the American new car market. According to Credit Suisse, when the sales figures for June drop, New Chrysler, current Ford and Old GM combined are likely to account for around 45 percent of new car sales in the Land of the Free. Fans of the forthcoming Fiat 500, new Ford Fiesta and Chevrolet Spark note: CS reckons it would be worse if the overall percentage of truck sales (vs. car sales) didn’t increase from 44 to 47 percent. Put that in your EPA and smoke it. Bullet points after the jump.

• We expect the annualized light vehicle selling rate (SAAR) to run in a range of 10.0 – 10.3 million units in June, down from the year-ago month’s pace of 13.7 million, but up modestly versus last month’s pace of 9.9 million.

• We expect unit volume (selling day adjusted) to be down in a range of 27% – 29% versus June 2008. That compares to a year-to-date sales decline of 36% through May. The smaller decline is a result of comparisons that are getting easier, and sales that are actually getting a little better.

• June is another month filled with potential wildcards that could impact light vehicle sales for the month, including liquidation sales at Chrysler dealers, potentially delayed purchases as people await “Cash for Clunkers” legislation, disruptions in fleet deliveries due to extensive plant downtime, and GM’s bankruptcy filing in early June.

• We look for sales at GM to be down in a range of 30% – 32% in June, with market share landing at around 20.5%, which is down about 150 basis points from the year-ago month, and down modestly from about 21% in May.

• At Ford, we expect sales to be down in a range of 14% – 16%, with market share landing at about 16.5%. That share level would be down modestly from 16.8% share in May 2009, but up from 14% in the year-ago month.

• We see Chrysler sales down in a range of 38% – 40%, with market share at about 8.5%. That share level is about even versus May 2009, but is down from about 10% in June 2008.

• We look for sales of foreign brand vehicles to be down in a range of 27% – 29%, with market share landing at about 54.5%. That’s up modestly from 54.2% share in the year-ago month. The gains would be greater for the foreign brands, were it not for our truck mix forecast of 47% this year, versus 44.4% in the year-ago month.

• We expect Detroit 3 inventory to end June about 16% understocked. Specifically, we see GM dealer stocks ending the month about 6% understocked, Ford inventory ending June about 20% understocked, and Chrysler ending the month about 29% understocked.

• GM may print a third quarter production schedule in conjunction with its June sales release. We include an analysis in this report that suggests GM should build down about 60% – 70% on the car side in Q3 (versus like-2008), and down about 10% on the truck side.

Robert Farago
Robert Farago

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  • Matt51 Matt51 on Jun 30, 2009

    The reason diesel sales did not take off, is that the US had constantly changing emissions rules for diesels. Unfortunately, GM has indefinitely postponed their latest Duramax diesel 72 degree V8. This diesel was designed to fit in the same space as the Chevy small block. Ford canceled their latest diesel, Toyota canceled theirs, Dodge postponed introduction of the latest Cummins diesel. So- If GM had any sense, they would cancel the Volt, and use the cash to bring the Duramax to market. Of course, GM is brain dead at this time. Everyone was saying the latest GM diesel was as quiet as a gasoline engine, and met the 2010 emissions.

  • BuzzDog BuzzDog on Jun 30, 2009

    To some degree I still believe that - some 30 years later - one reason for a lack light-duty diesel trucks from GM stems from their less-than-stellar experiece with these beasts. It may be that customers may not remember the Olds diesel debacle, but there is/was probably still some resistance among GM management, lest they repeat the mistakes of their predecessors. Sad, really, because instead of learning from mistakes and improving the core idea, the preference is instead to take the safe, less innovative route.

  • FreedMike Well, if you want a Swedish cockroach that's easy to work on, here's your ticket. Tad overpriced but it's an asking price, after all. And those old Volvo seats are divine. It'd be worth a look.
  • SCE to AUX "...has arguably advantaged the Asian nation by subsidizing electric vehicles, it has attempted to prioritize more domestic manufacturing by pouring money atop the relevant industries via the so-called Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Inflation Reduction Act"Seems like you're trying to diss the Biden Administration before crediting its protectionism in the IRA.Chinese-made EV batteries aren't part of the subsidy program, so subsidizing EVs hasn't advantaged China. But the general sourcing of Chinese-made components - whether in a subsidized car or not - does help China.This is a general problem in the US economy. Everybody wants to wave the flag, but nobody wants to be the high-cost supplier, and nobody wants to pay more.The same scenario played out 50 years ago, except the competitor was Japan. At the end of the day, protectionism didn't work, and consumers got what they wanted.
  • Bkojote I'm so glad I bought a Kia Telluride instead of a Toyota Tacoma given all these recalls. I wanted an off roady looking vehicle so I could impress the secretary we hired but instead my wife left me when she saw my phone messages and now I'm stuck making the $1200 monthly payment until I can refinance at a lower rate than 28% even though I lost my job last month. I'm hoping the Kia dealers will let me trade to the new one with the bigger infotainment tooFunny enough the secretary's new boyfriend is driving a Tacoma but with the recall maybe I'll have a shot.
  • Buickman Stop the Invasion. Boycott Envision.I am the top Buick salesman in history, bar none.have never sold this Commie Car and will not until they are built
  • SCE to AUX Nice car for a nice price. I'd replace the headlights.