September Sales Rate Lowest in 28 Years?

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago

Automotive News [sub] brings glad tidings for auto execs drunk on Clunkers: “September’s light-vehicle sales rate will fall to 8.8 million units, consumer auto site said. That would be the lowest rate in nearly 28 years, tying the worst demand on record.” Well, I did predict an 8m seasonally-adjusted annual sales (SAAR) rate. But did they listen? Noooooo. “They” had to spend $3 billion of taxpayers’ money on a cash infusion that did nothing—zip—to improve the industry’s long term well being. Or even longer. In fact, what’s the bet that the news (which hits for real on October 1) will trigger MORE federal spending on the ailing American automakers? You ain’t seen nothing yet. “Many people regard February as the darkest month of the recession, but even then the SAAR was higher, at 9.1 million units,” senior statistician Zhenwei Zhou said in a statement. Expect to hear more apocalyptic pronouncements at an MSM outlet near you soon.

Robert Farago
Robert Farago

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4 of 21 comments
  • Bill Wade Bill Wade on Sep 20, 2009

    I KNEW Robert couldn't stay away. It's a passion. :)

  • Jkross22 Jkross22 on Sep 20, 2009

    I love reading comments from folks poo-poo'ing what is an obvious fact: C4C pulled demand fwd and while supply may be a bit thin with some particular models, it is not a main cause for sales slow down. Maybe this is a regional issue, but here in LA, dealers, at least those I drive by, have plenty of inventory. High unemployment in states such as CA and NY are much more to blame for sales slowdowns than the alleged inventory issue. That problem is getting worse, not better.

  • Anonymous Anonymous on Sep 20, 2009

    "PeteMoran : September 19th, 2009 at 9:01 pm @ Autosavant “Depreciation” and “write-off”, are financial terms you ought to learn about." I have known these terms for more than three decades, and know them far better than you ever will, trust me. Depreciation allowed me to pay $10k for a "Magnificent 7" thatr sells for over $100k new, and mine drives just as new, and had it for over four years now. The ones who needed to know about these terms are, apparently, the owners of the clunkers, who only realized that some of them were depreciated, only when the idiots in DC robbed ME, the taxpayer, of $4,500 per vehicle to bribe them into crushing their allegedly depreciated clunkers.

  • Rnc Rnc on Sep 21, 2009

    AutoSavant - The whole point of cash for clunkers was to stimulate auto production by taking the cars off the road (not just the new cars sold as part of the program, but the eventual replacement of the cars junked). Taking into account that they were given $4,000 (average) for cars (and had the option of just trading if so desired), apparently the owners felt that they were receiving fair value. In terms of your third world country dumping scheme, alot of those countries are starting to ban or severly restrict importation of said type of cars traded under this program (they don't want our enviromental mistakes dumped on them: see mexico).