American Editorial: Huzzah! First Single-Digit Drop In 17 Months!

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt
american editorial huzzah first single digit drop in 17 months

Prepare yourself for an increasing number of „good news“ along the following lines:

„October U.S. auto sales should be down about 6 percent from a year ago, marking the first single-digit monthly decline since May 2008, industry forecasting firm J.D. Power and Associates said on Friday.” Glad tidings, brought to you by Reuters.

Times must be really bad when single digit declines are feted as an improvement.

In reality, things stay as bad as they have been all year. In September 2008, the bottom fell out of the light vehicle market. From now on out, monthly sales will be compared to hell.

September 2008 sales were 27 percent below September 2007 sales. October 2008 sales were 32 percent below October 2007 sales. Anything compared to that will look like growth. Hopefully.

J.D. Power can’t ignore that fact, but paints it in rosy colors: “While year-over-year comparisons benefit from a low selling base in October 2008, improvements in consumer confidence and credit are propelling the return to positive sales gains relative to last year,” said Power’s Gary Dilts. Positive sales gains relative to last year? Where? When?

Positive sales gains relative to last year are just around the corner.

TTAC is prognosticating that in January 2010, a huge turn-around will be feted. Why? January 2010 will be compared to the all-time nuclear winter type January 2009, when sales were a dismal 656,881 units. We are equally prognosticating that February 2010 will even be better. February 2010 compares with a February 2009 when light vehicle sales had cratered by 41 percent.

The Seasonally Adjusted Average Rate (SAAR) paints a more precise (and horrendous) picture. SAAR was below 10m for most of the year. It jumped to 13.7m in August 2009, with a kick in the butt by Cash-for-Clunkers. When the amphetamine wore off, SAAR was at 9.5m again in September. The way things stand, America will be lucky if the year will end a tad above 10m light vehicles sold.

Want really good news? Robert Farago had prognosticated (and wagered) that the year will end with just 8.5m cars sold. Prepare yourself for this headline:

”Car sales improve 17 percent over Farago forcast!”

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2 of 19 comments
  • BDB BDB on Oct 27, 2009
    ill he still be running against Bush/Cheney in Oh 12 You guys still b**ch about Jimmy Carter, an (at worst) slightly below average President who was elected thirty-four years ago. So expect to hear a lot about the fourth from worst President in American history for a little while longer (the only ones worse than Dubya being Buchanan, Andrew Johnson, Harding, and Hoover).

  • SCE to AUX SCE to AUX on Oct 27, 2009

    @psarhjinian: CFC, the bailouts, etc, are proactive measures. The alternative would be to metaphorically close your eyes, put your fingers in your ears, hum, and pretend that the loss of tax revenue and increased demand on the social safety net is due to a lack of moral fibre on the part of the unemployed. Gotta disagree with that last part. I was once unemployed, and it was only my fault to the extent that I chose to join a startup firm with a weak business plan. So I don't entirely blame the unemployed. Having said that, the increasing unemployment among UAW people is in part their collective fault, for constantly biting the hand that feeds them. Mostly, however, I would blame the death of the auto companies on management and their abandonment of the responsibility that comes with it - integrity, leadership, marketing, vision, humility, and backbone. Unfortunately, the middle class tax revenues used to governmentally-fund the continued misadventures of Detroit will never return, and so the middle class will end up poorer as a result. This was not investment; it was an expense. So while I understand the joy over a slowing descent, many planes have hit the ground while pulling out of a dive.

  • EBFlex Only 33 miles is disappointing. 50 miles should be the absolute minimum when it comes to PHEVs, especially for the cost of this Toenail
  • Theflyersfan I pass by the "old money" neighborhoods next to the golf course community where many of the doctors and non-ambulance chaser lawyers live in town and these new Range Rovers are popping up everywhere. It used to the Q8 and SQ8, but I'm thinking those leases expired, traded in, or given to their never leaving home son or daughter so they can smash it at a DUI stop, get on the news, and get out of jail free. I'm not getting into their new design language, and I like Land Rovers. They aren't supposed to look like smooth bars of soap - they need a few character lines or hints of offroad ability, even though the odds of this getting on anything other than a gravel parking lot are less than nil. And with the new Range Rover's rear and the taillights, if I wanted a small solid red bar for a lamp that did everything and then dies and then I can't tell what the car wants to do, I'd follow a late 80's, early 90's Oldsmobile 98.
  • Lou_BC Legalize cannabis for racing
  • Add Lightness Range Rovers have come a long, long ways from their original concept of a gentleman's Land Cruiser. Pretty useless off road now but the wannabees will love them until the warrantee expires.
  • ToolGuy 'Non-Land Rover' gets 2 bonus points for the correct use of carbon fiber in an automotive application. 🙂