Daimler, Honda: Recovery, What Recovery?

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago

It’s your classic case of schlechte/gute Nachrichten. Post-Chrysler Daimler is predicting positive earnings in the fourth financial quarter—before interest and tax. After that, after the federal money’s gone, things will go from worse to worserer. “Global demand for cars should fall this year by only around 10 percent thanks to state incentives . . . Negative effects on demand can be expected when the state support programs are phased out in the following years, particularly in the volume segments of more mature markets.” Reuters’ numbers tell the tale. Sales at Daimler’s high margin division, Mercedes-Benz Cars, fell by 15.7 percent in the first three quarters of the year to 825,600 vehicles. Remember: that’s compared with last year, which was no sales bonanza, Hoss. Without a buoyant Chinese market uh, buoying Mercedes, the numbers would be even bleakerer. Meanwhile, Automotive News reports that Honda has revised and tripled its profit forecast—and sounded the same alarm. “Honda, the world’s seventh-biggest carmaker, attributed the bulk of the revision to state-backed measures to stimulate sales and warned a real recovery in demand was still some time off.”

Robert Farago
Robert Farago

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  • Flashpoint Flashpoint on Oct 27, 2009

    spartan Luxury is when you're car has leather seats made from leather of animals you had to hunt down and kill yourself - then you have to tan it.

  • Wsn Wsn on Oct 27, 2009
    vexner : October 27th, 2009 at 2:48 pm SSean, check your facts. Chrysler was the most profitable of the major manufacturers in the late 90’s. --- No. That's "creative accounting." From an operation point of view, they do have a profit. But they ignored the ever-increasing fixed liabilities to the UAW. That increased burden should have been counted as loss, because in the end it is what made them fail.
  • Tstag Tstag on Oct 27, 2009

    Intersting JLR sales are up by about 30% and they really have'nt been suckling much from the scrappage teat. Maybe Daimler's cars just aren't that popular.

  • Mtypex Mtypex on Oct 28, 2009

    Honda is suffering from exchange rates - they gotta be. The USD-JPY chart is ugly. They can revive their sports car development programs as soon as they get some traction in their key markets. I hate it just as much, or more than anything, because I live for the Integra, Prelude, NSX, roadster, etc although the Accords and Civics are good products, and as it was pointed out by Satan's assistant in South Park ... "hey, Acuras are pretty nice!" Mercedes is under assault by Audi and BMW pretty much everywhere. It's not surprising. I know a lot of people who find Benz's current designs to be nice, but they also have no intention of buying or leasing a C-class, test drives or no.