By on August 2, 2010

Hot summer. Hot deals. Time to clear out the lot for the 2011 models. Bloomberg figures that July sales broke all records since last August’s short-lived cash-4-clunkers frenzy. Eight analysts, polled by Bloomberg’s, predict a July SAAR of 11.9 million.

Real numbers will be released tomorrow, and TTAC will be there for the blow-by-blow.

In the meantime, all indicators are in the top band. Discounts to clear out 2010 vehicles met “consumers who had postponed their purchases and are now getting back into the market,” says Jesse Toprak of TrueCar.

Jessica Caldwell of thinks it’s not the steak, it’s the sizzle: “The deals have been pretty flat since April, but it’s the advertising and that people know summer is a good time to buy because of the closeout sales.”

Joseph Barker of IHS Automotive warns we shouldn’t read too much into the numbers: “Demand for autos is recovering, but it’s at a lethargic pace. Consumers are still not confident in their finances and therefore are still holding back on big-ticket purchases.”

Even Ford’s sales analyst George Pipas is cautious: “We’re all happy to see it perk up a little bit, but one month doesn’t make a trend. It would be a fool’s errand to try to call it a turning point.”

What follows are the estimates of the Bloomberg analysts of July 2010 light vehicle sales as compared to July 2009 for the Detroit 3, along with their guess of the July SAAR (in millions).

GM Ford Chrysler SAAR
Rod Lache (Deutsche Bank) 5% 8% -3% 11.8
Jesse Toprak ( 23% 8% 1% 11.8
Joseph Barker (IHS Automotive) NA NA NA 11.8
Jessica Caldwell ( 6% 9% 0% 11.8
Jeff Schuster (J.D. Power) NA NA NA 12.0
Himanshu Patel (JPMorgan) NA NA NA 11.7
B. Johnson (Barclays) 2% 8% 3% 12.1
C. Ceraso  (Credit Suisse) 13% 18% 10% 12.1
Average: 10% 10% 2.20% 11.9
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5 Comments on “A Record July?...”

  • avatar

    I’m with Patel. 12.1? That’s a lot of fleet you’d need to assume to get us there.

  • avatar

    Interestingly, TrueCar states that Ford was the only domestic automaker to increase incentives (17 percent), while Toyota, Honda and Nissan increased theirs by 60, 36 and 18 percent.

    Did I read that right? GM and Chrysler didn’t increase incentives?

    • 0 avatar

      If not, GM and Chrysler will have to increase incentives now to be competitive with Toyota. E.g., if a Camry had no incentive and a Malibu had $2,000, but the Camry now has a $1,500 incentive, consumers will expect the Malibu to now have a $3,500 incentive.

  • avatar
    Steven Lang

    Unless there was exceptional turnover with the rental fleets, I would put the number closer to 11.5 million.

    The good news… as far as sales volume… is that GM will be far more successful this time next year due to the Americredit acquisition. Close to 40% of today’s car market is sub-prime and GM will finally have a partner that can take on the heft of these financial risks.

    Mark my words. Come 2011 folks who don’t know any better will consider the increased sales numbers as a sign of recovery. When in fact it will likely have to do with GM’s access to credit.

    One other thing. Car sales will increase, when cars get to be cheaper to buy and own. I fully expect that to happen within the next five years.

  • avatar
    Mark MacInnis

    If the true numbers fall short, and look as if they might embarass His O-ness, then GM will simply adjust the numbers. It’s Government Motors, is it not? Why should GM sales numbers be any less plastic than any other government statistic? Artificially fudged to convey the right message to the masses?

    I am forecasting that the released number will show an SAAR of 12.1 million….what the real number is? We’ll never know.

    After all, these sales numbers will be brought to you by the same people who tell us they’ve created/saved 8 million new jobs, that health care legislation will REDUCE the deficit, that unemployment is an economic stimulus, that unemployment is “only” 9.8%, etc., etc., blah, blah, blah. Lies, damned lies and government statistics. I could go on, but if you see the truth you’ll agree with me. If you can’t, you’ll NEVER in your lifetime admit I am right.

    Nero fiddles, Rome burns….

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