By on August 28, 2010

It’s not just the Tokyo stock market that is worried about worse than expected August numbers. Back home, the public is being prepared for shocking numbers. “We are crawling around,” said Jesse Toprak of TrueCar to Reuters. “It feels like we got a dead car to jump-start but we just can’t get it to go over 20 miles an hour.” Just as GM  prepares its IPO, industry watchers see more evidence of a slower-than-expected industry recovery.

Edmunds predicts a 17.7 percent fall from August last year. TrueCar paints an even darker picture: down 20 percent from a year earlier when cash for clunkers drove demand. TrueCar sees SAAR about flat from July, 11.68m.

JD Power and Associates has trimmed its 2010 and 2011 U.S. auto sales forecasts, reflecting a “flattening of the recovery.” Analysts are getting ready for  a double-dip recession.

“All the measures that we track that correlate very strongly with new vehicle sales have largely been negative, particularly in the last two weeks,” said Toprak. “I think really what is being damaged here more than anything is the already very fragile consumer confidence.”

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30 Comments on “Frosty August, Foggy Outlook...”


  • avatar

    Here in Brazil things look pretty rosy.Forecasts vary wildly, from a mild drop to a slight rise. What has all industry watchers hanging on at the edge of their seats is however of a different nature. They are all asking themselves: Will it be this month that the Fiat Uno takes over 1st place? Putting the 30 year old champ in second? And if it happens in August, will the Uno consolidate its position until the end of the year?

    Exciting times in the Brazilian market. By what some sources in the parts biz tell me, if not this month, than certainly the next as Fiat is ordering more and more parts (and in higher number than VW).

  • avatar
    porschespeed

    The only amusing part is the people who didn’t see another downturn coming the day the “stimulus” was announced.

    Unless we discover some miracle mineral unavailable anywhere else on the planet, the US economy is continuing unabated on the downward trajectory it started in the mid 70s.

    By the middle of next year, 11.5MM units will look like the second coming. 10MM will be about all the top 1%, fleet sales, and insurance replacement will generate. And I’m an optimist.

  • avatar
    Jimal

    With the rest of the economy teetering on the double-dip, is this much of a surprise? Until we can collectively get beyond the rancor and hyperbole and work to get people back to work, the economy is going to continue to stumble along. If there were an easy answer to the jobs questions someone would probably have proposed it already, which is why both the left and the right are doing everything possible to change the topic.

    • 0 avatar
      thebeelzebubtrigger

      “the the US economy is continuing unabated downward trajectory it started in the mid 70s.”

      It started a lot earlier than that, and both parties contributed to bringing the current mess about. Certainly Nixon didn’t help matters when he took us off our currency standard and we went with the “faith-based dollar”. I know all the rightie-tighties like to shame and blame past democrats, but the republicans also did a great deal to trash our economy.

      While both sides have plenty of ammunition the reality is that getting sucked into partisanship is just a distraction. Without that kind of wide-spread gullibility we might not be in this mess. The problem stems from the corporate oligarchy, our *real* government. As soon a corporations were granted rights superior to those of individual citizens we were all screwed.

    • 0 avatar
      NulloModo

      The only reason we might have a ‘double-dip’ is if people keep talking about it. The recovery of the economy rests entirely on consumer confidence. The great depression wasn’t caused as much by poor regulation of the stock markets and banking as it was by people freaking out and hiding their money.

      Stop playing up double dips and start living as if things are recovering, because they are. The more people spend, the more businesses will be able to stay afloat, the more people will be able to be hired or keep their jobs, and the better things will be.

    • 0 avatar
      RogerB34

      Dream on.
      No President or Congress has provided Jobs and Prosperity for All.
      None. FDR’s New Deal was dead by early 1939. He had a supermajority just like Obama. There are NO media articles extolling the economic policies of any President. Because Presidents are not primary drivers of Jobs and Prosperity for All. Note that the EU with a Democratic Socialist economy cannot provide Jobs or Prosperity for All and they are structured for economic control. America had a Market Economy which was voted out by The People Nov 2008 in favor of a Government Economy. A Market Economy cranking out an average GDP of 3.4 percent per year 1930 – 2008 abandoned in favor of Social Justice and Green. God are The People dumb!

    • 0 avatar
      NulloModo

      Roger –

      You mean we voted out an economy where the rich get richer, the poor stay poor, and the middle class continued to erode into the poorhouse. The economic collapse started during W’s administration, and while I won’t say Obama hasn’t made some mistakes, he has done a lot to mollify the repercussions.

      I’m not advocating pure socialism, the capitalist and almost free market economy has done good things for the US, but we certainly need some protection and some oversight to help the majority of the country. Tax rates should be dramatically raised for the incredibly rich, moderately raised for the merely rich, and kept steady for the middle class. We need the wealth of the nation in the hands of the many so that it can be used to spend, invest, and create business opportunities for all.

    • 0 avatar
      joeaverage

      “The only reason we might have a ‘double-dip’ is if people keep talking about it. The recovery of the economy rests entirely on consumer confidence. The great depression wasn’t caused as much by poor regulation of the stock markets and banking as it was by people freaking out and hiding their money.”

      Assuming you have a job or are confident enough you’ll have a job next year to spend any real money.

      Your second comment? I agree entirely.

  • avatar
    Alcibiades

    The comments show that people interested in cars don’t necessarily know much about economics.

  • avatar
    thornmark

    Actually, Great Britain outperformed the US in the decade of the 1930’s because of its superior economic policies. That was the only decade of the 20th century in which that was true.

    As for FDRII, we see the same today. Germany explicitly rejected the current US regime’s policies and went for a small stimulus and business-friendly policies. The Germany economy took off and they have been growing at an unsustainably high 9% rate while the US economy languishes.

    A new study of 350 senior corporate executives posted results which look like those of many surveys of American consumers. The recession is not over, and, as a matter of fact, will not end until sometime next year. The poll was conducted by Grant Thornton…

    Senior Executives Expect Recession Will Not End Until 2011 http://247wallst.com/2010/08/28/senior-executives-expect-recession-will-not-end-until-2011/#ixzz0xxCTtGLu

  • avatar
    Daanii2

    To paraphrase Franklin Roosevelt, what we should fear is fear itself. Consumer confidence should be, I think, higher. Forget economic theories, Barack Obama, and start being a cheerleader. That will help more than anything.

    As for economic theories, John Maynard Keynes’s big theory was that economics is an instrument of social control that could achieve maximum national income, full employment, and monetary stabilization.

    History tells us Keynes was wrong. As a discipline, economics has failed to do what Keynes thought it could.

    Christina Romer was the latest to prove that stimuluses do not work. Her prediction of what would happen without the stimulus was spot on for what happened with the stimulus.

    As for the car industry, I don’t worry about it. People said that GM would never survive bankruptcy. It did. People said that the whole industry would tank if fewer than 12 million cars were sold per year. It did not.

    All things considered, for all the sound and fury of the last two years, our economy in general and the car industry in particular are in pretty good shape. Here’s hoping, though, that things get better.

  • avatar
    obbop

    I believe that the “power broker” within the USA desire an oligarchy.

    Over two decades ago I was forced to conclude that the USA was in the midst of a class war.

    When I read the following quote a couple years ago I was saddened yet felt my previous conclusion was justified.

    “There’s class warfare, all right, Mr. (Warren) Buffett said, but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning.”

    I believe that many of the problems within the USA; social, economic, political etc. can be traced to or aspects of the ongoing class war.

    Or, if it makes one easier to comprehend…. excessive lust for wealth and power hunger by the minority in positions to “stack the cards” in various ways to attain their lusts.

    Forget loyalty to any government or geo-political entity.

    Do as the “elites” have done; look out for number one… be it self, family or kinfolk, depending upon your personal circumstances.

    It’s basically “Every man for himself.”

    To behave otherwise is playing into the hands of those who have used the most well-honed brainwashing / indoctrination systems ever devised.

    Assuredly the USA is doomed.

    Maybe not this week or next year but the invisible hand has written upon the proverbial wall for those willing and/or able to see.

    Sadly, the uber-wealthy can escape or evade the future calamities.

    The commoners will need luck.

    The sneaky, not the strong, will be most apt to survive the transition.

    Once the herd is greatly thinned those who can organize, the superior culture(s), will have greater survival odds.

    Unless overwhelmed by the barbarians, which is a possibility.

    • 0 avatar
      porschespeed

      obbop,

      You are a well-read man. Buffet has also been preaching about the foolishness of having a negative balance of trade for probably 10 years.

      The thing I admire about ‘the oracle’ is that while he certainly has grown very rich by taking advantage of cheap labor (and many of the BH sub companies are 100% China production selling to Wal-Evil) he has always been rather up front about the whole affair.

      Unlike the Faux-news types, he acknowledges that it is class warfare, and the billionaires are winning. He tells you that the 40+ straight years of negative trade balances will be the ruin of our economy and our nation.

      That’s right, we’ve sent more out than has come in since 1970. 19freakin70. EVERY. EFFEN. YEAR.

      We are at wealth distribution percentages that are about the same as just before the last Great Depression.

      Interestingly enough, the rich are taxed less than they have been in the last ~100 years. Yes they pay the most, they always have. So what? There were plenty of rich folks when the top marginal rate was almost 90%. No, there weren’t a whole lotta billionaires. Once again, so what?

      As to the barbarians, that Amendment about the ultimate check-and- balance on the governance of our Republic was placed Second only to Freedom of Speech for a reason. Though that foresight encompassed does require that the citizenry be educated enough to hang traitors like Bush and Cheney. Not be foolish enough to drink the kool-aid and revere them.

      (As my mother’s side was directly involved in the Continental Congresses, I have acquired a certain perspective that may not be congruent with the PC brainwashing given to those more newly arrived. If they only knew how it worked…)

    • 0 avatar
      Jimal

      I think it is more of a generational issue. For the most part the people running the show didn’t earn what they have, they inherited it. Instead of working hard to earn their keep, their parents, who fought and won a World War, worked hard to give them a “better life”. The result is the generation in charge now. Yes, I’m blaming all this on the baby boomers.

    • 0 avatar
      MikeAR

      Porschespeed, please explain to me why Bush and Cheney were traitors, reall reasons too, not some fever-addled 9/11 truther stuff. And why do you call it Faux News? Is it because you saw someone on Daily Kos call it that? Your guy has been in charge for almost two years now, how is Bush still screwing things up? Congress has been Democrat run for 4 years, why haven’t they stepped in to stop Bush?

      Grow up and accept some responsibility, your side is lost and can only blame others and make things worse. Your hero Buffett is a fraud who fixes the game in his favor. Just try and learn to think for yourself and quit regurgitating trash you see on left-wing kook websites. It’s not clever, it just shows how little you can think.

    • 0 avatar
      Jimal

      I found the whole Fox News versus MSNBC thing humorous a while ago. Each side of this chasm tries to discredit the other by dropping the names of the various pundits; Olbermann, O’Reilly, Maddow, Beck, Hannity, et al. For either side it is also a sign that they don’t have anything to support their argument.

      To paraphrase this site, The Truth About (this) Country is the deregulation that started in the 80’s, included things like NAFTA and culminated with Bush administration is what put our economy in the condition it is in today. It is equally true that neither the current administration, the Democratically controlled congress, nor the current Republican leadership know what to do about it. If any of the players did we wouldn’t be talking about tea parties and mosques near ground zero or any of the other “hot button issues” of the day.

      I’m not a fan of over-regulation and the heavy hand of government, but I do accept that the government can (and needs to in my opinion) play a role in maintaining the health of the various markets and ensuring that everyone is on the up and up.

    • 0 avatar
      joeaverage

      OBBOP – EXACTLY my feelings.

    • 0 avatar
      porschespeed

      MikeAR,

      Do we really need examples of how Fox is Faux? Really?

      Pick a Bill O’Lielly episode. Any one. I, as well as any literate person, can easily show how he is just full of misinfo at any time. Absolute crap that nobody who did their homework would believe.

      ‘Natch, his audience is non-critically thinking, low-IQ, unemployed people who want to blame someone for their plight. Yes there are a lot of them, that is the way a bell-curve works. Ratings are not inherently something to be proud of.

      Glen Beck is like shootin’ mentally challenged carp in a Dixie cup.

      With a 2 gauge punt gun.

      As I offered, please pick anyone on Faux (FWIW- My friends and I have been calling it that since week two on the air when the informed concluded it was neither fair, nor balanced. NPR is far more balanced, and it is as lib as lib can be.. ). Give me any episode, any time, any FOX crack head/pot.

      Then we can debate the “reality” of any given idiot.

      Please, let’s talk about O’Hannity’s “struggling working-class” upringing – while he lived in an upper-middle class suburb and attended private school. Let’s talk about Bill’s “independent” affiliation, even though the checked “republican” instead of the readily available “independent” on his voter reg form. Which he lies about to this day.

      Pick one. Any one. I’ll provide factual data to rip them to shreds. Often from the Republican party itself.

      Didja know that Reagan not only raised taxes, but grew government?
      And he would never have gotten involved in Afghanistan, let alone Iraq (at least as we have)? We left Lebanon after losing less than we did in an avg month in Iraq – even Reagan knew that we would never win those wars. Of course, so did the elder Bush…

      BTW, I’m not an Obo fan – that you assume that speaks volumes.

      As to the traitorous acts, all you have to do is read a freakin’ newspaper – between the NSA tapping EVERYTHING that happens electronically in our Republic by Bush’s directive and scaremonger tripe like Cheney speaches telling us to “watch what we say” are treason in the most incontrovertible form.

      Don’t know what kind of scared, totalitarian state you are looking for, but REAL Americans believe in the Constitution of our Republic.

    • 0 avatar
      geeber

      A little education here – Hannity and O’Reilly are pundits, not reporters. We don’t expect a fair, one-sided account of events from them any more than we do from Rachel Maddow or Keith Olbermann.

      Criticizing Fox News for the views of men paid to give their OPINIONS of various events is nonsense. It’s like criticizing CBS News because of what Andy Rooney says.

      By the way…do I have list all of the mistakes and outright FRAUD committed by the “respectable” news outlets over the past decade? Anyone who thinks that Fox News is uniquely biased or inaccurate apparently just fell off the turnip truck.

      As for “maintaining the health of various markets” – what people really mean is that they want the government to rig it, at the expense of consumers, so that their favored companies win. GM and Chrysler went broke because they built junk for too many years, and consumers shunned them as a result. This proves that the free market WORKS.

      What has happened is that after World War II, we were the only game in town. Every other major industrial power had been bombed to rubble. Our industries could afford to give raises to workers, because there was no real competition outside of the U.S. By the mid-1970s, Germany and Japan were back on their feet, and with better products in many cases (and some of them at lower prices). We can’t afford to be sloppy now, but too many of our industries are.

    • 0 avatar
      joeaverage

      Geeber – but to the average uninformed/uneducated/”It’s All Obama’s Fault” citizen the fact that Hannity and O’Reilly are on TV (especially FoxNews) makes those two reporters and an authorities. I suspect the average person can’t differentiate between a pundit and a journalist or even define “pundit”.

      “They” said it on FoxNews so it must be true. I’ve got a couple college educated friends who even think FoxNews presents mostly fact and one of them hangs on every word Beck says. Since FoxNews has Palin and Beck – FoxNews MUST represent the finest TV journalism available to the American citizen b/c no other network would speak so plainly and openly about the problems our country faces today.

      Riiiight….

      I’d argue that it is more clear that Andy Rooney is not a plain-jane journalist or reporter. CBS does a good job of making his airtime different. His demeanor is different, the set more informal, his speech and body language more informal.

      I don’t give the mainstream American news much of my time anymore. I’ve come to believe that their priority is not informing me the American citizen but acting as a PR machine for certain politicians and certain corporate interests.

      It’s unfortunate that NPR and PBS do such good journalism and that they have adjusted their formats to deliver long, detailed reports. I enjoy their content but I wish there was a free market alternative that wasn’t so ridiculously slanted to the right as FoxNews.

      Believing FoxNews is “Fair and Balanced” is like saying TopGear UK gives accurate car reviews. I really, really like TopGear UK but their reviews are strictly entertainment and they don’t portray their show as anything but entertainment. Perhaps FoxNews ought to begin describing their channel as entertainment. I might be able to stomach more of it. For an entertaining news report I can laugh at I’ll gladly watch the Comedy Channel (Daily Report and Colbert Report). They are equally outlandish as Beck and Hannity and much more entertaining. Trying to take Beck seriously simply feels pathetic.

    • 0 avatar
      geeber

      joeaverage: but to the average uninformed/uneducated/”It’s All Obama’s Fault” citizen the fact that Hannity and O’Reilly are on TV (especially FoxNews) makes those two reporters and an authorities.

      That’s your interpretation of how they view Fox News. There is no proof that the posters on this site have that problem, or that they get their arguments from Fox News.

      The real problem is that, when faced with valid criticism, too many of those on the left attempt to dismiss the arguments by shouting “Fox News! Fox News!” as a diversion from discussing the issues. Apparently, their arsenals are so bereft of actual facts that they must attempt this diversion immediately.

      joeaverage: I suspect the average person can’t differentiate between a pundit and a journalist or even define “pundit”.

      I assume, then, that you as upset about those who hang on every word that Rachel Maddow and Keith Olbermann say? Do you really believe that those two are any more accurate than Hannity or O’Reilly (they aren’t) or that their avid viewers do any better job of differentiating what they say from the news on MSNBC (they don’t, trust me)?

      For that matter, on another site, I just debated a poster who referenced Jon Stewart for his arguments, and I’m being charitable when I call him poorly informed.

      joeaverage: I’d argue that it is more clear that Andy Rooney is not a plain-jane journalist or reporter. CBS does a good job of making his airtime different. His demeanor is different, the set more informal, his speech and body language more informal.

      Do I need to recount the number of times that CBS News has ended up with egg on its face for faulty or fraudulent reporting?

      joeaverage: Believing FoxNews is “Fair and Balanced” is like saying TopGear UK gives accurate car reviews.

      Studies have shown that there is less bias on Fox News than on the other major networks.

      As I said before, anyone who believes that Fox News is uniquely biased or inaccurate is either woefully igorant of history or just fell off the turnip truck.

  • avatar
    MikeAR

    I call Fox News by its name as I do MSNBC, I don’t watch either one because there are too many other places to get news. The stars of both networks are pretty much blowhards except for Beck, he bores me.

    The true danger to free markets in this country is crony capitalism where who you know and who you can buy determines your success. Think GE, they couldn’t compete against cheaper, more efficient incandescent bulb makers so they lobbied to ban them and replace them with cfl bulbs that they had a head start manufacturing. Consumers pay more for the bulbs and they are dangerous when broken beacuse of the mercury in them. But GE got their money’s worth from buying politicians. Thing about the Toyota sua crisis. How many think that was made worse by GM’s owners meddling in the markets?

    Get the goverment out of the markets except as law enforcers and penalize harshly any business that tries to compete by influencing government and we will be on our way to recovery faster than you can imagine.

  • avatar

    The Framers thought of almost everything. Corrupt persons in power. Handling the mob mentality and “something must be done”. Balance of individual rights and state power.

    Even though they were mostly successful businessmen, they could not foresee the corporate takeover of government and media. While business always “had a say”, today, laws are passed for corporate America, not you.

    Health insurance reform is but one example. Any copyright legislation is yet another. There is never any choice that helps a person….rather, industry writes the laws and paid for congresspersons vote “DA!”

    If there was ANY push for a law which would help the average, there would be usury laws again.

  • avatar
    Angainor

    Porschespeed, I am awed by your intellectual arguments. Your positions are so undeniable true that you can go straight to name calling and belittling those who don’t agree with you. You truly are a bright, shining example of the very best of left wing thought today.

    And to think there are whole Congressional districts of people just like you out there sending Representatives to Congress. No wonder this country is screwed.

    • 0 avatar
      1996MEdition

      porshespeed – “his audience is non-critically thinking, low-IQ, unemployed people who want to blame someone for their plight”

      …..and when someone doesn’t agree with your point of view, just resort to calling them ignorant.

      ….as to being related to a participant of the Continental Congress, why is that relevant? I would think that your position on W would automatically negate any references to heredity being a predictor of anything.

      There is no cut and dried right or wrong in politics and economics. This is why we all get so heated up when mentioned. Extremists on either side cannot be reasoned with and typically never succeed. Only when people can listen to other viewpoints and reach a reasonable compromise will real results ever be achieved.

  • avatar
    porschespeed

    @1996MEdition,

    I resort to calling a spade a spade, when it is by any sane definition, a spade.

    I’m all for an intelligent debate of anything, anything that is actually debatable. That’s where we can find a middle ground (which is truly important) and move on.

    Fishing quotas, how to educate our kids, how to mitigate gang violence.These are grey areas. Let’s kick them around and see what happens.

    But, the Founding Fathers wrote The Declaration with the intent of “freedom from religion – not ‘freedom of’, let alone ‘Christian based nation’. That is no more arguable than stating the earth is flat. Or ‘creationism’ is a valid counterpoint to evolution.

    Yes, if you believe crap, it is my duty to call you on it. ‘Flat-earthers’ are low IQ meat-puppets and I have no hesitation to point out that they are.

    If they develop a logical argument, I’m glad to debate the point. But they can’t.

    Getting ‘news’ from FOX is like getting science from the Vatican – it’s crap, it has been crap for over a thousand years, and the makers only accept that which meshes with their best interests. Regardless of any scientific proof to the contrary.

    If you didn’t side with that heretic Galileo, you were a cretin then, and a cretin now. And I have no hesitations to calling water wet.

    There are most certainly cut and dried ‘right and wrongs’ in politics and economics. Is having 1% of the population control over 80% of the world’s assets and income right or wrong?

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