You Are Looking At The U.S. Car Market

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt
you are looking at the u s car market

What is the difference between the November U.S. car market and my wife? The answer is: None. Edmunds says the U.S. annual sales rate for new vehicles in November will be essentially flat from the prior month.

This reiterates equally flat predictions Wardsauto and J.D.Power had made a few days ago. Edmunds analyst Jessica Calwell paints a pretty face on the prediction: “We’re seeing some stability and consistency in the marketplace for the first time since the economic downturn. The auto makers have realized that they can achieve profitability at this level of sales, and they seem to be settling into that reality.”

Edmunds sees November SAAR to stay at 12.2 million, just like October. Compared to the horrendous November of 2009, sales are expected to be up 17 percent, so there will be something to celebrate.

Edmunds already has forecasts for the largest automakers. As per their crystal ball, it will look as follows:

Change from November 2009Change from October 2010Chrysler22.4%-15.4%Ford25.6%-2.0%GM11.5%-8.5%Honda16.2%-13.3%Nissan10.0%-12.4%Toyota-1.8%-9.8%Industry total17.0%-8.1%

(Unadjusted for selling days)

Two other closely followed metrics will be up. Average auto incentives in the U.S. are expected to be $2,490 per vehicle sold in November, up 2.1 percent from the prior month, but down 8.6 percent from the desperate month of the prior year. Buy (North) American proponents will be pleased to hear that the combined U.S. monthly market share for Chrysler, Ford and GM is expected to be 45.5 percent in November, up from 44.8 percent a year ago and up from 45.2 percent in October. If you look at it this way, the market appears much better proportioned.

But with one month to go, it’s time to settle into the reality of an 11.5m car market. Compared to the 10.4 million units in 2009, we’ll call that an A-cup.

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6 of 12 comments
  • Dwford Dwford on Nov 25, 2010

    This is the new normal. The industry won't be getting anywhere near the credit bubble 16-17m per year rate any time soon. Bad economy, high costs of ownership, high initial purchase costs are all driving people out of cars. The US auto fleet will probably keep shrinking over the next decade as people give up cars.

    • Patrickj Patrickj on Nov 25, 2010

      Give the current high prices for used cars, I suspect there's room for the U.S. market to grow by a million or two within a couple of years. The incoming stream of high-mileage compacts and subcompacts also has the potential to capture the interest of young drivers.

  • Daanii2 Daanii2 on Nov 25, 2010

    You are a brave man, Bertel. My wife is also Japanese, but I would never have the courage to remark about the size of her chest. Ever. No matter where or how private.

    • See 2 previous
    • SCE to AUX SCE to AUX on Nov 25, 2010

      Flat is great, but not so much for car sales.

  • Dwford 100% charge at home.
  • El scotto Another year the Nissan Rogue is safe.
  • John R 4,140 lbs...oof. A quick google of two cars I'm familiar with:2017 Ford Fusion Sport - AWD, twin-turbo 2.7 V6 (325 horsepower and 380 lb-ft of torque)3,681 lbs2006 Dodge Charger RT - RWD, naturally aspirated 5.7 V8 (340 horsepower and 390 lb. -ft. of torque)4,031 lbs
  • FreedMike Ford "Powershudder" DCT? Hard pass...with extreme prejudice. The only people who liked these were the class-action lawyers. With a manual, it'd be a different story.
  • Cprescott I blow on a pinwheel....