Edmunds Traffic Forecast For August: Stop And No Go

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt

Michelle Krebs and Lacey Plache of Edmunds.com, decorated heroes of the TTAC “rate the analysts” contest (to be repeated) are raining on the parade of good sales forceasts, definitely for August, possibly for the year. Edmunds thinks that August sales will be flat. Customers are hearing mixed signals, and being confused, they do nothing. Says Lacey Plache:

“Stronger buying conditions are telling consumers to go ahead and make their car purchases, but a weak economic landscape is telling them to wait until later this year, or even longer. This is the battle that will determine exactly how much the auto industry will grow this year.”

For August, Edmunds expects car and truck sales to come in at a smidgen over a million (1,087,000 FWIW), up 2.6 percent from July and 9 percent from August 2010, not adjusted for the different number of selling days in the months. If that number prints, the Seasonally Adjusted Annualized Rate of car sales (SAAR) will stand at 12.3 million vehicles. “Stand” is the operative word, because is would be roughly the same as July.

Like us, Edmunds.com has its sights on underestimated Nissan. Edmunds gives Nissan ”the biggest month-over-month gains among the top six automakers. Nissan is projected to sell 10.4 percent more vehicles in August than July, and 21.5 percent more vehicles than in August 2010.”

Like us, Edmunds praises Nissan for dealing best with the obstacles thrown up by a huge tidal wave in Japan. Says Jessica Caldwell:

“Nissan’s market share growth is a testament to how well it has recovered from the March earthquake compared to its chief Japanese rivals. In recent marketing campaigns, Nissan has been directly targeting shoppers who have trouble finding Toyota and Honda vehicles in stock, while further enticing them with juicy incentives like zero percent financing on a majority of their models.”

On the overrated side, Edmunds forecasts that Ford will be the only major automaker this month to report a decline in sales from July to August. Ford’s sales are expected to be down 0.5 percent from July, leading to a market share loss of 0.5 points. Edmunds sees Ford struggling with inventory, notably of its hottest-selling models – the Ford Fiesta, Ford Focus and Ford Explorer.

Hyundai is expected to sell 60,839 vehicles this month, a 13.5 percent gain over August 2010. Hyundai’s inventories also show signs of strain. In early August, Hyundai’s CEO John Krafcik told Edmunds that Hyundai had only 37,000 vehicles in inventory – barely a 20 days supply. The Elantra was down to a 3 days supply.

Bertel Schmitt
Bertel Schmitt

Bertel Schmitt comes back to journalism after taking a 35 year break in advertising and marketing. He ran and owned advertising agencies in Duesseldorf, Germany, and New York City. Volkswagen A.G. was Bertel's most important corporate account. Schmitt's advertising and marketing career touched many corners of the industry with a special focus on automotive products and services. Since 2004, he lives in Japan and China with his wife <a href="http://www.tomokoandbertel.com"> Tomoko </a>. Bertel Schmitt is a founding board member of the <a href="http://www.offshoresuperseries.com"> Offshore Super Series </a>, an American offshore powerboat racing organization. He is co-owner of the racing team Typhoon.

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  • VanillaDude VanillaDude on Aug 26, 2011

    Who survived the Great Depression, and why? Whatever they did to succeed, they will need to do so again. 2012 doesn't look much better. And neither does 2013.

  • Highdesertcat Highdesertcat on Aug 26, 2011

    Agree that, from my perspective and location, 2012 and 2013 don't look much better than 2011. But we have to hope that the US auto industry, and especially GM, does well for it is the only way for we, the people, to get some of that money back that we showered on them during the Great Bailout. We already know what we lost on what was once called Chrysler, and what it took to get Fiat to take that loser off our hands. I learned yesterday that the US Treasury has already made more than $150B on the financial industry/banks it bailed out, and there's still more to come. That's the good news. But in the case of the US auto industry we, the people, will never recoup all the money that was wasted on failed giants, just to keep the UAW working at the expense of the tax payers. Somehow the UAW felt it was owed them because the taxpayers enjoyed the privilege of having the UAW build cars for them. I never understood that. But it was a great deal, for them! What helped turn America around after the Great Depression was the onset of WWII. Everybody who wanted a job, got a job. In fact, labor was in such short supply in 1942-1944 that it was imported from Mexico and anywhere else we could find people to come to the US Mainland. Many of them overstayed their welcome and didn't go home. Some even came here involuntarily, like the Issei and Nissei forced to relocate from Hawaii. While we have a dire need for certain jobs in America, we do not want to repeat the factors that created jobs after the Great Depression. We already are involved in too many wars that will not yield any return on investment to the tax payers. WWII yielded enormous returns on the taxpayers' investment. Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya are, and will always be, losses to the US taxpayers and the Treasury. It may come as a surprise but there are many, well-paying jobs in America that go unfilled these days because we don't have the talent to fill them. That's why, even today, we import people from overseas with our various visa-programs to fill those jobs that are critical to America. To wit, jobs in research, medicine and engineering. It's a sad day when America has to import brains as well as manufactured goods. Yet we are doing it. Until the economy, and the housing industry, gets better and improves the lives of Joe Sixpack and Sally Housewife, fewer people will feel inclined to stick themselves in debt to buy that new car. I envision a depressed SAAR of 12.1M for 2011. It's too early to tell about 2012 but I would be surprised if it is much higher. Economic forecasts are for very slow growth for two to three years.

    • Mike978 Mike978 on Aug 28, 2011

      The financial bailout is still at a loss if you include the $180 billion to AIG. Some money was made loaning to Goldman Sachs etc but AIG was the big loss. GM will be a small loss through to breakeven. Chrysler was a small loss.

  • Lou_BC Ironic, the Honda Ridgeline, a truck that every truck guy loves to hate is in 6th place.
  • 28-Cars-Later I keep forgetting I own it, but the space look on the ext cab reminds me of my 'Yota pickup of the same model year. I'm pretty sure there is some vintage of Hilux which features the same looking ext cab window (maybe '88?) its a shame these things are mostly gone and when available are $1,000,000,000 [INSERT CURRENT CURRENCY].
  • Sayahh Imagine if Ford had Toyota design and build a Mustang engine. It will last over 300k miles! (Skip turbo and make it naturally aspirated.) Maybe Yamaha will help tune it...
  • Sobhuza Trooper Isuzu's crime was to build some damn good trucks.Shame on them.
  • El scotto Listen, unless you were Lord Headly-Stempmoor or such when you got off the off the boat, boot in Canada, you got the short end of the stick. People got on the boat, these days a plane, to escape famine, becoming cannon fodder in yet another stupid war, or the government thought it was A-OK to let soldiers kill you. Juneteenth is just a way to right one of the more bad ideas in the American experiment. Instead we have commenters who were buying tater chips and diet soda at Wal-Mart and got all butt-hurt because they heard someone who wasn't speaking English. I'm going to go fix a couple of frankfurters with salsa and guacamole and wash them down with a lager or three