By on September 2, 2011


This is round two of TTAC’s “Grade The Analysts”. Last time, we graded only on how closely analysts hit the SAAR number (table provided by Bloomberg.). If we would have done this this time, all would have received an A or better. The guesses were THAT close. The overall SAAR  for August was 12.1 million, and none of the analysts did bet on less than 11.9 or better than 12.3. Instead of giving them all gold stars, we made it a bit more interesting.

According to the grading established in July, anyone hitting the SAAR number with a precision of less than 1 percent would get an A+, less than 2 percent would get an A. That would have resulted in five A, five A+, and four A++ for a bull’s eye 12.1. Even the average would have walked away with a bull’s eye. Boooo-ring!

To make it more interesting, and to honor the analysts that stick their necks out and give estimates for the Detroit 3, we brought that into the mix. Cowardly analysts that would not provide an OEM estimate were penalized with a 100% wrong per OEM. Then, we established a composite of SAAR and OEM. And the winner is …

Analyst  GM Ford  Chrysler  SAAR SAAR Delta OEM Delta Overall
Jesse Toprak ( 20% 12% 22% 12.2 0.83% 9% 9.83%
Jessica Caldwell ( 20% 14% 21% 12.3 1.65% 12% 13.65%
Brian Johnson (Barclays) 15% 14% 15% 12.1 0.00% 19% 19.00%
Seth Weber (RBC) 15% 14% 13% 12.1 0.00% 21% 21.00%
Chris Ceraso (Credit Suisse) 20% 18% 12% 12.1 0.00% 25% 25.00%
Patrick Archambault (Goldman Sachs) 11% 14% 10% 12.0 0.83% 28% 28.83%
Peter Nesvold (Jefferies) 19% 16% NA 12.3 1.65% 106% 107.65%
Himanshu Patel (JPMorgan) NA NA  NA 12.1 0.00% 300% 300.00%
Rod Lache (Deutsche Bank)  NA NA  NA 12.2 0.83% 300% 300.83%
George Magliano (IHS Automotive)  NA NA  NA 12.2 0.83% 300% 300.83%
Alan Baum (Baum & Associates)  NA NA  NA 12.2 0.83% 300% 300.83%
Itay Michaeli (Citigroup) NA NA  NA 11.9 1.65% 300% 301.65%
Adam Jonas (Morgan Stanley) NA NA  NA 11.9 1.65% 300% 301.65%
Jeff Schuster (J.D. Power) NA NA  NA 11.9 1.65% 300% 301.65%
Average 17% 15% 16% 12.1 0.00% 17% 17.00%
Actual 18% 11% 28% 12.1

Jesse Toprak of Truecar.  His SAAR estimate (12.2 instead of 12.1) was off by 0.83 percent. However, his OEM estimates had nearly laser-like precision.  He is followed by Jessica Caldwell of Edmunds, the winner of last round. Best analyst without the benefit of real time data is Brian Johnson of Barclays.

Here is hoping that this exercise will motivate the other analysts to provide more than a SAAR number. Even if you hit it exactly, for a true podium finish, you must provide estimates for the Detroit 3.

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2 Comments on “TTAC Grades The Analysts: TrueCar Wins In August...”

  • avatar
    Secret Hi5

    TTAC editors need to provide their own predictions. It’d be fun to pit TTAC against The Rest of The World!

  • avatar

    I’m at work, so I can’t watch the video. But in my line of business (financial consulting) if I’m talking seasonally adjusted annual rate, then I’m not expecting to hit dead on in any one month. I’d be more interested in analysts who can get close over a longer period of time. So what if some guy guesses one month correctly? What if he guesses 3 of 12 months better than anyone else but is way off on the other 9? I’m more interested in a consistent forecast.

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