Grade The Analysts: Bullseye Bankers Trounce TrueCar, Edmunds

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt

US car sales rose a solid 10 percent in September to a little over one million. The seasonally adjusted annual rate is reported as 13.1 million by Autodata. General Motors is up 20 percent, Chrysler shot up 27 percent, Ford brought up the rear with a 9 percent gain. And how did our analysts fare?

SAAR-wise, most of the analysts polled by Bloomberg came within a hair of the correct number. Jesse Toprak of TrueCar called it exactly. Jeff Schuster of J.D. Power and Rod Lache of Deutsche Bank were only a tenth of a percent off.

RankAnalyst GMFord Chrysler SAARSAAR DiffOEM DiffOverall1Rod Lache (Deutsche Bank)21.0%8.5%22.0%13.00.76%6.50%7.26%2Seth Weber (RBC)21.0%8.0%24.0%12.82.29%5.00%7.29%3Jesse Toprak (TrueCar.com)21.0%8.5%20.0%13.10.00%8.50%8.50%4Jessica Caldwell (Edmunds.com)19.0%11.0%23.0%12.91.53%7.00%8.53%5Brian Johnson (Barclays)17.0%7.0%25.0%12.82.29%7.00%9.29%6Chris Ceraso (Credit Suisse)14.0%4.0%16.0%12.63.82%22.00%25.82%7Patrick Archambault (Goldman Sachs)15.0%-1.3%13.0%12.45.34%29.30%34.64%8Peter Nesvold (Jefferies)24.0%1.6% NA12.73.05%111.40%114.45%9Jeff Schuster (J.D. Power) NA NA NA13.00.76%300.00%300.76%10Itay Michaeli (Citigroup) NA NA NA12.91.53%300.00%301.53%11Himanshu Patel (JPMorgan) NA NA NA12.82.29%300.00%302.29%12Alan Baum (Baum & Associates) NA NA NA12.82.29%300.00%302.29%13Adam Jonas (Morgan Stanley)NA NA NA12.82.29%300.00%302.29%14George Magliano (IHS Automotive)NA NA NA12.45.34%300.00%305.34%Average19.0%5.9%20.0%12.8Actual20.0%9.0%27.0%13.1

Where analysts really shined this month was when calling the sales of the Detroit 3. Most who had the guts to give estimates for the Detroit 3 had the big picture right: Chrysler way up, GM up a lot, Ford up, but not so much. The GM number received very close hits. The Ford guesses were a bit erratic, but also close. With Chrysler, some could have aimed a bit higher.

The winner of TTAC’s Grade the Analysts guessathon is Rod Lache of Deutsche Bank, a man who is otherwise known in the business as the best analyst for bearish calls. Seth Weber of the Royal Bank of Canada is breathing down his neck.

Only then come the folks who would have real time data, Jesse Toprak of TrueCar and Jessica Calwell of Edmunds. The bankers must have the better inside sources.

The analysts that did not give Big 3 data were hit with a massive penalty. That included Jeff Schuster of J.D. Power, and it ruined his pretty good SAAR call of 13.0 million. If you want to stand a chance in this game, you needs to guess SAAR, GM, Ford and Chrysler.

A solid “booooh” goes to George Magliano of IHS Automotive. Not only was he too scared to give Big 3 estimates. His 12.4 million SAAR wasn’t even close.

Congratulations to all.

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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  • Don1967 Don1967 on Oct 04, 2011

    How many analysts does it take to screw in a lightbulb? Four. One to drop the lightbulb, and three to recommend selling after it smashes against the floor. Thank you, thank you.

  • Passive Passive on Oct 04, 2011

    If I am understanding how this is supposed to work (SAAR diff + OEM diff = overall), then your math is wrong. You have Rod Lache at: 0.76 + 7 = 7.26 Shouldn't the overall be 7.76, bumping him to second? As well, shouldn't Jesse Toprak be bumped to fourth, with 9?

    • Bertel Schmitt Bertel Schmitt on Oct 04, 2011

      The math was right, but the formatting was confusing. The OEM Diff column did not show the digits after the decimal point and showed the result rounded. The addition was correct. Toprak won over Caldwell by 0.03 pertcent

  • Ronin The very asking of the question "Are Plug-In Hybrids the Future?" is an interesting one. Because just 2 or 3 years ago we'd be asking- no, asserting- that E cars are the future. We're no longer asking that question.
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