Grade The Analysts: Shape Up, Ladies & Gentlemen!

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt

The year begins with our analysts in utter disarray. Reality destroyed all projections, even the finely honed real-time forecasting models of TrueCar, Edmunds and Kelley Blue Book are left as smoking wrecks. In the end, familiar names won our January Grade The Analyst, but only because others finished much worse.

RankAnalyst GMFord Chrysler SAARSAAR DiffOEM DiffOverall1Jesse Toprak (TrueCar.com)-9.4%8.0%34.0%13.604.09%14.40%18.49%2Jessica Caldwell (Edmunds.com)-8.9%9.2%35.0%13.405.50%14.10%19.60%3Peter Nesvold (Jefferies)-9.1%8.1%33.0%13.405.50%15.20%20.70%4Rod Lache (Deutsche Bank)-4.0%10.0%31.0%13.703.39%18.00%21.39%5Joseph Spak (RBC)0.6%1.8%36.0%13.504.80%19.80%24.60%6Alec Gutierrez (Kelley Blue Book)-5.4%14.0%33.0%13.206.91%18.60%25.51%7Patrick Archambault (Goldman Sachs)-10.0%13.0%31.0%13.504.80%23.00%27.80%8Brian Johnson (Barclays Capital)-12.0%-1.0%23.0%13.206.91%35.00%41.91%9Himanshu Patel (JPMorgan)NANANA13.504.80%300.00%304.80%10Jeff Schuster (LMC Automotive)NANANA13.504.80%300.00%304.80%11Alan Baum (Baum & Associates)NANANA13.504.80%300.00%304.80%12Itay Michaeli (Citigroup)NANANA13.405.50%300.00%305.50%13Adam Jonas (Morgan Stanley)NANANA13.405.50%300.00%305.50%14George Magliano (IHS Automotive)NANANA13.206.91%300.00%306.91%Average-7.3%7.9%32.0%13.40Actual-6.0%7.0%44.0%14.18

Overall, the creme-de-la-creme of the Nation’s auto analysts missed the January SAAR (Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate) by nearly a million when polled by Bloomberg a day before the actual January sales came in. The eight analysts that submitted projections for the Detroit 3 (the only way to win this game) guessed way too low on Chrysler, were in the ball park (but too optimistic) on Ford, and too pessimistic on GM.

Finally, Jesse Toprak of TrueCar narrowly squeezed by Jessica Caldwell of Edmunds, winner of The Top Analyst Crown 2011 . Kelley Blue Book’s real time model disappointed.

TrueCar had a bit of a rough time lately, they can use some good news.


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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  • Michal1980 Michal1980 on Feb 03, 2012

    Guy needs new dreams, if his dream car is a Mini-Van.

    • Klossfam Klossfam on Feb 03, 2012

      If his dream car is a minvan, Calvin should use the commercial spot to see if he can get someone to 'take him out'... I kid of course - sort a - as I've had a 1996 Ford Windstar and 2001 Honda Odyssey in my past...BUT I'm glad those days have come and gone...

  • Steven02 Steven02 on Feb 03, 2012

    I am not sure why you lump all of the people who don't list individual OEMs together with those who do and then count the OEM numbers against them. Seems kind of odd. Also, does anyone rank how they think all of the major OEMs do in the US on a monthly basis? Would be interesting to see that more than just the D2.5.

  • Ronin Let's see the actuals first, then we can decide using science.What has been the effect of auto pollution levels since the 70s when pollution control devices were first introduced? Since the 80s when they were increased?How much has auto pollution specifically been reduced since the introduction of hybrid vehicles? Of e-vehicles?We should well be able to measure the benefits by now, by category of engine. We shouldn't have to continue to just guess the benefits. And if we can't specifically and in detail measure the benefits by now, it should make a rational person wonder if there really are any real world benefits.
  • TheEndlessEnigma Simply put, I like it.
  • TheEndlessEnigma Ah GM, never stop being you. GM is working hard to make FIAT look good.
  • TheEndlessEnigma Top Gear of the 2000's was a fresh concept and very well done. Sadly to say there isn't a TV show concept that doesn't eventually exhaust fresh ideas and, as a result, begins to rehash and wear out once were fresh ideas. The show eventually becomes a pale imitation of itself, then begins to embarrass itself, it will get to a point where it jumps the shark. Top Gear began to get stale, the Clarkson, Hammond and May left and the formula failed - surprise! the presenters were part of the magic. Fast forward many years and Grand Tower is trying hard to be Top Gear but it's all very obviously scripted (it always was by felt spontaneous in its original form), Clarkson, Hammond and May are much older, tired and have become caricatures of themselves. Guys, just stop. You should have stopped 10 years ago. Now you're just screwing with your reputations and legacies.
  • FreedMike Kudos to Toyota for making a legitimately slick looking piece (particularly in metallic cherry red). But PHEVs seem like a very narrow niche to me. Yes, the concept is cool - if you play your cards right you never have to fill up with gas, and the gas engine means you don't have to worry about charging facilities - but the operative words are "if you play your cards right." And PHEVs have all the drawbacks of EVs - spotty charging availability, decreased range in cold conditions, and higher price. Personally, I'd opt for a non plug-in Prius and use the plug-in money to upgrade the trim level. It's slower, but even the base Prius performs roughly on par with a Corolla or Civic, so it's not a dog anymore. But who buys a Prius to go fast in the first place? If I wanted to "go gas free," I'd just buy a BEV. YMMV, of course.
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