By on April 4, 2012

March was a great month for the auto industry, and an analyst’s Waterloo. The real-time data equipped heavy-weights of Edmunds, TrueCar and Kelley were solidly trounced by bankers with a better feel, better sources, or simply better luck. The podium of March’s “Grade The Analysts” is populated by brokers and bankers, the professional auto oracles have been degraded to also-runs.

Rank Analyst  GM Ford  Chrysler  SAAR SAAR Diff OEM Diff Overall
1 Peter Nesvold (Jefferies) 19.0% 4.1% 35.0% 14.4 0.0% 8.9% 8.9%
2 Emmanuel Rosner (CLSA) 13.0% 7.9% 29.0% 14.5 0.7% 8.9% 9.6%
3 Brian Johnson (Barclays Capital) 7.6% 9.0% 37.0% 14.5 0.7% 11.4% 12.1%
4 Jessica Caldwell (Edmunds.com) 21.0% 4.8% 35.0% 14.9 3.5% 10.2% 13.7%
5 Jesse Toprak (TrueCar.com) 21.0% 1.4% 32.0% 14.5 0.7% 14.6% 15.3%
6 Alec Gutierrez (Kelley Blue Book) 24.0% 6.0% 35.0% 14.6 1.4% 14.0% 15.4%
7 Chris Ceraso (Credit Suisse) 19.0% 7.9% 27.0% 14.4 0.0% 16.9% 16.9%
8 Rod Lache (Deutsche Bank) 21.0% 3.6% 27.0% 14.4 0.0% 17.4% 17.4%
9 Joseph Spak (RBC) 18.0% 6.2% 21.0% 14.4 0.0% 20.2% 20.2%
10 Patrick Archambault (Goldman Sachs) 25.0% 3.9% 29.0% 14.6 1.4% 19.1% 20.5%
11 Itay Michaeli (Citigroup) NA NA NA 14.4 0.0% 300.0% 300.0%
12 Alan Baum (Baum & Associates) NA NA NA 14.4 0.0% 300.0% 300.0%
13 Matthew Stover (Guggenheim) NA NA NA 14.5 0.7% 300.0% 300.7%
14 Adam Jonas (Morgan Stanley) NA NA NA 14.5 0.7% 300.0% 300.7%
15 George Magliano (IHS Automotive) NA NA NA 14.5 0.7% 300.0% 300.7%
16 Jeff Schuster (LMC Automotive) NA NA NA 14.1 2.1% 300.0% 302.1%
Average 19.0% 5.5% 31.0% 14.5
Actual 12.0% 5.0% 34.0% 14.4

Peter Nesvold of Jefferies deservedly is spraying expensive champagne from his top position at the automotive analysts polled by Bloomberg. Nesvold called GM’s 19 percent on the dot, he was within a whisker’s width of Ford and Chrysler, he nailed the SAAR. Emmanuel Rosner in number 2 and Brian Johnson on three were less precise, but their guesses still were good enough to shame the nuclear-tipped crowd.

The real-time heavyweights of Edmunds, TrueCar and Kelley all aimed too high and missed. Too bad for Itay Michael  and Alan Baum. Both called March SAAR exactly, but in this game, one can only win by naming a number for each of the Detroit dudes. Jeff Schuster misses the good old days when he played with the big boys. How does it feel down there?

Better luck in April!

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