Imagine If Monthly Sales Reporting Was Still a Thing…

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
imagine if monthly sales reporting was still a thing

The growing movement to ditch monthly sales reporting in favor of quarterly updates will blur the impact of this month’s coronavirus-related shelter-in-place orders.

Many automakers, the Detroit Three most notably, left monthly sales reports in the dust long ago, meaning the March decline will have to mingle with the business-as-usual months that preceded it. Right now, it’s left to analysts to tell us the damage.

One has a good idea of what happened this month.

Via The Detroit News, J.D. Power’s vice president of automotive data and analytics consulting, Tyson Jominy, dished on the unexpected March doldrums.

Pre-virus forecasts mean nothing now; the current tally of U.S. auto sales (in March) is 19 percent lower than initially presumed, J.D. Power claims. By the end of the month, monthly volume could be down 32 to 40 percent compared to those earlier predictions.

Keep in mind that at the beginning of the month, New York City’s mayor was encouraging people to live their lives and mingle with crowds. It was a different world. Whistling past the graveyard was a popular pastime north and south of the border, at all levels of government.

Some markets haven’t seen a huge impact from coronavirus… yet. However, the country’s largest markets are rapidly clamping down, restricting public movement and severely stemming the flow of customers into dealerships. Jominy estimates an 80-percent drop in Detroit sales in the coming weeks. San Francisco, another coronavirus hot spot that clamped down early, saw sales fall 86 percent last weekend.

“It’s pretty clear that stay-at-home orders are the determining factor,” Jominy said. “Even in Detroit that has an unusually high lease rate due to home-town automakers. We expect Detroit to have similar levels of decline to other areas in the near future.”

Patterning its estimates after China’s coronavirus response, J.D. Power sees the U.S. shedding 1.8 to 2.8 million sales between March and June. Annual sales are projected at 13.3 million to 14.8 million — in line with the most recent estimates coming from other analysts.

[Image: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles]

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6 of 11 comments
  • EBFlex EBFlex on Mar 26, 2020

    Ford certainly lost a sale. A good friend of mine wanted to grossly overpay for a rather stripped down F-150. Advertised price was $41K. Without incentives, that pile of garbage stickered at $54K. He was intrigued by the 84 month of no interest financing. Ford told him if he wanted the 84 month financing he would have to pay sticker. Naturally I want better for my friend and showed him a Ram that has much more content and features for less money but his wife said no (women I tell ya). Thankfully because Ford is greedy he walked away from the sale.

    • See 3 previous
    • Art Vandelay Art Vandelay on Mar 27, 2020

      @EBFlex Funny thing, I went and looked at a King Ranch 2 days ago for the same reason. Either you are full of it (likely) or that particular dealer was full of it because that definitely was not the case. I am considering dumping my truck and my wife's time bomb Hyundai for it as she prefers to drive the truck anyway.

  • Hans007 Hans007 on Mar 28, 2020

    yup car sales will be horrilbe

  • 28-Cars-Later I'm actually surprised at this and not sure what to make of it. In recent memory Senator Biden has completely ignored an ecological disaster in Ohio, and then ignored a tragic fire in Hawaii until his handlers were goaded in sending him and his visit turned into it's own disaster, but we skipped nap time for this sh!t show? Seriously? We really are through the looking glass now, "votes" no longer matter (Hillary almost won being the worst presidential candidate since 1984 before he claimed the crown) and outside of Corvette nostalgia Joe doesn't care let alone know what day it happens to be. Could they really be afraid of Trump, who AFAIK has planned no appearance or run his mouth on this issue? Just doesn't make sense, granted this is Clown World so maybe its my fault for trying to find sense in a senseless act.
  • Tassos If you only changed your series to the CORRECT "Possibly Collectible, NOT Daily Driver, NOT Used car of the day", it would sound much more accurate AND TRUTHFUL.Now who would collect THIS heap of trash for whatever misguided reason, nostalgia for a much worse automotive era or whatever, is another question.
  • ToolGuy Price dropped $500 overnight. (Wait 10 more days and you might get it for free?)
  • Slavuta Must be all planned. Increase price of cars, urbanize, 15 minutes cities. Be poor, eat bugs
  • Sid SB Not seen a Core without the performance pack yet. Prefer the more understated look of the Core vs the Circuit, but both are great fun to drive.