Ford: The Worst is Over
American Editorial: Huzzah! First Single-Digit Drop In 17 Months!
Prepare yourself for an increasing number of „good news“ along the following lines:
„October U.S. auto sales should be down about 6 percent from a year ago, marking the first single-digit monthly decline since May 2008, industry forecasting firm J.D. Power and Associates said on Friday.” Glad tidings, brought to you by Reuters.
Times must be really bad when single digit declines are feted as an improvement.
In reality, things stay as bad as they have been all year. In September 2008, the bottom fell out of the light vehicle market. From now on out, monthly sales will be compared to hell.
September Sales Rate Lowest in 28 Years?
U.S. Epic Fail Might Make China World's Largest Auto Market For 2009
In January, China’s auto sales for the first time in history exceeded America’s, making China the world’s largest auto market for the month. As we said, sooner than later, China is bound to outclass the US of A solidly. Xu Changming, director of China’s economic consultative center under the State Information Center, thinks that it is quite possible that China will overtake the United States as the World No.1 car market for all of 2009: “Chinese auto sales are expected to grow 4 percent to 5 percent from 9.38 million units sold last year, more than the estimated 9 million unit sales in the U.S. this year.”
“But this figure is not something we should feel proud of since the U.S. was just plunged into an economic recession,” Xu warns according to Gasgoo. “Once the recession ends, America can retake the sales crown by selling 16 million–17 million vehicles annually.” So even if China takes the crown this year, they might lose it, and then “China still needs at least four to five years to eventually catch up with the U.S. in the auto sales total,” said Xu. And he has reason for caution . . .
If It's January, We Must Have Hit Bottom
Or so goes the logic of Brent Snavely and friends over at the Detroit Free Press. Sales down 37.1 percent? The lowest seasonally adjusted annual selling rate (SAAR) since 1982? No way is it going to get worse before it gets better! “This is not real. This is artificially low,” says Jesse Toprak, executive director of industry analysis for Edmunds.com, who goes on to warn that “the industry might not recover without some sort of external stimulus.” Not here, not now! And yet in the midst of all this turmoil, a strained and unconvincing optimism abounds. Well, at the Freep anyway . . .
United States Overrun By China
Never has the term “Red China” been more appropriate than in the last month. The U.S. is staring into China’s taillights. In January, the unthinkable happened. China dethroned the United States as the world’s largest car market. Not for the year. For one month only—so far. Even the biggest optimists (or pessimists, depending how you look at it) didn’t expect (fear) that China would outsell the U.S. before 2015.
The story unraveled during GM’s monthly sales call on Monday. Michael DiGiovanni, GM’s executive director of global market and industry analysis, dropped the remark that an estimated 790,000 vehicles were sold in China in January. Total U.S. sales in January were about 668,000, DiGiovanni estimated. Automotive News [sub] thinks Di Giovanni is an optimist. According to their tally, 656,881 vehicles were sold in January. DiGiovanni’s Chinese number was even news to China, where official counts are not yet available.
“This is the first time in history that China has passed the U.S. in monthly sales,” DiGiovanni said. “We are estimating that China is going to come in at 10.7 million seasonally adjusted annual rate in January. The U.S. industry, we estimate at about 9.8 million SAAR.”