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Thursday, April 2, 2009

Autos Breakdown: Ugly, But at Least the Hummers Dead

Although the WSJ tried to be cheery in their post Auto Makers See a Ray of Hope (article since pulled?) and quotes a bottom caller:

"I believe we are in a bottoming process for the industry," Bob Carter, a group vice president at Toyota Motor Corp., said in a conference call. Mr. Carter said the company's 18% sales improvement in March compared with February could be "a very early indication that we have floored and some optimism is starting to return to the market."
The data suggests otherwise. Autoblog with the details (and figures):
The U.S. auto industry's sales slide continues, and despite the overall market selling more vehicles in March versus February, nearly all brands fell versus the same month in 2008.

The lone notable exceptions are Subaru and Kia. These two brands have ignored industry trends all year long, and this month Subaru posted a small 2.6% loss in sales volume versus last year.
Looking at month over month data (use this for relative purposes only as this is not seasonally adjusted), we see relative strength for those autos that got crushed last month (thus this is just a correction from February lows). That is except for the big, soccer mom, ugly, fuel sucking, box vehicles soon to be formerly known as Hummers, which are dieing the slow death I have been dreaming about for years.