The WSJ is reporting that Ford (NYSE:F) is going to show its first year-over-year sales increase since 2007 when it releases sales data today. Some analysts suggested that the seasonally adjusted annualized sales rate could be as high as 12 million. It has been running around 9.6 million units.
All of this is coming on the heels of “cash-for-clunkers” which was an unexpected success and is now technically out of money. The House passed a $2 billion extension to the program but it faces some opposition in the Senate. The administration has extended the program until Tuesday, but it ends after that subject to what the Senate does.
So, auto sales are going to get a good bump up when the reports come out today. It’s going to be one of the “yes, but what if?” sort of reports due to the “cash-for-clunkers” program. Many contend that all it's accomplishing is to move sales that would have occurred forward.
If that’s the case then the industry could be in for dismal late fall sales. As it is, I suspect the good sales news will be perceived positively, if not correctly.