Forecasts for auto sales keep trickling higher, with estimates now ranging as high as 14M-14.6M...

Forecasts for auto sales keep trickling higher, with estimates now ranging as high as 14M-14.6M after starting the year in a tighter 13.4M-13.7M range. Driving sales higher on unleashed pent-up demand is a slowly-improving economy combined with the increasing age of U.S. cars and trucks on the road. Automakers plan to ramp up production in response, with Chrysler (FIATY.PK) and Ford (F +0.9%) shortening their summer shutdown, while Honda (HMC +1.0%) adds overtime shifts.

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Comments (5)
  • jw4golf
    , contributor
    Comments (339) | Send Message
    using industry forecast is generally not reliable, I would prefer to see inventory figures on a comparative basis. really easy to build and ship but getting the consumer to buy overpriced recall targets is a little more difficult.
    10 May 2012, 02:13 PM Reply Like
  • Tdot
    , contributor
    Comments (8180) | Send Message
    Golf - the SAAR, as a statistical model which is adjusted every month with actual sales results, has been pretty accurate as the year develops, usually within a very few percent.


    Of course, a few percent can amount to a few to several hundred thousand units in the US market, which is why we see a range of a few hundred thousand units in the prediction.


    Sales in the US seem to be bracketed between 10 million in a disastrously severe recession, and 17 million in a crazy mad-rush year. 15 million is probably the sustainable replacement rate in a decently stable global economy, even with folks keeping their cars 10 years and 150,000 miles instead of 5-6 years.


    Cars on average don't break down near as much as they used to, and folks are taking care of them, keeping them running longer, getting routine repairs and maintenance done properly, rather than junking them on the first repair after the warranty expires, or when the 2-3 year lease is over, or as soon as the next pretty model shows up. Folks are getting their money's worth out of their cars these days.


    That said, predicting what will happen next year in the automotive industry is about like predicting the weather next year. Americans panic and stop buying every time something scary happens domestically or overseas, and that is hard to predict unless you are the CIA, and even they get caught off guard from time to time.


    Presumably the Farmer's Almanac is right about half the time about the weather: the possibilities are somewhat bracketed. Predicting 2013 and beyond automotive sales can also be bracketed, and 15 million, plus or minus a million or so, is a fair starting guess.


    As for Ford's market share relative to the competition, there are plenty of studies with evidence that shows that the market share of a mature automaker is proportional to the "freshness" of the products, everything else (eg: quality, price, value, fuel economy etc.) being equal. Thus, if Ford can continue to match or beat the competition on price, quality, fuel efficiency, and perceived value, then they will win market share based on having the freshest products in the showroom. And that is Ford's priority, rolling out major freshenings and redesigns at a frantic pace, while leading the class in quality, fuel economy, and value, and competing on price.
    11 May 2012, 07:27 AM Reply Like
  • Griller
    , contributor
    Comments (151) | Send Message
    They will have to be bought with liar's loans. I think I will check with GMAC, Oh wait, I mean the Treasury.
    10 May 2012, 07:25 PM Reply Like
  • rob dupea
    , contributor
    Comments (14) | Send Message
    "Trickling higher"?


    There's gravity defiance in that phrase, and we all should learn more immediately about THAT. Real money in a weight-canceling technology.
    11 May 2012, 07:36 AM Reply Like
  • Tdot
    , contributor
    Comments (8180) | Send Message
    Hydrogen? Helium?
    11 May 2012, 07:38 AM Reply Like
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