Seeking Alpha

U.S. auto sales wrapup: After all is said and done automakers see 2012 end with close to 14.5M...

U.S. auto sales wrapup: After all is said and done automakers see 2012 end with close to 14.5M vehicles sold in the U.S., up 13% from 2011. A strong December for Ford, GM, and Chrysler capped off the year, while Japanese automakers improved sales dramatically from last year's earthquake-ravaged mark but fell short of the estimates of analysts. South Korean automakers Kia and Hyundai felt the sales sting from a flap over inflated fuel rating claims, while in the luxury market BMW edged out Audi and Mercedes. On tap: Can the industry sell 15M cars in 2013?
Comments (15)
  • Interesting of the 15M Tesla only needs what 1/10 of 1%! Doable ...
    3 Jan 2013, 02:54 PM Reply Like
  • ...Done
    3 Jan 2013, 03:21 PM Reply Like
  • Why do you let such crap go through on this site? Everyone knows the makers are channel stuffing their dealer lots. These numbers are so fake it's not funny. Putting a car on a lot is considered a sale. That's ridiculous.
    3 Jan 2013, 03:58 PM Reply Like
  • How do you know so much. I supposed you went to the dealers lots and counted the cars. Some people just like attention.
    3 Jan 2013, 05:10 PM Reply Like
  • GM's Dealer Inventory dropped from 106 days to 76 so try again, channel stuffing did not cause the rise. Next you are going to say fleet sales? Wrong, retail was up 38% to offset the DROP in fleet.


    How do I know so much? I work in the auto industry.


    Long on both F and GM...
    3 Jan 2013, 05:24 PM Reply Like
  • Yeah, that is bizarre, if it shipped to a dealer it's sold! Yeah, sold to the dealer, so it sits for 2-3 months on some models, then sold at end of year closeout. OR, shipped to wholesalers in far off lands. Don't GM and Ford really load up dealers, and say, you will take these, even when models ain't selling. What a business. SOLD, should be on registrations by the final customer, not when sold to the dealers. Fraud. Pharma companies did that and got FINED, for stuffing warehouses with product! But a car company does it, it's ok? All BS.
    6 Jan 2013, 08:47 AM Reply Like
  • The BS your talking about comes from you. I suppose the almighty Toyota does not do anything like that. I'd bet you drive a foreign car. If you do, your defense would be the car is built in the USA. In case you don't know, the profits goes to those foreign countries. I can understand why so many people are not working in this country.
    7 Jan 2013, 08:05 AM Reply Like
  • Dealers are separate entities from the OEM's so this is really the only way to measure. Dealers also order their own vehicles now so the OEM's can no longer just ship whatever they want. If that were the case anyway all you would see on the lots would be Escalades (highest profit).
    7 Jan 2013, 08:21 AM Reply Like
  • Easier credit auto loans helped sales. Interestingly, the length of auto loans has increased, while auto prices have climbed. Cars still carry significant depreciation.
    3 Jan 2013, 05:31 PM Reply Like
  • Yes!
    3 Jan 2013, 08:53 PM Reply Like
  • I have noticed that the dealers here in Utah.... Lots are so full of 2012 trucks that there is no room for the 2013 units to come in....The ford dealer Here in town just sold his last 2011 truck a month ago..... I guess there all holding out for someone somewhere to buy these and increase the Numbers, for this site.....
    3 Jan 2013, 09:41 PM Reply Like
  • Under the national franchising law for selling automobiles, the Automakers only sell cars wholesale to the Franchise Dealerships (and others like CarMax), not directly to The People. Dealerships then re-sell them at retail to The People, and to fleet businesses like Hertz, and to governments and such, for a profit.


    Sales by the Automaker are counted when the dealerships make purchases and the cars are shipped to them.


    Other organizations measure retail sales by the dealerships to consumers. Usually there is a decent match, as dealerships maintain a suitable inventory, and sometimes the automakers give incentives to dealers to take on more inventory in the short term, particularly during a model year change.


    And sometimes dealers get "stuck" with a few vehicles, maybe in an odd color or interior configuration that someone special-ordered and then cancelled, and now nobody else wants it.
    4 Jan 2013, 05:10 AM Reply Like
  • Dealers get stuck with lots of product. How bout those Pontiac dealers, I bet there are brand new 4 year old Pontiac floating across teh ocean to some weird countrys, and Saturn to get rid of em. If they hold onto old year models even though new, it's still depreciated by model year. And dealers don't want to be selling last years models, it is a weird industry, all contrived, manipulated BS. All them cars off lease, and there is only a small % that come back as used vehicles on lots, where do they get rid of all them cars, so as to not flood the market, and cut into new car sales? Do they ship em, or crush em? Where do all those lot full of useless Hummers wind up? Highly manipulated market of products.
    6 Jan 2013, 08:54 AM Reply Like
  • What happens when the mfg takes back cars from a closed dealership, do they take back the sale also? Hmmm, or is it a one way ride?
    6 Jan 2013, 08:56 AM Reply Like
  • Unsold dealership inventory, and other unsold "new old stock" vehicles, generally get auctioned off. Some automotive enthusiasts love to collect the last of the production lot and store it for showing. Others love to replace their "old" car that has 100,000 miles, with a nearly identical one with zero miles.


    If there are any "new" Hummers out there, you can bet they are in high demand, especially among military-types returning from the war, not to mention paramilitary survivalist types. Same for Pontiac - there are tens of thousands of serious Pontiac "goat" fanatics out there ready to snap them up.


    In the end, there are no "unsold" cars - somebody always has the Title to it, whether the dealership, or someone else.


    Either the dealership sells it off at an auction, or stores it until such a time as it is wanted, maybe for years. Some may be dismantled and used for parts and collision repairs. Others will be held in a warehouse until someone shows up looking for one. Dealership inventories are nationally registered, so a buyer in Florida can find one in storage in Oregon, and get it shipped down. Also, Ebay Automobiles has often featured "new old stock" cars like this, frequently selling for more than suggested retail.


    Cars like this in mint condition very rarely get crushed. The parts alone are worth more than 10 times what the car originally sold for.
    6 Jan 2013, 09:07 AM Reply Like
DJIA (DIA) S&P 500 (SPY)