October Auto Sales Worst Since At Least '92
Detroit automakers released their October auto sales figures today, and they are bad. Worse than Toyota, worse than Honda -- probably worse than a company trying to sell dirigibles and canal boats.
October GM sales were down 47 percent compared to October 2007.
Ford reported October sales plummeted 30 percent.
The third October sales shoe dropped this afternoon, with Chrysler reporting sales were down 36 percent during the past month.
Sales of GM trucks and SUVs were down 53 percent. GM has depended on trucks and SUVs for the bulk of their profits.
Shares of GM closed down 2.4 percent at $5.65.
Shares of Ford closed down 2.7 percent at $2.13.
Chrysler is privately held.
The Detroit October decline represents, by some lights, the worst sales month since 1992. Other auto analysts say, no, it's actually the worst month since the Reagan administration.
These disturbing results may pave the way for an industry-wide federal bailout of the auto sector -- not just a little help making the GM-Chrysler merger happen -- but help to suppliers, dealers, everyone that's getting hurt by the economic contraction.
Remember -- the Big Three (misnomer these days) already want another $25 billion in direct federal loans in addition to the $25 billion that was approved last month.
They're in a cash-burn crisis right now -- the $25 billion may not arrive until January. And the Big Three will be in much better shape in 2010, when union give-backs kick in and GM, for instance, can shave $4,000 off the cost of producing every new car. But it's a real question now whether they will make it to 2010.
Here's a good state-of-the-auto-industry sum-up written by, um, us.
-- Frank Ahrens
Posted by: TomIII | November 3, 2008 2:47 PM | Report abuse
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