Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
2.7%  Q1 GDP    4.57%  avg. 30-year mortgage     9.5%  Unemployment

March Sales: GM Down 45 Pct., Ford Down 41 Pct., Chrysler Down 40 Pct., Toyota Down 37 Pct.


Toyota, now the world's largest automaker, said its March North America sales were down 36.8 percent, compared to March 2008. But March 2009 sales were up 16.3 percent compared to February of this year, the company said moments ago.

Toyota sold 132,802 vehicles in North America in March.

GM reported earlier that March sales were down 45 percent compared to March 2008.

However, GM showed a 23 percent sales increase from February 2009, as seven of eight GM brands had higher sales figures in March than in February. Sales of GM's Hummer brand were down 75.9 percent in March compared to March 2008. GM is trying to sell Hummer.

GM's car sales in March were off 41 percent, while truck sales were off 47 percent, compared to March of last year.

Moments ago, Chrysler said its March sales were down 39.3 percent compared to March of last year, but that it sold 100,000 vehicles in a month for the first time since last fall. Sales of Chrysler cars fell a stunning 51 percent in March, while truck sales dropped 34.5 percent. This is why Chrysler wants to merge with Fiat -- or any company than can actually sell cars.

Earlier today, Ford reported that March vehicle sales were down 40.9 percent compared to March 2008.

Forecasters expected a March decline of 45 percent for Ford. Ford is the one Big Three automaker to so far decline federal bailout money.

It's worth noting that Ford sales were up 30 percent compared to February of this year, with retail (non-fleet) sales up 34 percent from last month.

Ford sold 131,000 vehicles in March 2009, compared to 222,000 last March.

Other automakers:

-- Germany's Daimler AG reported that its North American Mercedes Benz sales were down 23 percent in March.

-- Honda said its North American sales were down 33.7 percent in March, compared to March 2008.

-- Subaru announced moments ago that its March sales were down 24.9 percent compared to March 2008. Subaru sells very few vehicles in the U.S.; total March sales were only 5,722 vehicles.

-- Volkswagen said moments ago that its March sales were down 19.7 percent in March, compared to March 2008. VW sold 15,720 vehicles in the U.S. last month.

Check back throughout the day as other automakers release their March results.

March Vehicle Sales To Provide Guide For Year

11:27 A.M.: The world's automakers will be releasing their March sales figures, one by one, in the coming hours.

Analysts will be watching closely to see what the first three months of the year can tell us about the rest of 2009.

The math is pretty simple, at least for Detroit's Big Three: In order to remain going concerns, GM, Ford and Chrysler need to sell at least a combined 9.5 million to 10 million vehicles this year, many auto analysts say.

Some forecasters have predicted today's numbers to compute to an annualized sales rate of about 9.2 million vehicles, which is up slightly from February's 9.12 million annualized rate, but still short of the target. Others see the annualized rate coming in at around 8.9 million.

With each month that passes, Detroit loses time to hit the stay-afloat mark.

But here's the wildcard: These numbers go out the window if GM and Chrysler enter a government-backed bankruptcy reorganization, which is seeming less preposterous by the day.

And Ford, so far, has declined federal aid.

-- Frank Ahrens
Sign up to get The Ticker on Twitter

By Frank Ahrens  |  April 1, 2009; 2:57 PM ET
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Chrysler, Ford, GM, bankruptcy  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: April 1, 2009
Next: Motley Fool Gets $25M In Bailout Money -- April Fools'!


They are giving you all kinds of incentives to buy these expensive gas guzzlers with the same old hidden gimmicks. WE WANT LOWER PRICED CARS YOU IDIOTS! WHO HAS $30K TO PAY FOR A CAR. DON'T BUY UNTIL THEY GIVE US NOTHING BUT LOWER PRICED HYBRIDS OR ELECTRIC CARS.

Posted by: keedrow | April 1, 2009 12:44 PM | Report abuse

We like thie bells and whistles, but they drive up costs, and resale on baic transportation does not hold up. Not only the Big Three, and indusstry as a whole need to make changes, but the population as a whole needs to change their buying habits. These next few months will be interesting to watch.

Posted by: norlandj | April 1, 2009 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Keedrow, Hybrids are available now but they aren't going to cost 15-20k. As far as 30k for a new car, that is a choice, there are plenty of cars under 15k that are available and these are generally very fuel effecient, around 35mpg more if you can shift. How can you blame auto makers for building vehicles that are profitable that are in high demand. Would anyone have considered bailing out GM 5 years ago if they were building hybrids that no one was buying.

Posted by: stevepj | April 1, 2009 1:09 PM | Report abuse

I bought about 5 brand new cars in my life time, involved loan payment, and one went to the Repo industries, and 4 is paid off to loan. I lost my money to bank loan around $170,000.00 all in 20 years. Today I get nothing. All of my 4 cars sit in junk yard or Pennsylvania steel recycle,and my cash-flow money gone to the bank interest fees moreover dealership took almost 1/2 profit. Finally, Its not worth to buy a brand new car for $27,000.00 otherwise you could sleep in your own car not the house!! I do rather to pay a year old or 2 yrs old car full CASH..........MiKDes

Posted by: spqr25669 | April 1, 2009 1:19 PM | Report abuse

Plus the article incorrectly states that the Big Three need to sell 9.5-10 million new cars this year. That is incorrect, that number would represent ALL new vehicles sales in the US, with the 3 maintaning their market share, combined about 50%. 10 million would represent 59% of the previous average new vehicle sales...

Posted by: stevepj | April 1, 2009 1:29 PM | Report abuse

This is a great opportunity for General Motors and Chrysler, along with the Obama Administration, to think big. Not just new or different cars, but a new approach to an efficient transportation system. Step back and think about it. Why hasn't public transit -- the most efficient form of transportation -- succeeded more in the U.S.? Because we are a nation of individualists. Our cars reflect our identities. We need them psychologically. So how about a new transportation system that provides with efficiency of mass transit with the individualism of private cars? One way to do this is for people to have their own separate "cars" -- which can be as lavish and cool as they can afford -- but use those cars to bring people from their individual locations (houses, offices, etc) to a common hub where a mass transit system picks them up and whisks them to their general destination. The "cars" would have to be small enough to fit onto the mass transit vehicles (whether trains, buses or something else). The individual "car" owner could use the mass transit for the longer parts of the journey (while enjoying their Internet, music or coffee because they're not driving), yet still have the flexibility of their own small vehicle at both ends of the trip. The major benefit is that people can still invest their egos into their cars, which can range from basic to luxurious. It saves people time because now they can work or have fun during their commute, and it also saves energy because the mass transit handles the major part of the people-moving. Best of all, now that the government is inevitably getting involved, it can clear the way by setting up the infrastructure (bus terminals, loading stations, etc) that a car company couldn't accomplish on its own. Plus it puts the American car companies decades ahead of the competition while still preserving what made them successful in earlier years -- namely, people's self identity and ego investment in their cars. America has always thought big in times of crisis. Maybe this is a way for our government and our car companies to seize the opportunity for greatness.

Posted by: gpbrown | April 1, 2009 1:32 PM | Report abuse

I also strong disagreed to purchase Hybrid motor vehicle. I advise one of you, don't buy this Hybrid. You will loose much more than gasoline engine cars. Becuz, Hybrid batteries that holds energy to swap back and forth gas engine which batteries strength will not last that long. Those batteries can be replaced that would cost you $3000.00 to $6,000.00 and Hybrid cars will focus more tough to resale. You will stuck with a $30,000.00 Hybrid or end up to junk yard very short. Gasoline power is a winner since Benz-Daimler invention. MiKDes

Posted by: spqr25669 | April 1, 2009 1:36 PM | Report abuse


NOT taking Govt bailout money PAYS...

The Surgeon General has issued a new Business warning:

"Govt Bailout money and Circus Obama are harmful to your health".

Posted by: JaxMax | April 1, 2009 1:46 PM | Report abuse

GM and Ford are booming overseas..that's right..their cars are doing quite well.
They could stop making US cars tomorrow and still turn a profit..
Ahhh...What do I care...I drive a Nissan.

Posted by: Deana1 | April 1, 2009 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Don't know what to tell them. I bought a jeep wrangler 10 years ago. It cost $18k. the costs to repair and basic maintenance has never warrented me buying a new car, and it is now going over 140thousand miles and has been flipped, buried, rolled, and bruised in many ways. Why would I want to buy new when the reports say that the vehicles have actually gone backwards in durability, but cost twice as much as what I payed before? I will get a new car some time soon, I am not looking forward to a monthly car payment that is more than half of what my mortgage on my house is! I am fortunate to be able to afford this for the time being, but what about the people who don't make anywhere near what I make?(which is hardly over the national average) They have kids to take care of and I am sure when they look for a car they look for cheap and running, not new with tons of add ons. I know families that each person works, sometimes two jobs each, and still don't bring in more than $1200 a month! With their bills equalling about $800 a month the rest goes towards clothing and feeding their kids. No room for anything else.
So when you tell me that car companies and other manufacturing companies are taking big hits, I can ask what they are going to do? I think they all need, and I mean all even the employees to some extent, to take a paycut. I believe that you should recieve waht you deserve by how hard you work, but obviously if they are producing and selling half of what they used to, then maybe their wages and saleries should be half of what they are now? What were the saleries and wages of the people in some of these companies ten years ago? there should at least be some sort of clause "As long as the company is producing and selling x amount of product my wage/salery goes up. When it does worse than x my wage/salery goes down" Otherwise you get what you get happening today. The top take more and fire the bottom to keep their pockets lined. Why they think that their salerys should not be affected is beyond me. If they fire all of their employees and go banckrupt, then they too will have no money coming in, and whould have ema=barresed themselves by showing that they would rather be greedy and let the company close it's doors than be sensible and lower their salerys and keep the doors open. This is why I feel no pity for taxing the rich even more. All they think is "oh yeah well ill just raise my salery and let go a few more employess" This will lead to the destruction of the civilized world as we know it. People will servive though and rebuild, that's what we do best.

Posted by: ai3di | April 1, 2009 2:08 PM | Report abuse

The number of a 41% decrease in sales for Ford is meaningless without knowing how all of the US auto manufacturers fared.

Posted by: mike85 | April 1, 2009 2:08 PM | Report abuse

Auto sales down since March of last year! Who'da thunk?

Posted by: exco | April 1, 2009 3:57 PM | Report abuse

I recommend a used Dodge/Plymouth Grand Caravan, circa 1994-1996, which you can get for less than $3000. Throw out the rear seats, and you've got an 8' x 4' x 4' space, perfect for camping, surfboards, etc. As time goes on, you can rebuild the engine for about $2,000... and your cost per mile remains very low. It's a great drive, perfect for the beach if you live in SoCal...

Posted by: jon404 | April 1, 2009 6:50 PM | Report abuse

I realize this particular section is re: the auto industry, but one comment from this afternoon really struck a nerve..."'This is why I feel no pity for taxing the rich even more. All they think is "oh yeah well ill just raise my salery and let go a few more employess'"

Such a WRONG attitude and such a WRONG approach to our economic problems! First of all, I should state that I am a mother of 3 working full-time for $10/hr -- I am not financially well off. Herein lies the problem, at least to me: the few fortunate "rich" individuals/businesses out there still surviving became "rich" because they had the skills, the means and the know-how. They flat-out EARNED their wealth. And this country's economic woes are not the "rich's" problem to solve, it's everyone's; everyone living here, everyone investing in our country, everyone living off it. Taxing the "rich" even more will eventually result in one thing...the "rich" will cease to exist and join the rest of the people living off the "rich." It's a vicious cycle.

Think about it: if you made, say $500K a year and were forced to give almost half of your hard-earned income away to ensure the person standing next to you can get another welfare check, get free medical care, free food and all the other benefits that the have-nots actually get, would you want to continue working so hard?

Posted by: jareid | April 1, 2009 7:31 PM | Report abuse

For the completeness of the article, it should include Hyundai-Kia's sales record since it ranks 6th or 7th in US auto market share as of last month rather than Mercedes, VW, & Subaru.

Posted by: latticeoptics | April 1, 2009 7:37 PM | Report abuse

It's really stupid and misleading when corporations report that their earnings are down __% compared to ___.

What they really mean is...
We didn't make the billions this quarter that we made the last 10-quarters. So they spent all of their years of profit by sharing it with millions of people who own their stock.

This is the problem with our economy. Every major company is basically owned by millions of people around the world who own shares in their company and expect a dividend each quarter or they will dump the shares for cash or trade it for something else. When the stock market tanks, millions of people lose their job because the company did not save any of its profit and has to lay off thousands of employees.

Posted by: killthemessenger | April 1, 2009 7:41 PM | Report abuse

Too bad we can't do away with the dealerships and buy directly from the manufacturers. Dealerships are the public face of the manufacturers and their reputation preceeds them. Sales and service, swindle and sabotage. Your best warranty is a mechanic that won't screw you. We need more dealerships to fail and perhaps the fantasy of factory direct will become a reality.

Posted by: michaelcharliedelta | April 1, 2009 9:30 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company