Saturday, May 02, 2009

U.S. Car Sales Near New Low

While the 12 month rate of decline is receding somewhat for GM and Ford car sales, that is mostly a base effect. Which is to say, April and March sales in 2008 were much weaker than January and February 2008, so the primary reason why sales are now falling at a 12 month rate of "only" about 30% (as compared to 40% in February) is that they are compared with a lower base. Meanwhile, for Chrysler and the Japanese car makers (except for Honda), not even the 12-month rates are improving. Toyota saw in fact its 12 month rate deteriorate further, to -42.3%. As a form of update to this post, Prius sales fell the most, a full 61.5%.

The total annualized rate of U.S. car salesfell to 9.32 million in April. While that is slightly higher than the 9.12 million in February, it is lower than the 9.86 million in March, and much lower than the 14.52 million in April 2008. Not to mention how much lower it is compared to the 16.8 million average level in the previous decade.


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