• Oct 27th 2009 at 9:30AM
  • 19
October is coming to a close, which means we're within a few days of getting the bad news monthly auto sales tally. But October may not look as bad as many feared, at least according to the latest study by J.D. Power. The industry forecasting gurus see October sales down only six percent versus October 2008, showing that one of America's hardest hit industries may have already bottomed out. If October sales end up panning out like JDP thinks, it will be the first time in 17 months (outside of August's Cash for Clunkers anomaly) to see sales down under double digits. But while a mere six percent drop sounds like the sales famine is finally coming to a close, it's important to remember that auto sales for October 2008 were down themselves a full 30 percent compared to the year before.
J.D. Power is predicting that October 2009 sales come in at an annualized rate of 10.3 million units, down from last October's rate of 10.8 million cars and trucks sold. JDP's Gary Dilts goes out of his way to tell Reuters not to start celebrating over the single digit declines, but he does express some optimism adding that "improvements in consumer confidence and credit are propelling the return to positive sales gains relative to last year."

Deutsche Bank is even more optimistic about October, predicting annualized sales of 10.7 million for the month; just a fraction below last October's results. Even though the predicted sales drop of only six percent seems a bit deceiving, it does offer some hope to automakers. After months of uncertainty over just how low sales can go, it is starting to look like the worst of the auto sales decline may be behind us. Maybe.

[Source: Reuters]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      1. Taking functional objects and crushing them destroys wealth. If I'm wrong, then why not destroy all cars? That would create a lot of jobs replacing them!

      2. Taking money from people and giving to others to buy cars with is unethical. People need jobs in other industries too. Why not "cash for old TV sets"? Or "cash for worn out carpet" ? Where would it end? The auto industry just happens to have better lobbyists.

      3. Since when is a 6% drop in sales "bottoming out"? Most years that would be considered a disaster. But this is a good thing, as we have too many cars.

      4. C4C was terrible for the people it was touted as helping. How is taking someone driving a functional $500 car and saddling them with a $12,000 car payment an improvement? If they drove a clunker, it was likely because they couldn't afford better. Now we just induced them to go further into debt. I recall something in the news lately about how Americans are all too far in debt already!
        • 5 Years Ago
        No one (especially the government) forced those buyers to take advantage of the C4C program; it was a consumer rebate, not a gun to the head. "We" didn't induce them to do anything; they chose, as consumers in a free-market economy, to take on the payments for a new car. I wanted to get a new car myself, and I had a qualifying "clunker" to get rid of, but I knew I couldn't take on another payment at the present time. If there isn't gonna be any acknowledgement of personal responsibility in this country, then what are we even hoping to salvage? What really got to me about C4C is the double standard that the government shouldn't be getting involved in the economy, and yet when a rebate is offered as a free choice to the American people, a LOT of people take advantage of it and THEN come back and b*tch about how wrong it was. Then why did they take the money to begin with? Bottom line, the biggest fundamental issue that's harming our country right now is GREED.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Good point @dukeisduke. Not a single manufacturer was able to produce better sales this September than they did in September of 2007. Only Audi and Mini were able to do so last October. So sales WERE already way down last October. It's hard for them to be down double digits year-over-year with '08 - that would mean WAY WAY WAY down compared with Oct. of '07. (http://www.goodcarbadcar.net/2008/11/american-auto-sales-for-october-2008.html)
      • 5 Years Ago
      "Just 6%"??

      That's like a doctor saying "we're just removing one of your limbs..."
      • 5 Years Ago
      But what were October, 2008's sales? Weren't they in the tank already, or did that start in November?
        • 5 Years Ago
        yup. but we have a short memory here so it seems oh so impressive :).
        • 5 Years Ago
        Chrysler and Ford were down ~35%...GM was down 45%.

        So that "down just 6%" hurts a lot more.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Ding ding ding!! We have a winner!
      • 5 Years Ago
      Edmunds expects GM to pick some market-share.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Say you got married in Sept 2008.

      Back in Oct 2007 she was giving you all you wanted and it was great, but by Oct 2008 you are married and are now getting MAYBE half of what you got if you are lucky.

      And now it's Oct 2009 and she is giving you even less. Are you going to celebrate?
        • 5 Years Ago
        I just see this as "people aren't buying crap they don't need". Salaries didn't go up by that much over the past 20 years, so why was the average selling price of a car almost $30k? How were housing prices going up by 20-25% per year from 2002-2005? Borrowing was going up, and saving was going down. Consumers got into debt up to their eyeballs, and then the whole Ponzi scheme collapsed.

        Anyone claiming this is all Bush's fault or Obama's fault is kidding themselves. It's the American Consumer's fault, and that of the banks that enabled this to happen...
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