"Now and again, I get the feeling, well if I don't win, I'm gonna break even," Tom Petty sang on his 1994 nugget You Wreck Me. And while we're not out to wreck any hybrids or electric vehicles, it's safe to say that the sentiment of that lyric is an appropriate one when analyzing last month's green-car sales.
While there are folks predicting a turnaround in car sales and general economic fortunes by the end of this year, for now the status quo remains, and it can be summed up as: "Ouch." J.D. Power has put the early returns for March sales down 40% compared to the same month last year. It predicts sales of 633,000 cars to retail customers and another 165,000 to fleet customers for March of this year versus a March 2008 total of 1.07 million total sales. That would be an annualized rate of 9.2 million
We usually don't post on monthly sales number aside from our mega By The Numbers post that appears at the beginning of each month, but clearly news that sales at Ford will drop again in March by double digits warrants its own post. Ford's chief sales analyst George Piper told Reuters today that retail sales will fall thanks to weaker demand for the F-150, while fleet sales will continue to drop as expected.
New models fired up sales for premium brands Mercedes and BMW in March, as the battle for teutonic bragging rights in the luxury segment kicked into high gear.