US Auto Sales Fall for 2nd Year at GM, Ford, FCA, Toyota, BMW, Mazda. Total 2017 Sales Drop Below 2015

Tesla gets crushed by the big boys.

Total new-vehicle sales in the US fell 5.2% year-over-year in December to 1.6 million units. For all of 2017, sales declined by 320,000 vehicles, or 1.8%, to 17.23 million units. It was the first overall decline since the Financial Crisis.

Compared to 2015, sales fell by 249,033 vehicles, or 1.4%. These sales are vehicles delivered by dealers to their customers, or delivered by automakers directly to large fleet customers, as reported by Autodata.

For the big three US automakers and some import brands it was the second year in a row of sales declines (two-year percent change from 2015):

  • GM -2.7%
  • Ford -1.1%
  • Fiat Chrysler (FCA) -8.6%
  • Toyota -2.6%
  • BMW -12.6%
  • Mazda -9.3%

The table below shows new-vehicle sales by automaker, sorted by total sales in 2017 (gray column). Automakers with declining sales in 2017 are marked in red. The green column shows the two-year percentage change from 2015:

Turns out that replacement demand for new vehicles after Hurricane Harvey was strong, but not nearly strong enough to pull out the year for total US auto sales, and what demand there has been will peter out going forward.

Car sales plunged 17% year-over-year in December, 10.9% in all of 2017, and 18.1% from 2015. They’ve been left behind by consumers who’re switching to crossovers and SUVs which the industry considers trucks. So truck sales – pickups, SUVs, crossovers, and vans – rose 1.7% in December, 4.3% for the year, and 11.8% compared to 2015.

A special word about Tesla.

Tesla, in 18th position near the bottom of the list, wants to play with the big boys, but doesn’t want people to know on a monthly basis just how inconsequential its US sales are. Since it refuses to disclose how many vehicles it delivered that month in the US, the industry has to estimate Tesla’s monthly US sales.

Autodata estimated that Tesla delivered just 3,450 units in the US in December, down 23% from a year ago. For the whole year, Autodata estimated that Tesla sold 43,860 units, up 9.7%. This gives Tesla a share of 0.2% of the 17.2 million units sold in the US, behind another niche manufacturer of expensive cars: Porsche (55,420 sales in 2017).

Instead of December sales in the US, Tesla disclosed global sales for the fourth quarter on Wednesday: 15,200 Model S, 13,120 Model X, and just 1,550 Model 3, some of which have been “sold” to its own employees for testing purposes. So in total, Tesla sold 29,870 vehicles globally in Q4. We still don’t know how many vehicles it sold in the US in December. Hence the estimate.

Last February 2017, Tesla said with its usual hype  that Model 3 production would “exceed 5,000 vehicles per week at some point in the fourth quarter.” This would mean over 20,000 units per month “at some point” in Q4. So maybe 10,000 in October, 16,000 in November, and 20,000 in December, totaling 46,000 in Q4. In reality, it sold 1,550 in Q4. This would mean about 1,060 in December.

But you have to admit that Tesla’s endless hype works. Hence, Tesla’s market capitalization of a ludicrous $53 billion is among the highest of the Big Boys.

Among the US Big Boys…

GM – facing no “production bottlenecks” and no “manufacturing hell,” as Tesla and its CEO called their own mess – delivered 3,227 Bolt EVs in December, bringing the total for the year to 23,297.

The Bolt was rolled out in October 2016 in California and Oregon. By August 2017, it was available in all states. In September, GM sold 2,632 Bolts; in October 2,781; in November 2,987, and in December 3,227, making it the best-selling EV in the US for the last three months of 2017.

GM’s total sales fell 3.3% in December to 308,539 units, with truck sales rising 8.9% to 249,961 and car sales plunging 34.9% to 58,151. It ended the month with 63 days’ supply, down from 83 days’ at the end of November, and down from over 100 days’ earlier in 2017. This brought GM close to what is considered healthy (below 60 days’s supply).

Ford’s total sales rose 0.9% to 240,910 vehicles in December, with car sales dropping 5.5% to 48,380 and truck sales rising 3.2% to 192,530. Among those trucks, SUV sales jumped 8.0% to 82,881 units and F-series sales rose 2.1% to 89,385.

FCA’s total sales plunged 10.7% in December, with car sales down 11.2% to just 19,648 units and truck sales down 10.6%. Truck sales are hot as consumers are switching from cars to crossovers – but not at FCA. For the year, total sales dropped 8.2%, with car sales down 22.2% and even truck sales down 5.8%. Letting Fiat run Chrysler might not have been such a great idea.

Now the problem is 2018.

This caps a year when even record incentives by manufacturers and two horrible hurricanes were not able to create enough demand to keep total sales from falling below the level of two years ago. And headwinds are building for 2018, among them:

  • Rising interest rates will make these vehicles even more unaffordable for many people — GM said its average transaction price was over $38,000 in December!
  • Soaring defaults on subprime auto loans are causing lenders to tighten up their underwriting standards, thereby locking many potential buyers with subprime credit ratings out of the new vehicle market.
  • Ballooning negative equity in trade-ins — a result of years of lengthening loan terms and rolling everything and its dog into the car loan — makes it difficult for dealers to get new-car deals financed even for people with good credit.

So if the US economy keeps humming along nicely, it’s likely that auto sales in 2018 will be below sales in 2015. If something slightly untoward happens, however, sales could end up below where they’d been in 2014.

Central banks are leery of the newly arrived Chinese yuan. Read…  US Dollar Refuses to Die as Top Global Reserve Currency

Would you like to be notified via email when WOLF STREET publishes a new article? Sign up here.

 

  59 comments for “US Auto Sales Fall for 2nd Year at GM, Ford, FCA, Toyota, BMW, Mazda. Total 2017 Sales Drop Below 2015

  1. Nicko2
    Jan 4, 2018 at 3:14 am

    Everything is fine in Canuckland;

    Canadian sales of light vehicles rose by 4.6 per cent in 2017, cracking 2 million units for the first time, thanks to record strength in truck sales.

    According to a report from DesRosiers Automotive Consultants, overall Canadian light vehicle sales, which include light trucks and passenger cars, hit 2,038,798 last year, up from 2016’s 1,948,895.

    “Quite a spectacular year,” Dennis DesRosiers told CBC’s Meegan Read. “The eighth consecutive year of growth, and the last four have been all-time records.”

    • Drater
      Jan 4, 2018 at 9:19 am

      Coincidentally HELOCs are also at an all-time high in Canada

      • Paulo
        Jan 4, 2018 at 2:07 pm

        I think your comment is spot on. Credit is credit and I know people who also refi and buy a vehicle at the same time as their mortgage term matures. It is like found money for them, and is based purely on the exuberance of the rising house market.

        I’m such a cheapskate….I am already casting about for a used, but nearly new small truck. I plan to pull the purchase trigger in 3 years…maybe. Meanwhile, this is time for research and deciding. Opposite to that I know a couple who drove to Victoria one day last spring for an outing. While there, they decided to buy a new truck, traded in what they had, and drove home with a new $75,000 pickup.

        I was pretty shocked, and no they have no real money for this nonsense, not at all. But…..

      • Laurence Hunt
        Jan 9, 2018 at 9:50 pm

        Hahaha. Exactly!

    • Jan 4, 2018 at 10:53 am

      Yes, the year was very strong, particularly the March-October period, with a double-digit gain in May – stuff to dream of down here. But sales declined year-over-year in November and December. December sales were the lowest since December 2013. This has some people in the industry look over their shoulder, wondering if the US auto malaise is infectious.

  2. roddy6667
    Jan 4, 2018 at 5:18 am

    In China, Tesla falls behind more every day. For every Tesla I count, I see more than one hundred Chinese EV’s. Every week I see another brand of Chinese EV on the road.

  3. T.J., not the real Tj
    Jan 4, 2018 at 6:16 am

    This is such an ove due correction. I spent 2000-2008 wondering who could afford all the houses being built (answer: no one). The last 5 years I’ve been wondering who could afford all these BMWs and $60,000 tricks. Same people.

  4. Wendy
    Jan 4, 2018 at 6:33 am

    Wolf

    Having read you book, I realize you are intimately familiar with the auto industry. Have you found that auto sales is a leading or lagging indicator for the economy? I would have guessed lagging. Is this fall in sales recently of any predictive value for the economy (read equities)?

    • Dave
      Jan 4, 2018 at 7:18 am

      Do a google search for retail auto sales vs recessions. I found many charts under images which showed car sales from before 1980 to almost current overlaid on recessions. 1980’s recession looked like a leading indicator. The great recession dropped during recession, so not lagging or leading.

      I follow economic news and blogs to try and divine the direction of the economy, but it has become so distorted by easy money, HFT and fiscal policy that I think it is unknowable.

      The distortion is so profound that forecasting tools are suspect as well. We are in the 2nd longest bull market in modern (post WW2) history, only behind the 1990-2000 bull market.

      What goes up will go down…… when where how and why, good luck finding those answers

      • HowNow
        Jan 4, 2018 at 7:57 am

        Off the topic of car sales and to your point, Dave & Wendy, about economic indicators, imo, the only market indicator that shows the market fair- or under-valued is “equity risk premium” https://www.investopedia.com/terms/e/equityriskpremium.asp Every other measure that I know of shows the market as over-priced. There are a lot of indicators, some obvious and well-known, others that are more subtle. All are quite high except erp. As Treasury yields go up, the equity risk premium will diminish. Like movies, if you can wait a while, you’ll pay less for nearly the same experience from the comfort of your own couch.

    • Jan 4, 2018 at 11:31 am

      Thanks, Wendy, for reading “TESTOSTERONE PIT” – my novel about the goings-on in a dealership.

      I don’t consider auto sales an indicator of the overall economy. However, auto sales (new and used, including auto parts) are 21% of retail sales. Then there’s manufacturing of those vehicles and components that are made in the US. There’s also finance, insurance, and transportation services involved. So if auto sales decline for long enough, and hard enough, they drag those sectors down with them, some more than others. If no other sector in the economy is weak, it will just lower the growth of the economy by a little but it won’t trigger an outright recession.

      But if auto sales collapse by 50%, like they did during the Great Recession, and automakers shut down dozens of plants for good and lay off hundreds of thousands of people and go bankrupt, then it would have a large impact on the overall economy. But this sort of collapse won’t happen on its own. It would have to be triggered by another financial crisis or something similar. So this auto sales collapse would simply be reaction to something big going on. And in that sense, it would be lagging. But I do not foresee that kind of scenario.

      • Kasadour
        Jan 8, 2018 at 2:08 pm

        But I do not foresee that kind of scenario.

        But, neither do you rule it out, do you not?

        • Jan 8, 2018 at 3:05 pm

          I would give it a fairly small percentage chance of happening. I think other scenarios are much more likely, including a slow, very long, essentially untradable downdraft in asset prices across the board accompanied by an ok-ish economy, with new-vehicle sales meandering lower overall for years.

  5. james wordsworth
    Jan 4, 2018 at 7:03 am

    Then there is also the price of gas … now trending up again. Not only will this make trucks less enticing, but it will also sap purchasing power and feed into inflation. The sharp drop in gas prices was like a sugar ht to the economy. Now it is over and reversing, with the effects just now starting to feed in.

  6. Scott
    Jan 4, 2018 at 8:14 am

    To provide a different perspective, using last year’s sales rates, GM will have sold as many vehicles by tomorrow as Tesla will sell in all of this year. Wow.

  7. cdr
    Jan 4, 2018 at 8:36 am

    When I read stories like this, all I take away is ‘great time to buy a new car’. Fortunately, I followed my own advice before Thanksgiving and bought a new GM at about 30% off MSRP. It’s a great car. I like it more than my Subaru. The worse time to buy is when the mfgr is going great.

    How to buy a new car: Never go to the lot unprepared and think you will outwit the sales person. You won’t and can’t. Ever.

    Instead, use their web site and only shop at dealers who advertise actual selling price for each model, without qualifiers such as ‘if you qualify’. If qualifiers are there, move on and shop elsewhere. Decide which one(s) you want at the advertised price. Then research your trade in value.

    Next call a sales person and introduce yourself and ask for an appointment. In my case, I first went to size a car and said I was just looking. We exchanged numbers and set an appointment for another day to buy. What you are actually doing is making the sales person make an investment in you. If they try to negotiate over the phone before you visit, just listen and say nothing. Be cheery. In this way, they’re negotiating with themselves.

    Before the visit, come up with a plan B. My Plan B was to buy a Honda Accord down the street if the dealer pulled a fast one. I was serious.

    Finally, visit and before you make any time commitments, ask for the bottom line price, within the first couple of minutes of the visit. They will disappear for several minutes, most likely. They might reappear then disappear again for a few more minutes.

    Somewhere in there, mention the internet price from their web site and tell them that’s your price unless they can do better. They might agree or might say the internet price includes discounts you don’t qualify for. Ignore that unless it clearly says that on the internet site. Remember, you shouldn’t even be there if it DID say that.

    Eventually, they will return with the price.

    Now comes the close. Say thank you if they agree. Otherwise, tell them your price or you’re leaving. Remember, it’s their price from their internet site. If they argue and say ‘lets talk about it’ you are the loser if you stay and talk about it. Insist a bit. Get up and leave if they won’t budge. Believe it or not, some sales people will try to ignore the internet price even if you put it under their nose in print.

    In my case, I got up to leave but, literally, when I was 65% out the door and my foot was on the concrete, they shouted ‘OK, we will give you the internet price.’

    The trade value was ok without the drama.

    • Drater
      Jan 4, 2018 at 9:23 am

      I prefer to negotiate through email until we agree on an “out the door” price. Then it only takes about 30 min at the dealership to pick up the vehicle and pay with a certified check

      • cdr
        Jan 4, 2018 at 1:55 pm

        Me too, but they made it harder with more sophisticated internet sites. It’s difficult to find the right person. I used to do that a few years ago.

      • Jack
        Jan 9, 2018 at 3:06 am

        Send out five RFQ’s to Internet Sales Manager ten days before the quarter ends. Make sure each ISM knows he only has one chance to bid on the spec’d car. Make those bonuses!

    • fajensen
      Jan 4, 2018 at 10:16 am

      Maybe I am a pervert, but, I quite like the car sales people. Most of them are actually Ok in trying to make a deal that works for everyone – of course there is a Process, but, it’s fine.

      I like that “we” both know that the car that I am trading in comes with good reasons why I want a newer one, and still the sales person can come up with a decent price for it and a good replacement too.

      Last time, I only answered very specifically and *exactly* the questions the salesperson asked, and I got rid of the old clunker. Certainly, the salesperson knew that that car was worth nothing and still he made a deal for me. That is service, I like service. :)

    • mrmoneykb
      Jan 4, 2018 at 10:26 am

      May I ask what GM model and MSRP you got 35% off?
      When you said “65% out the door”, did you mean all taxes, title and dealer fees? And where is this dealer located?

      • cdr
        Jan 4, 2018 at 1:59 pm

        I wrote 30%. Look on a web site on your own and use a calculator.

        Chicago area. Just look for a high volume dealer. A mom and pop won’t match a high volume dealer.

        Ancillary costs were small and insignificant. No fake profit margins or fake markups there. Good idea to watch for them, though.

        • alex in san jose AKA digital Detroit
          Jan 4, 2018 at 3:10 pm

          Last week I was seeing full size trucks and SUVs etc for 50% off MSRP type prices. Like $15k for a full size pickup. This was in the newspaper dealer ads, the large dealers.

          People are just not buying cars they don’t need.

        • mrmoneykb
          Jan 5, 2018 at 12:55 pm

          Chicago area? Doesn’t surprise me. In my opinion, the dealers in that area are really good at the Jedi mind trick. Some of the manufactures have cracked down on how they can advertise price on new untitled vehicles. Most will advertise every possible rebate applied to the price. Doesn’t mean you will qualify for all of them.

          However, one might be lucky enough to be at a store where they might need a unit or two to get to their stair step money objective. I’ve seen deals that we gave an extra grand or two or more to pickup $50+ grand from the manufacturer.

    • TJ Martin
      Jan 4, 2018 at 10:43 am

      You do realize that regardless of any deal you might of negotiated … by trading in your Subaru so quickly ( if memory serves me correctly you just bought it last year ) you just threw a ton of money out the window in order to purchase your ( chose one ) Canadian – Korean – Chinese – Vietnamese manufactured GM product assembled in the US .. don’t you !

      • Michael Fiorillo
        Jan 4, 2018 at 1:36 pm

        Posts by Wolf a few months ago were referring to blood-letting in the used car market, but bucking that trend, I’ve been getting emails almost weekly from the Subaru dealer I bought my 2014 Impreza from, offering to buy it back.

        I wouldn’t think of it: the car is reliable, stable, has excellent pick-up, simple dashboard and controls, and (as far as I know) less surveillance-ware than newer models.

        • Jan 4, 2018 at 2:31 pm

          “….offering to buy it back.”

          It’s one of the most effective promos out there. It’s a way for the dealer to sell you a NEW car. They don’t care about your 2014. They want to sell you a 2017 or 2018, and they’ll do whatever it takes.

      • cdr
        Jan 4, 2018 at 2:00 pm

        I didn’t trade the Subaru. I traded a 2003 Pontiac Vibe. I still have the Subaru and the new Chevy.

        • alex in san jose AKA digital Detroit
          Jan 4, 2018 at 3:12 pm

          AKA a Toyota Matrix, but GM badged and made at the old NUMMI plant not far from here.

        • CALI_RETAIL_SLUT
          Jan 5, 2018 at 11:38 pm

          Ahhh….the Pontiac Vibe…the best GM car that GM
          never made….

          Speaking of Subaru, to me it was telling that the former Fuji Heavy so wanted to break 650k units for 2017 that in the southern California media market right up to Christmas Eve there were daily barrages of Subaru and their “Share the Love” commercials. This does not even include commercials from local SoCal Subaru dealers.

          As Los Angeles is an expensive media market, it’s as if Scooby-doo’s ad agency was purchasing commercial time for an election campaign. The ads were never ending – all day parts!

          I can’t fathom that this was “hangover” effect from the Los Angeles Auto Show, especially since the show date returned back to the traditional Thanksgiving week period.

          It appears that Subaru did set another sales record for 2017, even though it was just shy of 650k. Let’s see if the momentum will continue with the new Ascent and re-designed Forester to help goose Subaru’s 2018 sales tally.

          Gotta “love” the Subaru commercial with the two Labs driving in the front seat – and baby Lab in the back seat…can’t do that with FCA…it just doesn’t work…

          Now…if someone would “goose” me this year…

          CALI_ RETAIL_ SLUT

        • JohnnySacks
          Jan 10, 2018 at 10:54 am

          Pontiac, some crap, and some of the best GM vehicles never marketed. Should have killed Buick instead, really dumb to have Buick and Cadillac co-exist. The Vibe was a rebadged Toyota Matrix (was it ever marketed?). We would have one if I had the time on a Sunday to drive my aging Caprice up to the dealer for the cash for clunker rebate that ran out of money a day later. Bought a V6 G8 later – a rebadged Holden Commodore, still a good looking, powerful, and wonderful to drive car. Marketed for one NCAA season as a testosterone 6.2 liter V8 monster instead of what should have replaced the Caprice platform.
          They still do the same crap with their Colorado/Canyon pickup line – a joint venture with Isuzu. Great vehicles – essentially zero marketing which gives the entire mid-sized segment to Toyota Tacoma. Better to push their cash cow full size line instead of what people want and/or need. Even has a 2.8 4 cyl Thailand built diesel that gets 30 mpg at 75 mph. The Indonesia Isuzu site displays them more prominently.

  8. RangerOne
    Jan 4, 2018 at 9:15 am

    I wonder how much of the continuing slump in car sales is just a natural artifact of now years of low gas prices causing a shift from small to large vehicales.

    I have to imagine when gas was $5 dollars a gallon people were buying more small vehicales. But now after years of sustained low gas prices people pretty much don’t care about fuel efficient and are opting for crossovers and SUVs.

    Car sales won’t rebound until gas prices go up…

    • Frederick
      Jan 4, 2018 at 10:01 am

      And up they will go as the dollar index collapses Or the golden Gollum of greatness is crazy enough to start a war with Iran and the straits of Hormuz become a graveyard of tankers and other miscellaneous vessels

    • fajensen
      Jan 4, 2018 at 10:28 am

      I think it is maybe a change in attitudes. Consumption is going out, frugality and minimalism is coming in.

      The “teenagers” – my children and their friends – are “container shipping” and buying used things whenever possible (even though they don’t mind spending and they have money to blow on a special, new, thing). The majority of their spending seems to be on services (netflix, cleaning, food-delivery) and experiences (concerts and travelling). The stigma associated with having old stuff is definitely gone, even with clothing.

      With cars, there is a “Sixt Minilease” available, about 250 USD per month for a smallish car (with unlimited kilometers, insurance, service included) that can be cancelled with 2 weeks notice. Being city-dwellers, they tend to use that when it is holidays and not have a car most of the year. The 250 is pretty much what it would cost anyway to own and run a cheap used car, only with the Minilease the car is new and all problems belong to the rental company. It is a decent deal, especially when one might be working gigs and thus need to dump expenses regularly.

      I think “society” is in for some disruption!

  9. R. Seckler
    Jan 4, 2018 at 9:56 am

    “Since it refuses to disclose how many vehicles it delivered that month in the US, the industry has to estimate Tesla’s monthly US sales.”

    As a public company, doesn’t Tesla have to reveal its monthly numbers?

    • Jan 4, 2018 at 11:44 am

      Tesla reveals monthly US deliveries in its quarterly financial statements. But I don’t think it is required by the SEC to even do that. The monthly reporting of deliveries is an industry practice that goes back many, many decades. Investors demanded to know this, and it helps automakers find out how others are doing. So this is important info for the industry to gauge the health of the market.

  10. Jim
    Jan 4, 2018 at 10:21 am

    Wolf – You frequently point out that record incentives don’t seem to have much of an impact on car sales these days. I wonder what car sales might look like if there were no incentives?

    I am an unpatriotic American – I guess – who tries to buy a car that is made to last. At present I have a 2007 6 cyl Honda Accord which I bought new 10 years ago for $21,000. It has 140,000 miles on it and the only significant repair to date was a complete brake job last year – $1000. It looks a bit shabby now but it runs like the proverbial clock. The closest thing to an equivalent Honda today is the sports model that costs somewhere around $31,000 (after incentives.)

    Honda is supposed to be a car for the middle class, but you know better than I what has happened to middle class incomes during the last 10 years…. certainly nothing like Honda prices even after calculating the “value” of a bunch of electronic gadgets which the buyer is now forced to accept.

    So perhaps if you look at those “incentives” in the light of conditions in the real world, you may get an idea of why they don’t work so well.

    • Jan 4, 2018 at 11:52 am

      Jim,

      The record incentives effectively take off the price increases that automakers have piled on. Vehicles have become very expensive. See the average transaction price of $38K at GM (this is after incentives). Some CEOs in the industry have indicated that these price increases may have been overdone. But they really cannot cut sticker prices for all kinds of reasons. Hence the incentives. They just overcome some of the resistance to price increases. Who knows what the market would like without them.

  11. MF
    Jan 4, 2018 at 10:34 am

    GM’s performance is stunning. Last summer I was thinking they’d be Sisyphus trying to get that inventory down, but they did it. Now they dominate the white bread electric market. So much for Nissan’s first-mover advantage. I wonder if the Volt is counted as an electric or hybrid. If hybrid, it makes me suspect that the Bolt’s success can be attributed to its SUV-like styling. The Volt still looks like the sedan it is.

    What happened to BMW? Victim of their own success? They are on the leading edge of carbon fiber tech, and seem to be struggling to leverage this into market success. They’re eventually going all-in on electric (expanding the i-series into the Mini line and SUVs), so maybe we’re seeing old-product-languishing while they rejigger the entire company into a carbon-fiber-electric builder. If so, this is very bad news for Tesla. “Carbon Fiber” is almost as sexy as “Tesla” when said over a glass of cab while standing on the veranda next to the Bonsai garden. I can hear the furtive whispers now: “You know, that’s what they make the Dreamliner out of.”

    • Jan 4, 2018 at 12:53 pm

      The numbers I cited — the 3,277 deliveries of Chevy Bolts — were for the Bolt only. I didn’t check the Volt.

    • will
      Jan 5, 2018 at 12:46 am

      One of the eye opening things I noticed a while back is just how shitty the interest rates are that Lexus offers. I can only imagine that BMW, Audi, et al offer similarly “competitive” rates.

      Which tells you a lot about the type of person buying them. I’m guessing this is the answer to your question – the pseudo-rich and aspirational yahoos are finding themselves all tapped out at the end of this credit cycle..

    • JohnnySacks
      Jan 10, 2018 at 11:08 am

      BMW lost their way a while ago, I’m surprised it took so long to catch up. They traditionally produced basic utilitarian sports cars but are now just another bland way overpriced bling brand competing alongside Acura, Mercedes, Lexus, Infinity, and others. A base in-line 6 manual RWD, what I’d consider close to representing a ‘sports car’, is laden down with piles of cruft and hits the wallet at just under $50k if it’s even possible to find more than one or two in the entire country. I guess people just pay what they have to for the status symbol driveway ornament, until they don’t want to anymore.

  12. oldie but goodie
    Jan 4, 2018 at 10:44 am

    According to last night’s Nightly Business Report there are “red hot” car sales this year https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PCh7SYk971g (at 7:20) -though they said it “pulled off slightly” this last year. I don’t know if this is a snow job or what.

    • oldie but goodie
      Jan 4, 2018 at 10:45 am

      (by NBR

  13. TJ Martin
    Jan 4, 2018 at 10:49 am

    Stunning ? Since when is being down 2.7% despite subprime loans , massive incentives not to mention 120 plus inventory etc – et al – ad nauseam considered to be … stunning ?

    And GM dominating the ‘ whitbread’ EV market ? Not hardly . Not even close in fact . More like limping along like a lame three legged dog with its tail between its legs .

    In as far as the VOLT .. it is a hybrid .. of that there is no doubt despite all GM’s hype & hyperbole to the contrary

    • Jan 4, 2018 at 12:47 pm

      Here’s what’s wrong with your “facts”:

      1. GM inventories at the end of December were at 63 days’supply, not “120 plus.” I pointed this out in the last third of the article. This level is close to healthy (below 60 days’ supply).

      2. “… despite subprime loans” ==> GM’s auto-lending unit GM Financial is already curtailing subprime lending, like other captive auto lenders, given the surge in defaults in 2017. So this has hurt sales, not helped sales.

      3. “GM dominating the ‘ whitbread’ EV market? Not hardly. Not even close in fact. More like limping along like a lame three legged dog with its tail between its legs.” ==> this is funny, I have to admit, but total unadulterated homemade nonsense. In December, GM delivered 3,277 Chevy Bolts — a pure EV — making it by far the bestselling EV on the US market. I pointed this out with some detail in the article, along with a little sales history. So if you had read the article, you would have known this.

      4. “In as far as the VOLT .. it is a hybrid .. of that there is no doubt despite all GM’s hype & hyperbole to the contrary.” ==> the Volt wasn’t even mentioned in the article. It was all about the Bolt (pure EV). Learn the difference.

  14. Jan 4, 2018 at 12:51 pm

    If I lost a five year old car in the hurricane I would go out and buy another five year old car

    • Jan 4, 2018 at 12:56 pm

      And if the car was insured, that’s the only thing the insurance company would pay for.

  15. Anka
    Jan 4, 2018 at 12:56 pm

    With all the ridesharing programs and autonomous fleets coming, 2017 may be a record SAAR…

    • will
      Jan 5, 2018 at 12:51 am

      You actually think that there’s going to be an abundance of autonomous fleets coming in 2018?

  16. Shawn
    Jan 4, 2018 at 1:06 pm

    Did Tesla’s model S have a mid-life refresh? That could explain why it’s sales are tanking everywhere. The Model S is just not sexy or cool anymore, two qualities very important with the yuppie or hipster crowd. I mean, if i’m going to pay 80K to 100K, BMW, Mercedes, Audi, Lexus, Porsche give me sexy-cool for the buck.

  17. Drango
    Jan 4, 2018 at 2:49 pm

    Maybe the Fed is setting the country up for another cash for clunkers program.

  18. michael Engel
    Jan 4, 2018 at 5:56 pm

    The winner ==> Mitsubishi.
    8,500 a month/103,600 a year is a spike. More impressive and solid than Bitcoin.
    No eagle wing doors, silicon valley invasion & fantasies, radars, Cyber… No EV, hybrid, 2500 HD, $1,000 battery or $800 tires…
    Cost to build : $4K to $7K.
    Sell for $13.5K to $22K.
    Much better margin than any Ford.
    It’s stick out on your chart. A massage for the big three of a new up and coming trend. That, with one condition : the “silk Road” between Asia to the US will stay open.

  19. AutoCoaster
    Jan 4, 2018 at 11:32 pm

    Here in Vancouver BC, sales started softening in Oct, my bro at MB dealer had his worst month in Dec in the last 15 yrs, it was a disaster he says, more than usual are buying out leases and some deals collapsing due to financing being dis-approved . Winds are changing

  20. LeClerc
    Jan 5, 2018 at 2:13 am

    The SEC should require (I know, dream on) Tesla to disclose how many people are calling the no-interest loans (Model 3 reservations) they made to the company.

    Likely that number is a high percentage of Bolt sales.

  21. Begbie
    Jan 5, 2018 at 10:29 am

    I’m in the high end boat business and it smells just like 2007 to me

  22. Marc D.
    Jan 6, 2018 at 1:49 pm

    That’s astounding that the average GM transaction price in December was over $38,000. And that’s GM – not some luxury brand (although it does include Cadillac, of course).
    Personally, the most I’ve ever paid for a car was $17,000. That’s what I paid for my 2016 VW Jetta, which had a sticker price of $23,500.

Comments are closed.