California New Car & Truck Sales Plunged 21.7% in 2020, Far Worse than US Total. Even Tesla Sales Fell. Nissan’s Collapsed. But EV Market Share Rose to 6.2%

Even the huge used-vehicle market got knocked down, except for older, cheaper used vehicles.

By Wolf Richter for WOLF STREET.

Registrations of new cars and light trucks in California plunged by 21.7% in 2020, the fourth down-year in a row and the sharpest percentage decline since 2009, to 1.64 million vehicles, according to the California New Car Dealers Association (CNCDA). Sales to retail customers plunged by 16.8%, while sales to fleets, such as rental car companies, collapsed by 39.5%.

By comparison: In the US overall in 2020, total auto sales, including fleets, dropped by 14.4% to 14.65 million vehicles. For California and the US, both, 2016 was the peak. California, with about 12% of the US population, accounted for 11% of US auto sales:

There is a timing difference between “registrations” (the data for California) and “deliveries” (the data for the US). After a vehicle is “delivered” by the dealer to the final customer, it takes a while before it’s “registered” with the DMV. But the timing difference is about the same every year, so the difference generally cancels out in year-over-year comparisons.

Registration fell in all four quarters on a year-over-year basis and have now declined on a year-over-year basis for 15 quarters in a row:

  • Q1: -4.3%
  • Q2: – 48.9%
  • Q3: -19.6%
  • Q4: -12.6%

All automakers booked declining sales in 2020 in California, ranging from the breath-taking 43% collapse at Nissan/Mitsubishi to the 4.4% decline for Volvo, the smallest automaker in California.

Registrations of Teslas in the year fell by 4.6% to 71,390. As Tesla ramped up its global sales in 2020 to nearly 500,000 vehicles, California’s share of Tesla’s global sales fell from a share of 20% in 2019 to a share of 14% in 2020.

Even sales of battery-electric vehicles fell by 4.7% from a year earlier to 101,628 vehicles, but that decline was tame compared to the plunge in the overall market, and so the market share of BEVs rose to a record 6.2%:

In California, Toyota is undisputed #1, and has been for many years, with a huge lead in market share over Honda and GM. In the US overall, GM was #1, Toyota #2, Ford #3, Fiat-Chrysler #4, and Honda #5. Tesla is marked in red so you can easily see it down the list. Tesla’s share of the overall market in California rose to 4.4%, up from 3.8% in the prior year.

Even the huge used-vehicle market got knocked down.

Used-vehicle registrations fell by 8.5% to 3.5 million vehicles. The used vehicle market is huge, over twice the size of the new vehicle market in terms of registrations (1.64 million).

This decline comes on the backdrop of used vehicle prices that exploded by 15% between July and October 2020, after massive supply disruptions in the wholesale markets. Since then prices have settled down a little but remain 10% higher year-over-year.

Given this pricing scenario, and the unemployment crisis still playing out in California, sales of older and cheaper used vehicles (7-10 years old) rose, while sales of newer and more expensive used vehicles fell:

  • 3 years old or newer: -11.2%
  • 4-6 years old: -6.9%
  • 7-10 years old: +3.3%

Now all hopes are on the first quarter.

Surely, auto sales can’t get any worse than this, the thinking goes, and that may be true. And in terms of dealers, they’re cashing in because prices are red hot.

Supply disruptions continue to dog the automakers, with a chip shortage currently hitting new vehicle production, in addition to the supply chain entanglements that the industry has had to grapple with.

So supply has been tight, and might get tighter, despite the sharp drop in demand — unlike during the Financial Crisis, when demand collapsed and supply continued to pile up, with millions of vehicles stored at ports of entry and on lots around the country. During the Pandemic, demand has dropped but supply has dropped even more, and prices are high and rising despite the drop in demand.

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  142 comments for “California New Car & Truck Sales Plunged 21.7% in 2020, Far Worse than US Total. Even Tesla Sales Fell. Nissan’s Collapsed. But EV Market Share Rose to 6.2%

  1. qt says:

    “Tesla’s share of the overall market in California rose to 4.4%, up from 3.8% in the prior year.”

    But shares are up 425% YoY. They are like 0.5% of global market share but don’t worry. Buying bitcoins will be a great distraction for the fanboys! Maybe they can sell bitcoins and carbon credits for profits. The car selling business is just for fun.

    • Dan says:

      You insulted Tesla bugs and worse than that their God Elon Musk.

      But in all fairness, both Bitcoin and Tesla are trash. So, exchanging one for another should not be a problem.

    • rhodium says:

      Bro, it’s priced in for a 200% market share going on 300.

    • K says:

      Their quality rating just hit the guano. What will happen to them and other companies if the buyers who put in orders withdraw them, suddenly, due to quality concerns? Many competitors probably can build electric cars for reasonable prices.

      The thing to remember is that the US had $211 TRILLION in unreported liabilities in 2011. See “A National Debt Of $14 Trillion? Try $211 Trillion” in npr’s website. Imagine what it is now, after the covid bailouts and after the upcoming need to bail out states, cities, and pension funds, whose investments have not had adequate earnings due to the ultra-low interest rate policies of the “Fed” banking cartel, whose bankers (which own the private banks that own “Fed” district banks which “coincidentally” benefitted from the low-interest rate policies) will soon need more bailouts.

      Right now, I would not want to hold any such risky stock whose sky-high valuation (considering its price-earnings ratio) could only be justified if you expected market manipulation from the “Fed. See “Janet Yellen’s Slush Fund to Meddle in Markets Got a $490 Billion Haircut” in wall street on parade. The funds to manipulate the market might soon be drying out.

      For years, the US has been like that fellow who owes millions but whose debt does not mature for forty years. For thirty-nine years, he is fine. However, thereafter, as the debt is about to come due, he is in the guano. Likewise, as the baby boomers retire/age out of the workforce, etc., the US economy and government is in the guano. I predict that will be the limit of the “Fed’s” and its cronies’ power to manipulate the stock market.

      For laughs, read about what happens now when various banks with many trillions in liabilities fail. Most Americans do not know.

      • OutsideTheBox says:

        You do understand that a forty year repayment term applies to a mortal, individual man.

        The U.S. Government is an immortal being. Thus the debt can be repaid over several centuries.

        That being true….there is NO debt crisis.

        • Cas127 says:

          “Thus the debt can be repaid over several centuries.”

          Since the Feds commit massive fraud via money printing to drive interest rates towards zero (ZIRP) why would anyone in their right mind believe that creditors (foreign or domestic) will continue to roll over debt for decades…let alone centuries. There are a universe of alternatives that don’t, structurally, have to be engineered to yield zero.

          Don’t be an apologist for DC financial *ssholery.

        • Apple says:

          There’s an old saying “You owe the bank a thousand dollars, you have a problem. You owe the bank a trillion dollars, the bank has a problem “

        • VintageVNvet says:

          No, in fact the government of the USA is NOT immortal, any more than have been the thousands of guv mints that have existed, mainly to screw over WE the PEEDONs throughout our known history or herstory or anyway one may choose to name the sorry record of such.
          And, as has been said on here by obviously wiser heads than I, sooner and later, the guv mint of USA too will go down the tube into the waste bin as has every other guv mint.
          Why people have put up with this one for long is obvious: this one has at least shown some intention to share fairly with we peons, even though that sharing has had it’s ups and downs.
          That we are in a down cycle of distributions of the wealth created by labor is obvious to all on here at least,,, and, in spite of the MSM being owned and used by our rulers, this time may, in fact be different because of the vastly increased direct to the people communications POSSIBLE through the newfangled world wide web today.
          We can hope and pray that these communications continue to accrue to the benefit of all, and not just the rich folks,,, and equally pray that the rich folks who own USA will come to understand that they must share more equitably before we get to the pitchfork stage.
          Wolf and others are doing their part, and doing it well,,, and so it will be of great interest to us and to the historical record to see the results.

        • OutsideTheBox says:


          There you go….stuck with the household mentality that ” we have to pay all our debt by retirement !!!!!! ”

          I am not an apologist. Merely pointing out the facts as they exist.

          I understand that you have a nest egg and are insanely inflamed that this stored ( hoarded ) money is not ” working ” for you.

          So take a pile and buy rental property….you will be quite pleased with the return.

        • ImplicitI says:

          Considering there is infinite time/space, the odds are strong that this has happened before somewhere during sometime.

        • Old school says:

          There is a debt problem the government is trying to manage by dishonest accounting and dishonest money (interest rate suppression and quantitative easing). The crisis comes when people don’t want to hold a government promissory note and instead desire an alternative. Can happen very fast. When people rush into crypto and gold then the crisis has begun.

        • NBay says:

          Corporations are immortal “somethings”.

          I add that because they have also learned how to “shape shift” and vanish or reincarnate themselves at will. (Mostly keep the same owners, though).

          Makes me think of some of the most dangerous monsters people faced that Hollywood has come up with over the years.

  2. 2banana says:

    Someone is going to blink

    “During the Pandemic, demand has dropped but supply has dropped even more, and prices are high and rising despite the drop in demand.”

    • Anthony A. says:

      Prices being raised to accommodate the remaining buyers. Common tactic in business.

      • Cas127 says:

        “Accommodate” or “screw over”?

        And you can only abuse residual buyers for so long…before they stop being buyers, period.

        Basically we are talking about revenue maximization (or maintenance) by adjusting various combinations of sales volumes and sales price.

        But sellers very quickly reach a point where attempts to offset volume losses with price hikes…loses *more* volume…dragging total revenue down.

        • Anthony A. says:

          Cas127, I don’t know where it ends around here (south Texas). $80,000 fancy, BIG pickups are jumping off the shelves at the local GM and Ford dealers. I assume 84 month notes too!

        • VintageVNvet says:

          Cas and AA,
          Don’t know where the complete ”suspension of disbelief” ends either with these pickups as AA says, ”going to the moon” but I DO know where it ends for this old boy, getting ready to quit driving before, rather than after that old guy (of any gender) accident hurts some innocent garbage can on the sidewalk, etc., as the record shows too much of already.
          Hoping for one more trip to the Pacific coast to see family and friend, and then trade in the full size pickup for something a lot smaller for my spouse to feel comfortable driving around town.
          I told her the other day it had to be big enough so I could wear my hat in it, and she only said, ”good luck with that.”
          And it’s gotta be at least a couple years old so the ”new car smell,” actually a ton of very unhealthy off gassing, is gone.

  3. Tony22 says:

    It’s starting to look like a Depression dead ahead.

    Good luck to everybody, and a huge thank you to Wolf for maintaining such a clean and useful website to report what is going on.

    • Depth Charge says:

      I really like this site and Wolf’s analysis. I only came to know about it recently. It will definitely be interesting to see how things play out in the coming years. Nobody I know even acts like there’s anything out of the ordinary going on, economically speaking.

  4. Douglas G James says:

    Cali market Q1, 2020; sample size=one

    The final weekend of January last year just as C19 was entering the global consciousness, I was bored perusing CL one morning. Perhaps shopping, but a single guy, two fine vehicles, not really shopping…then stumbled on something intriguing.

    I launched an off-hand clearly ridiculous correspondence. Commenting upon a pix the seller presented, genuinely I was not interested in a metallic red car. Further I was not attracted to a convertible being I lived in the PDX area.

    That brand was not on my radar. Traveling to Sac to buy a vehicle, while possible was not my idea of a fine weekend trip. Everything seemed against it, frankly.

    Seller replied promptly describing the father-in-law, a car collector, air-conditioned ‘stables’, full classic V-12 Lincolns collector, he having three open Jaguars the family was selling upon his passing.

    Without so much as ’round-the-block test’ we agreed on price. Interest must have been muted back then, he accepting $4200 for a pristine 67k mi Jaguar XK8 I drove back that morning.

    Market softness indeed.

    • Depth Charge says:

      My aunt always wanted a Jaguar. My uncle told her no way, that they were pieces of you know what. After lots of pleading, he finally relented and bought her one for her birthday, I don’t know, 35 years ago or something.

      One early evening my uncle heard a blaring car horn blocks away that never stopped, and it kept getting louder and louder until it was in the driveway. It was my aunt in the Jaguar. He ran outside thinking she was having some sort of emergency. She jumped out of the car in tears, with the horn still blaring.

      Turns out the horn just decided to come on by itself, and she had driven for almost 30 minutes with it blaring, upsetting countless other drivers who thought she was honking at them. She told my uncle she was done with the car and never wanted to drive it again. They sold it.

      • Anthony A. says:

        Back in the 80’s, Jag owners used to pull the engine and replace it with a GM V8. They did that for reliability as the Jag engines were so poor. When I lived in the Los Angeles area, there were shops that specialized in this conversion.

        • roddy6667 says:

          A friend of mine bought a used one. It had mechanical fuel injection and required an expensive tuneup every 60 days.

        • VintageVNvet says:

          gotta join in this cat bashing AA, as per your comment being right on the money:
          SoCal friend with money loved the Jags, so bought a brand new one in late 50s, XK 120 or 150, whatever; six month later the engine quit, turned out the part was $1.50, the labor $600,,, six months later, same thing; he went to a Lancia Flavia, bright red of course because it was more reliable than the Jag!!
          He went to MB after a couple of years,,, and stayed there for the next 40 years or so,,, in spite of their insane repair and maintenance costs…
          (I drove an IH pick up for most of that time, could get them repaired 24/6 almost every national highway— only went over to Chevy when IH made decision to stop supporting pick ups.)

        • Questa Nota says:

          Heard at the garage:

          Jaguar driver?
          What is your spare car, for those frequent shop times?

          Jaguar, where they take an oil leak and design a car around it.

          Jaguar, mobile electrical short-circuit delivery, or parking, system.

          In spite of all of the above, I love the Jaguar styling, in particular the old XKEs.

        • Paulo says:

          My neighbour bought a used Bentley last year. It was supposedly in mint condition. That was over one year ago. All those ‘little things’ add up. It is still in his shop trying to get ‘roadworthy’.

          I aviation we call such machines, Hangar Queens.

      • Douglas G James says:

        You why the Brits drink warm beer?

        The ‘legendary’ LUCAS electrics supplier, they make & sell refrigerators…

        • Sit23 says:

          Lord Lucas, Prince of darkness, inventor of the intermittent window wiper, and the self dimming headlight.
          I gave my mother in law a jaguar for Christmas. It tore her to bits!!

        • 91B20 1stCav (AUS) says:

          …coming from the moto-world, we found the main issue with Lucas ‘electrics’ was that they weren’t ‘electric’ at all, but rather, used smoke to transmit lighting/telemetry signals-when the smoke found a way out of the wiring, problems ensued…

          (seriously, though, Lucas could and did manufacture acceptable equipment. Most British manufacturers submitted to their beancounters, though, and specified a ‘just good enough to get it out the door’ level for their products. Come to think of it, this may have triggered Pirsig’s classic on ‘…an inquiry on the nature of quality…’.

          may we all find a better day.

          (p.s.-Wolf, an idle question, and one i may have missed posts of yous on-any idea the market absorbtion status of the acres and acres of unsold and mothballed new vehicles from a couple of years back?). best regards.

        • Nick says:

          Back in the day ( Vancouver in the late 60’s early 70s ) a lot of my friends owned British sports cars – myself included, and everyone had unending problems with Lucas electrics and piss poor quality control ( British union labour ). One of my first post high school jobs in the early 70’s was in the parts department of a major G.M.dealership . All of the Big Three carried as sub line an import of some sort . G.M.s was Vauxhall – the infamous Viva. I remember the salesmen ( the ones that actually still had a conscience ) talking young women out of buying them due to their dismal service record. They used to come in on ships and when we took delivery of them they had weather strip leaks, mouldy carpets and built in rust. We used to get a box the size of a refrigerator crate full of radiator hoses as whoever designed them decided it would be a good idea to have a vulcanized heater hose attached about half way down that lasted ( if you were lucky ) 6 months on average. People would come in with door handles that had come off. Iv’e worked on a lot of vehicles and in my experience door handles were one of the most difficult parts to remove. My personal experience was with a 61 Bug Eye Sprite that deteriorated to the point that it had plywood floors and the body would actually shift going around corners. If the headlights and wipers were used simultaneously smoke would rise from under the dash. It burned more bulk oil than gas. That said, on a hot summer day with the top down, there was nothing quite like them. Then there was Fiat ( Fix It Again Tony ). Once the Japanese showed up with Datsun ( I owned a 240z ) , plus the arrival of BMW and Volkswagen no one ever drove British cars again. These day’s they’re as rare as hen’s teeth. The only ones I would ever consider would be E types or Healy 3000s although these days the survivors are prohibitabley expensive.

        • NBay says:

          Friend was on Lighting Rocket racing on Hwy 1 at night. All his headlight smoke escaped from wiring, but he never saw it. Compound wrist fracture. Luckily, he wasn’t around the ocean cliffs. Guy he was racing (Bonneville) said bone sticking our was really ugly. Wrapped it in usual carry on bike rag.
          Good thing Lucas parts don’t seem to talk to each other, that I’ve heard of, anyway.
          I had upgraded from Ducati 125 Bronco to 250 Diana by then. Except for the few straight stretches, I was evenly matched to both of them. Desmo.

        • 91B20 1stCav (AUS) says:

          NBay-sweet little singles, having in-house Duc electrics no doubt aided their cause (qc lives on many different routes). (Marelli equipment in my early Alfas, however, was a different kettle of string!).

          may we all find a better day.

  5. Bob Hoye says:

    Perhaps political refugees from California are not taking their cars with them.

  6. Marc D. says:

    My brother, who lives in Northern California, bought a 2016 Tesla Model S last year.

    • Dan says:

      And how is that related to this article? Do you have to advertise Tesla everywhere you go? My dad bought a Mercedes 2 years ago; so what?

      • Marc D. says:

        Because the article’s about the California car market in 2020.

        • Dan says:

          No, it’s because you Tesla bugs advertise Tesla anywhere you go; on Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram. I’m going to bet your brother never bought such a car in 2020.

          If you really care about car sales in California, then make a comment regarding all car sales in California, not a single car sale.

        • Wolf Richter says:


          We’re among buddies here… Relax! Car articles encourage commenters to tell stories about their cars — that 1989 Buick that’s the best car ever made and they’re still driving it — or other people’s cars. People like to talk about cars anecdotally. So I think Mark D’s comment fits right in. It’s an anecdote related to the topic. It’s fine.

        • NBay says:

          Any insights on what happened to Nissan? I had 92, 94, and my present 2012 PU’s. And in all fairness, I tore parts of the the running gear out of first two hauling too heavy loads up washboard shale roads. Seemed like good engineering to me, especially VQ engines.

      • Marc D. says:

        No, I’m not a Tesla fanboy; I drive a Volkswagen. But my brother, being a typical environmentalist Californian now (we’re originally from PA), wanted to be emissions-free, so he bought himself a used Tesla.

        • Sit23 says:

          What’s the difference between a Tesla owner and a vegan? Eventually, after a very long time, at some stage, the Tesla owner stops talking about it.

        • RightNYer says:

          If you meet a vegan, Tesla-owning, marathon-running Stanford graduate, which of the four does he tell you about first?

        • Anthony A. says:

          My fun car is a 2005 RED Mustang convertible with 65K on the clock. Mint condition, runs like a striped-assed ape. A friend is pestering me to sell it to him it for his 18 year old daughter (yeah right, he really wants it for himself!).

          Now that I am “up” a bit in the Fed’s stock market, I may take him up on this and buy me a clean, used Corvette. Heck, I am 77 and need one more TOY!

          No EV’s for this old boy! I’d get laughed out of the ROMEO club if I rolled in for coffee in a silent ‘lectric sedan….LOL

    • Marc Demers says:

      Apparently it still has about 90% of its original range, so he can still get about 220 miles out of it.

  7. Dan says:

    And all I’ve been hearing is how car market is on fire despite Covid. Just who makes up these stories?? There is a very powerful story and rumor spreading machine around us to get poor schmucks to believe in recovery and going out and waste the last few dollars he/she has left either on purchasing stuff or putting it in extremely risky investments.

    These rumors and stories are so real because everyone repeats them, and you really believe them. I do admit, I wasn’t interested in spending time to find out if this story about car market being on fire is true or not; but if they can fool someone like me to believe in it (given how pessimistic I am regarding various data we are given), then imagine what they make poor ordinary people to believe in.

    • Martok says:


      Exactly right, and all I heard was new car sales were supposed to be “on fire”, but Wolf really set the record straight these past few articles about auto sales.

      His graphs were shown in MarketWatch today – Excellent job Wolf of putting together these charts and statistics!

      With COVID, unemployment, bankruptcies, work from home, lack of traveling, people staying at home, – I always wondered who was buying all these cars and why?

      I saw GM’s price and others shoot higher, Tesla going ballistic, EV’s being touted like crazy, and I kept thinking how could this be?

      With that said and seeing how the new retail investors are throwing money at stocks irregardless of fundamentals, even when there is good news OR bad news, I gotta say like Wolf did – WTF

      The market has turned into a casino with millions of neophyte investors daytrading, WallStreetBets, etc, and jamming up the works, however this all will end very bad.

      Even Cramer said the stock market is on a ‘highway to the danger zone,’…..“In a frothy market, stocks will have enormous rallies that are totally disconnected from the underlying fundamentals,” the “Mad Money” host said.

      • Josh says:

        “I always wondered who was buying all these cars and why?”

        We have 3 cars, a 2004, a 2010 and a 2012. So our average vehicle age was 11 years. In late 2020, someone totaled our 2012 Subaru. We had not been planning on upgrading our Subaru anytime soon but there we were.
        We looked at buying used but the new cars were just as cheap as a 2 year old one so we bought a new 2020 Subaru. I believe I read that there are around 6 million car accidents per year (obviously not all end up with a totaled car) so I guess a portion of new car buyers are people like us who had no choice but to buy (and decided to buy new instead of used).

        • Petunia says:

          A couple of years ago I was involved in a small fender bender. The collision repair place preferred by my insurer repaired the car. This collision shop was super busy then, now they are out of business.

        • Martok says:


          I doubt if you and others that had car wrecks made any significant impact into the equation, because that amount has always been a given factor to begin with.

    • Depth Charge says:

      Apparently “manufacturing problems leading to short inventory = sales on fire.”

      • Felix_47 says:

        does anyone know if the new accident avoidance technology has decreased the overall rate of car wrecks????

        • Old school says:

          I did see a study a lot of time ago that had people scratching their head that anti-lick breaks had not made cars safer. Not sure if that is still true. The explanation then was that people learn the capabilities of the near safety feature and then adjust their behavior to more risky driving.

        • Petunia says:

          The number of people using their phones and driving is unbelievable and women are by far the worst offenders. I doubt all the accident avoidance technology can beat stupid.

        • Wolf Richter says:


          I don’t know the answer, but I have not yet seen a discount category at my auto insurer for “collision avoidance” technology. There are discount categories for anti-theft systems, and the like. So once data becomes more solid, we might see something on that. But I haven’t seen it yet.

        • Depth Charge says:

          “I don’t know the answer, but I have not yet seen a discount category at my auto insurer for “collision avoidance” technology.”

          That’s because you were looking under the wrong category, “discounts.” You should have been looking under “premiums,” and “no collision avoidance technology.” /sarc

        • NBay says:

          A very good question and a reasonable attempt at a good answer.
          The only thing I know of that drove down the rate of car wrecks and injuries beyond a shadow of a doubt, was the 55 mph speed limit. Also increased gas mileage, reduced fossil fuel usage.
          That, along with some other pleas for us to consume less crap, and ignore advertising ended Carter’s political career.
          I sure miss having a scientist as president.

          “All the real talent is siphoned off into the Arts and Sciences, and that leaves the dregs to put it all together” -Bucky Fuller

  8. Curious says:

    It seems totally logical that vehicles are not selling much, anywhere, when the government and common sense had to shut down retail, close schools, and limit air travel and hospitality.

    Yet in the U.S., of all the vehicles sold in 2020, light pickup trucks, vans and SUVs made up over 90% of sales, with regular cars less than 10%. I find that incredible. The population is getting older and downsizing their homes, so the usefulness of larger vehicles meant for hauling stuff is questionable.

    • Petunia says:

      I don’t think you realize the number of people living in their vehicles, in America, has exploded.

      • Yerfej says:

        No it has not, the numbers are negligible and most by choice. There are many support mechanisms out there for people.

        • Depth Charge says:

          This is untrue. They now have “safe parking lots” for working women to sleep in their vehicles in Seattle. They even come with porta potties and wash stations.

        • BenX says:

          I can tell you that one of them is NOT by choice. Those people living in the “safe” parking lots aren’t there because they thought it would be fun.

      • BenX says:

        A friend of mine bought a used car to live in last month. So there’s one for the January 2021 sales statistics.

      • Middle aged woman is at the Chevron each time I am there, in a silver Acura, (what year?) Bungi cord holding the truck closed. Personal belongings stacked to the headliner inside. A FOR SALE sign in the back window. I was keen to ask her if the merchandise was included. Should she get $1000 for her worldly possessions, what difference could it make? A month in a motel? I can make that much money reach, but the homeless not so much. The high cost of being poor.

        • John says:

          It’s not the money for a hotel room; it’s money for drugs. The vast majority of homeless are drug addicts.

        • NBay says:

          The vast majority of Americans are drug addicts (or at least “regular users”), homeless or not.
          OTC and Rx drugs, and lots of other “stuff” that might as well be a “drug”.
          I bet most people here spend more monthly on all their “stuff” than 20-30 heroin addicts do for smack.
          All “hard earned”, of course.

    • Apple says:

      Downsizing? Boomers are still busy accumulating.

      • implicit says:

        Janis Joplin would have been 78 in January.

        “Freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose”

        A lot of boomers don’t accumulate, but start getting rid of stuff as they reach the youth of old age :>{)

  9. Seneca’s Cliff says:

    Heck with Tesla, I am waiting for the new Jeep Grand Wagoneer with the McIntosh sound system. That way if the gas runs out and the grid craps out I can get enough juice out of a couple of solar panels to listen to awesome tunes in the driveway after a hard day of digging potatoes or hunting squirrels with a slingshot.

    • Old School says:

      I am sure there are worse states, but in NC you pay 3% sales tax on a new car purchase and about 1.35% every year so right off the bat 4.35% plus a small registration fee. I just don’t like the man enough to hand over that kind of money. I had rather give it to a mechanic than to the government until the car is unreliable.

      • SpencerG says:

        Yeah… my state is even worse. You pay 3% to 5% (in-state/out-of-state) for sales tax… AND THEN they charge you local ad valorem (property) taxes on top of that PLUS the annual bridge tax and registration fee. You can finance all of this into your auto loan… but only for the first year!

        After that you get charged the bridge tax, registration fee, and local property taxes each and every year that you own the car. Obviously the ad valorem amount goes down each year as the car depreciates… after ten years I think they just rate them all as being valued at $100. But the price of a car tag RENEWAL for a seven year old Chevy Cruze in my county is over $101.

        Thus… LOTS OF USED CARS around here… and NOT a lot of luxury car dealerships. Personally, I have never owned a new car. As you say… better to pay a mechanic occasionally than a taxman perpetually. Even though I lived out of state for most of my military career and could have gotten my tag in those states where I was stationed, amazingly enough their registration fees were HIGHER (Virginia and Rhode Island).

        • Anthony A. says:

          What’s a “bridge tax”?

        • Marc D. says:

          Yeah, I live in Virginia, and that’s another reason to drive a reasonably priced car (mine’s a VW) – the annual state property tax of 4.6%.

        • Marc D. says:

          However, they subsidize about half of it for the first $20,000 in value. So I think I paid about 2.5% last year, on my car that’s worth less than that.

          But for any value beyond $20,000, you have to pay the full amount, which varies by county, usually around 4.0-4.6%.

      • MiTurn says:

        I’m originally from the northwestern part of Minnesota and all of the used cars came from right across the border in North Dakota. Why? Because Minnesota used salt on the roads during the winter and North Dakota didn’t. One couldn’t find a good used car in Minnesota — to much rust. But they got top dollar in North Dakota from Minnesota buyers.

        In my mind, this is a form of road tax.

        • Seneca’s Cliff says:

          I went to college in central New York State in the 80’s. Just up the lake was Cargils’s salt mine where they dug up the road salt used in the entire NYC metro area. The tracks went right next to the public works department, so whenever they needed more salt they just broke off a car. Most times they did not even bother to plow and would just melt down 6” of snow with salt. A friend had a new Buick his dad bought him as a freshman and by the time he graduated 4 years later it was totally rusted out. Honda’s would rust right up through the top of the fenders in just a few years so you could look down through the jagged hole and see the tires. Sometimes people would pop rivet a flattened beer can over the hole.

        • Old school says:

          My friend is originally from up state NY. She said they used to have a law that there could be no rusted out holes in the sheet metal. She knew a guy who would stuff a rock in each hole so the car would comply with the regulation.

        • RightNYer says:

          Seneca’s Cliff, Cornell, Binghamton, Hobart?

          Cornell grad here myself. Miss the finger lakes region sometimes, but definitely not in the winter.

        • NBay says:

          I spent over 84 weeks at the P/O Tech Training center in Norman OK. Saw many guys from MN and similar road salted states drive down with a car trailer to shop around for an older non-rusted out project car.

    • Bob Schulte says:

      Seneca’s Cliff- please give more comments as this one I found very funny!

      • Seneca’s Cliff says:


        The Cargill salt mine is under Cayuga lake at Lansing, and the salt trains rolled south through Ithaca. So like you ,I went to Cornell ( engineering school).

        • VintageVNvet says:

          You guys and others on here is why we absolutely need another Wolfstreet commentariat meet and greet…
          Hoping Wolf, or maybe the wonderful artist who did the ”nothing goes to heck in a straight line” mugs ,,, AKA Kitten, will pull something together for late summer when it should, we can hope, be safe or at least safer to travel across USA once again,,, and later summer can be the very best of times in the bay area!
          OK, maybe still need some sort of outdoor venue, but that is a good thing in SF in late summer IIRC,,, and I do.)

    • implicit says:

      HaHa just charge your taser with your battery to supplement the slingshot

  10. Queeg says:

    Mandated electric cars, charging taxes on peasants by the mile driven, gas prices have risen about 40 cents a gallon, car jacking decidedly UP, no free lunches or dinners at public schools, day of reckoning coming on unpaid rent and mortgages…..

    You best hunker down and keep your crockadilla maintained…..

  11. kevin says:

    Although, it might seem a little incongruent between expectations of vehicle sales versus economic demand, my thinking is that the stats are generally still reflective of the true state of the auto industry, because we have to consider that many folks are purchasing vehicles to actually LIVE in them, because they can no longer pay rent and/or are unemployed (despite eviction moratoriums which will have to end eventually). Hence, we are seeing Wolf’s article indicating falling interest in shiny new toys in car showrooms, but some level of “demand” for old, used & most importantly CHEAP vehicles.

    Also, with many companies already instituting semi-permanent WFH and limited travel needs, a large portion of “demand” for vehicles is really for other said purposes.

    Here’s a link on this aspect of the forced “nomadic” lifestyle:
    (Not sure if Wolf will remove above link though… but you get the point)

  12. Nels Nelson says:

    An article in the February 1 issue of Automotive News reported that through the first 11 months of 2020 – December sales not yet available – the average U.S dealership had net pretax profit of $1,786,149, up 33 percent from the comparable period in 2019. This was higher than the record $1,503,432 for the full year in 2015.

    Though sales were lower, the average dealership’s gross profit per new vehicle rose 18 percent to $2,376. Gross profit per used vehicle rose 12 percent to $2,672.

    The chief economist for Cox Automotive said: “It was the perfect environment for incredible profitability”.

    We are living in Bizarro World.

    • Depth Charge says:

      And dealers have gotten extremely cocky. It’s definitely a terrible time to buy a new car. Wait until these guys are on their knees begging for a sale.

      • Mark says:

        Then go in on their last day of sales that affect their quota with their manufacturer ….. offer a set low-ball price that you’ve determined is the absolute lowest dealers have accepted in your zip code ( Edmunds among others lists this).

        I did this in Nashville TN in 2003 for a Honda CRV that I’m still driving – they freaked, and then capitulated about 2 hours before their closing time. Pass on all the clear coat scams, among others. They hated me, but they made the deal. Winning

        • Mark says:

          Last day that affects their manufacturer quota I believe is the last selling day of the month…..

          I still remember the ridiculous obese finalizing guy in clothes that looked like they came from a thrift store- with a tie I wouldn’t blow my nose in ( but looked like he did).

          He lied about the already installed clear coat – said it was really a two coat process – and it only had one of them. After I passed,
          he tried to get me to pay $250 to “Scotch Guard” the seats.

        • Questa Nota says:

          That last selling day may be a term of art that is massaged by dealers, so not necessarily the last calendar day of the month. Ask around to find out what it is, both at that dealer and at any sister dealers and competitors.

          They sell cars daily, or try to, so have a lot of experience dealing with the average person who comes in once every few or several years. They know the tricks, the weasel words, the fast-talking sales pitches. Some even have books showing their ‘dealer invoice’ cost, since some buyers ask. One of my fave dealer stories:

          ‘We can’t buy your business, we have to earn your business.’

          The sales guy said that to me with a straight face, and walked away when I told him that I had a quote of $6,000 less for the identical model at a local competitor. I kept after that competitor and got the rebates, marketing/promotional kickbacks, fleet pricing and fleet financing discounts. Just keep asking to see what else they have, and don’t give in to silence. They need you more than you need them. And yes, they were at the end of their sales month.

        • El Katz says:

          There are two “month ends” in a car dealership: One is the calendar month end – for accounting purposes and the other is the “reporting day” month end adhered to by the manufacturers for press releases. The “reporting day” month end is, traditionally, the last calendar day of the month – unless it’s a holiday or weekend…. at which point it moves to the next business day (example: calendar month end is Saturday, the 30th. Reporting month end is Monday, the 2nd.)

          Dealerships often pay monthly volume or gross profit bonuses to salesmen and managers. To them, calendar month end is king. However, if the manufacturer is running a volume incentive (the hated “stair steps”), then the reporting day becomes king because a dealer can make his entire profit year on a juicy enough volume incentive.

          Falling for the “I’ll show you the invoice” trick is a classic. That “invoice” is what they may have been initially billed for but does not reflect the “hold back” and other reimbursements from the manufacturer to the dealer. That’s why the margin on some cars is $900…. who could sell a $30K product for a $1,000 profit and remain in business? No one.

          Lastly, if you want to save even more money on the purchase of a new car, finance through the dealership. The dealership gets a “reserve” which is basically a commission from the finance company. They will figure that into the profit and may discount the car further if you’re financing a significant amount…. then simply pay it off before the first payment is due (only works if you’re a cash buyer). In addition, there can be “finance cash” available that reduces the transaction price even further.

          Saying you’re a cash buyer used to be a way for a better deal…. saying you’re a cash buyer now is a “so what” because they make far more money by pushing you into financing or a lease (where people rarely ever know what they actually paid for the vehicle – they shop monthly payment).

        • Depth Charge says:

          “Then go in on their last day of sales that affect their quota with their manufacturer ….. offer a set low-ball price that you’ve determined is the absolute lowest dealers have accepted in your zip code ( Edmunds among others lists this).”

          That only works when they have a lot of inventory they want to sell. When they only have 1 or 2 models on the lot, they just laugh. They’ll sell it to the next sucker for full pop, with some exorbitant financing rate. In fact, most of the dealer discounts I see now are under the heading “dealer financing discount.” The credit bubble needs to pop. Then I’ll buy something.

        • NBay says:

          In Tucson they had what they called the “desert package”. Some kind of a paint overcoat, plus some interior coatings. You couldn’t buy a vehicle without it….$999 in 2010.

  13. timbers says:

    Is this true?

    “Automakers across the globe are expected to lose billions of dollars in earnings this year due to a shortage of semiconductor chips, a situation that’s expected to worsen as companies battle for supplies of the critical parts.”

    If so, just another reason for us all to please take a moment and thank the folks in Washington who passed NAFTA and other “free” trade agreements, allowing to move all jobs of importance to anywhere except here. Which was always the intended purpose of “free” trade agreements.

    Perhaps we could also take a moment to morn the lose of our former jobs we lost because we have exported them to nations – which some say are now are mostest Arch enemies – like China.

    I guess that’s why we need people like Jerome Powell and Janet Yellen, who know that the real way to create jobs is by increasing inflation.

    Because Inflation = Jobs For America.

    Looks like a Campaign Slogan to me.

    • Petunia says:

      Don’t forget to keep those borders open, so they can take the rest of the jobs left as well.

      • Rumpled Bemused says:

        They? Could you be more specific. I assume you’re talking about Canadians. Those lazy bastards all just steal jobs as movie stars, talk show hosts and game show hosts; none of them do any real work.

        • Petunia says:

          Actually many Canadians in the medical field are coming to the US. The salaries are about the same but they make out on the cheaper housing. Layoffs are occurring in Canada in the healthcare field as well, pushing them south.

      • timbers says:

        Yep. The folks in power get a lot of support from the top 10% managerial class, so they aren’t concerned with cheap imported labor…yet. Not until it can be figured out how to replace them, too. But for now, they only notice them when they need day help or a new roof, yard mowed and fertilized, car oil changed. They’re such chearfull and obedient folks. Like they should be!

        Meanwhile, making inflation reports report anything but inflation is a Fed speciality.

        Soaring housing prices?

        Reclassify housing as an investment – an optional luxury so to speak. All those “nomads” living in their cars or parents homes aren’t homeless – they’re really just “investors” who are doing the best they can within their means to find an investment. No one actually needs a home – I mean investment. So how can there be homelessness in the first place?

        Sky rocketing medical bills?

        Just take them out of inflation and put them into a different column, like GDP. After all, we’re the richest most exceptional-ist-est nation in the whole world.

        That way, the rich get to keep all/most of the inflation for themselves with exploding asset prices.

      • Reverse Petunia says:

        Anyone on this forum who is under 60 and expects to see social security funded needs to look at the ratio of working age to aged population and realize that immigration is actually needed to balance out the aging and retiring population. It is just demographic math. Stop with the anti immigrant spewing. I think most readers of this site didn’t have wealthy ancestors hauling their assets to the US when they arrived.

        • ru82 says:

          I have to disagree….those poor immigrants probably will not be providing any money into social security as they will be needing food stamps, welfare, free medical care, and MMT?

          They will probably drain the system even more.

    • Anthony A. says:

      Amen brother!

  14. Algi says:

    And so it goes….a much longer pandemic which is now effecting supply chain deliveries. Semi conductors have taken the place of Atkinson ‘reliability’…auto mechanics will be required to possess a EE’
    In order to repair electronically ‘dependent’ vehicles. I marveled at the amount of fruit and veggies available, as I and others pre loaded in anticipation of the next forthcoming Polar vortex induced blizzard…hopefully, not becoming a ‘fond memory’ as my jet-setter’ days have sadly become..

    • El Katz says:

      Mechanics are now “technicians” and most simply replace modules and sensors rather than do any real mechanical work (on modern vehicles that is). I was reading an enthusiast magazine and an author referred to a mid 2000’s vehicle as a “mature vehicle” and advised the owners of said vehicles to find a “gray haired mechanic” at an independent shop as those at the dealerships are mostly clueless as to how to repair them.

      • Depth Charge says:

        I do almost all of the work on my truck unless I absolutely cannot for some reason. Every time I have taken it into a shop, they have messed something up or damaged it badly. It’s sickening. I call it “taking it in for a molestation.”

      • RickV says:

        I traded my 2004 Nissan Frontier in 2018 after 14 years and 125K miles. It was a six speed manual and I have to admit I red lined it more than once. It was worse for wear. I got it serviced with a local mechanic. He changed the transmission fluid when it was due, but used a generic brand. It was hard shifting and I took it back to him. He tried another brand and the same thing. Finally he put in Nissan transmission fluid and it ran like a top. Today manufacturer’s brand fluids are a must for your car for best performance.

  15. Double Bluff says:

    Don’t blame me, I voted for Ross Perot.

    • Petunia says:

      I’m still sorry I didn’t. I thought Bill would be a young innovator, instead he drove me out of the party.

  16. Wisdom Seeker says:

    This is off-topic but in terms of bizarro world:

    Isn’t it backwards that one can net 2-3% on credit card balances — via “cash-back” kickbacks, if paid back monthly on time — but savings and money-market accounts pay no interest worthy of mention?

    And they wonder why so few Americans have enough money “in the bank”…

  17. Jamie v says:

    Wolf, California having 17 percent of US population appears to be a typo. It’s about 12 so auto sales per capita are almost in-line with other states.

  18. T square says:

    It could be that the auto industry has just priced themselves out of the market. Plus the cost of driving one off the lot. . sales tax, insurance and licensing. Also people who are savvy are getting out of debt because they see big trouble coming. It makes absolutely no sense to pay for a car for ten years. It is not just the car market. With trillions in debt inflation is running rampant. All you have to do is visit the grocery store to see what is happening.

  19. David Hall says:

    If global auto sales were 76 million as I read in one article and Tesla sold about 500,000, then Tesla has less than one percent of global auto sales. I am sure autos are not breaking down as rapidly during the pandemic as before. I heard rental cars are in short supply at one location. In my county about 20% of those over 65 were vaccinated, so the state sent 3,000 more doses to be used yesterday and today. They turned away people under 65. This county has a higher percentage of retirees than most.

  20. Yerfej says:

    Its a sad commentary on people that they can’t process the reality that EV’s create more pollution than ICE’s.

    • Wolf Richter says:


      A huge pile of BS has been published and hyped on this topic, much of it with an agenda pushed by the oil industry which is threatened by EVs — such as “EVs are burning coal” when in the US coal contributes less than 23% to electricity production, down from 55% two decades ago, and dropping rapidly, and in California it’s in the single digits. And they’re always ignoring the efficiencies of burning fossil fuels such as natural gas in a big power plant (Combined Cycle NG plants are 65% efficient) compared to burning fossil fuels in the small engine in stop-and-go traffic (when idling, efficiency = 0%). And they’re ignoring that renewables in the US contribute 18% to power production and rising rapidly, replacing coal. And these folks are ignoring the gasoline vapors that escape while refueling and from the gasoline transportation infrastructure. And they ignore the energy it takes and pollution it creates to refine crude oil and get the gasoline into the gas stations’ underground tanks. And they don’t want to see the toxic ground contamination around gas stations. This is so bad that even valuable properties with an old gas station on it may be worth zero because it costs more to remediate the property than the property is worth. And on and on and on. Building an EV itself, except for the battery, is a lot less polluting than building an ICE vehicle because it’s so much simpler to manufacture. The battery is an issue, but they’re being reused and then recycled. And this stuff about EVs being the big polluters is still out there circling around, looking for victims and finding them. And people believe it because they WANT to believe it, and they keep sending around the same links to garbage articles that some gig writer got published on Forbes or whatever. This nonsense has been debunked many, many times, but it’s useless and a waste of time to argue against it. I just ignore it. If you what to believe that EVs are these huge polluters compared to ICE vehicles, fine. By all means, believe in it. And don’t buy an EV. Problem solved. No reason to try to persuade others of your beliefs.

      That said, if you really want to do something to be conservative with regards to the planet and mankind and help protect the environment, don’t buy a vehicle at all and don’t drive. Walk, bike, and use mass transit (but do NOT use rideshare services). If you can arrange your life around that, it’s the perfect solution.

      Compared to the environmental benefits of not owning and using a private vehicle, the differences between an EV and ICE vehicle are just splitting hairs. But few cities in the US allow you to live comfortably without a vehicle (there are some, such as New York City and San Francisco where I have lived and know first-hand, and a few others where I haven’t lived). So we’re stuck splitting hairs.

      • Yerfej says:

        Maybe I should have said “as much pollution” but the reality is the EV industry does pollute. (I work in automotive so I get it). I have an issue with environmentalists who can’t process how clean ICE’s are now. That being said I am all in on the success of EV’s and will definitely own one some day.

      • Anthony A. says:

        “And these folks are ignoring the gasoline vapors that escape while refueling and from the gasoline transportation infrastructure.”

        Wolf, be easy here. I spent 30 years in this area of expertise in the industry and I suffered through it.

        In today’s world (U.S.), all retail and commercial stations have vapor recovery units at the retail gasoline pump except the “few” stations in the hinterlands that do not violate the Clean Air Act standards for their area (ambient air quality). Those areas do need to have previously met the UST program standards mentioned below (double walled tanks, leak detection, continuous monitoring).

        Also, at the product distribution terminals, product load out into tank trucks is done using vapor recovery systems, and tanker trucks bottom unload their product into underground storage tanks (USTs) at receiving stations (retail outlets).

        Product terminals receive liquids via a pipeline from a refinery and also are equipped with permitted vapor combustors to destroy collected loading and unloading hydrocarbon vapors. Large storage tanks are fitted with ether fixed roofs or floating roofs with double seals, both kinds have vapor recovery in-place.

        Air emissions of hydrocarbons from infrastructure handling and transportation is very minimal and are carefully monitored and reported. This is all done under state and federal permits to operate.

        ALL UST’s were refitted with double wall tanks, vapor recovery and dedicated leak detection monitoring systems between 1985 and 2000. This was a federal requirement, with separate state programs . I worked a UST retrofit program with ARCO on 40,000 USTs alone. Small, independent stations were retrofitted under the state’s programs (typically). If there are ANY USTs not retrofitted, they will be upon sale of the facility, but I seriously doubt there are many left these days. Not only were retail and commercial stations under the programs, but industrial companies with USTs were included.

        Also, MTBE contamination in groundwater is a result of the GOV recommendation for a replacement for Tetra ethyl lead that was phased out in 1980 (?) or thereabouts. I was at ARCO at that time and remember clearly how that came about.

        60 minutes did a session on TV about MTBE years afterwards and how bad it was for contaminating groundwater (blaming oil companies) but never mentioned the fact that the government sanctioned the use of that as an oxygenate to replace TEL and that benzene, which has been a major component of gasoline forever, and is a KNOWN, not suspected carcinogen, has been contaminating groundwater for decades. And you can’t make gasoline without benzene in the hydrocarbon chain. MTBE is now gone and ethanol is the oxygenate of choice (not without its problems though – very caustic and can’t be pipelined).

        While I will be the first to say that oil companies are not saints, but also I will say that they do typically operate their current facilities WITHIN federal and state government permitted levels. If not, they get cited and made to comply.

        Making electric cars and trucks is a good idea, and I would have one if the price fits my limited retirement budget, but let’s face it, making batteries and cars (mining and manufacturing processes) is not “pollution free” in any respect. It’s just a trade off.

        And producing electricity is also and event that creates pollution, whether it’s by coal or natural gas, or oil. Nothing is free and blaming one industry over another as to who is the “worst polluter” can take up all your free time. :)

        Sorry to be so wordy here.

        • Paulo says:


          Thanks for the informative comment. Very interesting. I guess that is why there is no longer any smell when the tanker is filling up the station tanks. And that is amazing considering the aromatics put into modern gasoline.

        • keppered says:

          Yes indeed and all done at risk to the industry workers,
          especially at the refinery.
          You wrote a factual response that all should read.
          Thank you!

        • Icarus says:

          I appreciate your wordiness, thanks for taking the time to get that out.

      • lenert says:

        Aye, after growing up in NY and then starting to see other parts of the US it wasn’t until I got to SF that I found another walkable city where I could actually live without a car, ymmv.

      • keppered says:

        The battery being reused vs being recycled is 50 percent of the disposal problems of Tesla vehicles. I’m not sure of other makes Leaf, so on what ever they are.
        Nobody wants the Tesla’s when there dead old worn out or especially wrecked. The batteries are worthless and a pollution liability. The rest of the car has no scrap metal value.

        • Wolf Richter says:

          Scrap value is all you get for any vehicle that is “dead old worn out or especially wrecked” unless it’s a collectors’ item. But even a Ferrari that has been crushed in an accident is only worth what is left of the parts (salvage value).

          A car that is 15 years old and has 300,000 miles on it just isn’t worth a lot. Doesn’t matter what it is, and whether or not the battery is worn out. A new set of tires will cost more than the car is worth.

  21. Ted says:

    The chip shortage is real and is a warning we had better pay attention to. The most important company in high end chips is TSMC . The T stands for Taiwan. The Trump administration pressured them to build a plant in the U.S. and they announced last May that they would build a $12 Billion plant in Arizona. Hopefully, the Biden administration will support this. By the way, chip stocks have all sored this year; LRCX, AMAT, MU, ASML, etc.

    • MonkeyBusiness says:

      The plant in Arizona will only build the 5 and 7nm chips though, by the time the foundry starts to operate, the most advanced chips would be 3nm.

  22. David says:

    I believe that the California DMV suspended drivers license behind the wheel testing for much of 2020. No new drivers to buy cars for

  23. Xavier Caveat says:

    I remember reading in Frederick Lewis Allen’s ‘Since Yesterday’ that one of the reasons for car sales being in the dumpster in the early years of the Great Depression, was teething issues with new technologies.

  24. Palm Beach says:

    In South Florida 60 percent of new car “sales” are leased.
    Large used car dealers are doing well, they are having to buy
    from out of state auctions. the new car stores are packed with inventory
    even Tesla. From what i here the high end exotic dealers are doing

    • Felix_47 says:

      I think the PPP loans are helping out the car dealers. Look up the guy who used his to buy a Lamborghini. It was in Miami and the girlfriend looked like she would be car appropriate. Uncle Sugar has gone over the top on the PPP loans. Although for some reason legitimate people don’t seem to be getting them.

      • Nels Nelson says:

        I commented on PPP loans to dealers and the impact on their profits in the February 10th post on Ford, GM and Tesla. I looked up the dealers in my city on the PPP data base and they received millions. The largest dealer group was “loaned” $7.2 million.

        The article in Automotive News that I referenced in my comment above stated that the program likely played a small role in dealership profitability. The chief economist for Cox Automotive said the PPP program was “vitally important to provide the motivation and the courage to stay in business. … I have no doubt it contributed”. Yet “I really think the PPP program was a rounding error compared to the improvements in gross margins and in productivity”.

        Let’s hear it for all of the courageous, productive and motivated dealers out there.

    • Sam says:

      Top states w/leased vehicles: MI[59%], NJ[53], NY[52%], FL&CA[32% each].
      Source: Car and Driver – 02/’16

  25. Old School says:

    There are two indicators to me of historic bubble that will end in disaster for most:

    1. Central bank balance sheet expansion.
    2. Price of Tesla stock and bitcoin.

    Too much fiat chasing poor income prospects. Everything else is asset inflation. Extreme tail risk of some type of collapse. Most people that follow money know it. The majority of population that’s just living their lives will be surprised. As usual Congress will pass a law once horse has left the barn.

    • Depth Charge says:

      The FED is basically printing crypto and Tesla higher.

      • Old school says:

        When you think about Yellen, Draghi and LeGarde running treasury, Italy and ECB you realize how much we are depending on money printing now. They all talk the talk of caring for the little guy, but don’t walk the walk.

        • Depth Charge says:

          Central bankers talking about “caring for the little guy” is like a great white shark masquerading as a sea lion conservationist. You’d have to be an ignoramus to believe such folly.

    • Brant Lee says:

      I don’t know too many in this forum that rides out particular investments to the death. Tesla has probably seen its best days as a stock, but the people who were made rich from it aren’t on here griping.

      Same with Bitcoin. If I had been fortunate enough to own it a few years ago on the trip to 20k, I wouldn’t have rode that horse back down to 2k, most likely jumping ship about 15-16k.

      A lot of money is pouring into Bitcoin at the moment, it’s worth noticing. I’ve started playing with Bitcoin and Etherium at the start of this year with $1000. In about 45 days I’m up to $2500 with easy cash-out. Smells like profit to me.

      • Depth Charge says:

        I’d venture you’re like most people who gamble in crypto, only betting small amounts. To make millions you had to either get in early and never sell, or have millions to start with. Most of these crypto fanbois you see bragging online are probably like you – they made $1,500. But, many are spouting off like they’re billionaires. Very few made a lot of money, and the ones who did didn’t need it to start with.

  26. keppered says:

    You people need to get out more and live life.
    As armchair economists please don’t write more.
    Just read and learn, …helps to keep foot out of mouths.

  27. Cashboy says:

    It is not surprising that Nissan car sales have collapsed.
    Scotty Kilmer has a huge following on YouTube and warns people not to buy new and any manufactured after 2000.
    Scotty is also doing a great job at destroying FIAT/Chrysler that has now amalgamated with PSA (Citroen, Peugeot, Opel and Vauxhall).
    With his praise of Toyota/Lexus, it is not surprising that Toyota/Lexus are so popular and hold their second hand values in the USA.

  28. CreditGB says:

    Perhaps this it merely a symptom of a much larger and deadly disease that has been ravaging the California body for decades. The end result of deep left socialism has its symptoms. This has occurred in history if anyone cares to read it. As “talent and capital storm out….” things like real estate and auto and other sales decline, more than average. Consider this brief, historical observation:

    “In 1950, Sweden was the world’s fourth-richest country. Then Sweden tried socialism. Suddenly, once industrious Swedes started taking sick days. Wealth creation stopped.”

    “Talent and capital stormed out of Sweden to escape taxes and red tape,” writes Swedish historian Johan Norberg. “Businesses moved headquarters and investments to more hospitable places. IKEA left for the Netherlands… Bjorn Borg and other sports stars fled to Monaco.”

    But….nah,…. can’t happen here. Just like freedom of speech is guaranteed by our Constitution.

    • VintageVNvet says:

      And we can certainly commiserate a bit with all the folks who have moved out of SF bay area recently to the Austin,TX area where tomorrow morning’s low is forecast to be 12 degrees, and Tuesday morning’s 9, with at least six inches of snow somewhere in there.
      This in a place that likely has no such thing as a snow plow, nor likely any other kind of snow removal for any of their roads.

  29. IronForge says:

    New TSLA+OtherBEV Market share are up only because;

    1) Buyers aren’t buying during a Pandemic-Lockdown which Shut Down Economies.
    2) Those who did/had to (yours truly), bought attractive Used Car Deals.

    Probability better to qualify the 2020 MktShrBump that TSLA+BEV Mkt Share Percentage slightly increased due to the Pandemic Shutdown Effects over the Economy.

    By 2022, VOW and others will be Rolling Out more BEV Models, with Tax Breaks+HOV Bennies.

  30. Juanfo says:

    Great people can bike or walk instead of 6000kg of truck a block to the corner for a scratch off.

  31. keppered says:

    Well you guys,
    I can’t see any value with a “chip” from a EV. So when I say “ there ain’t any scrap metal value in a EV” I am mentioning scrap metal value.
    The batteries and certain cooling parts are worthless and very costly to dispose.
    The thoughts of trading up and escaping end of car life fees and penalty’s will simply be applied to everyone as a inflationary tax on your vechle yearly registration.
    The same as the new RV disposal fees at the point of buying car registration tabs. How about the abandon vessel tax boaters pay.
    It the same thing I my opinion, the tax payer has just only seen a glimpse of the up and coming EV disposal tax.

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