New Vehicle Sales Slammed by Semiconductor Shortage, Record Low Inventories, Beginnings of Buyers’ Strike

Frustrated by lack of choice and puffed-up prices, many customers walked.

By Wolf Richter for WOLF STREET.

There are now tens of thousands of newly built vehicles parked all over the place that are mostly finished but are still awaiting a microchip or a component that couldn’t be delivered to the assembly plant due to the semiconductor shortage. These unfinished vehicles are drivable but not salable.

In July, it emerged that Ford had plans to send unfinished F-series trucks to its dealers on an opt-in basis, and let them sit on their lots – rather than on rented storage lots – until the chips or components catch up, and are sent to the dealers that can then install them, and then sell the finished vehicles.

Over the past few months, salable inventory of new vehicles on dealer lots has thinned out to record low levels. Manufacturers have prioritized building models with the biggest price tags and fattest profit margins to pump up their dollar-revenues and earnings despite much lower unit sales.

Customers are swarming over vehicles when they come off the convoy at the dealer, or they’re ordering and waiting more or less patiently. And many costumers, frustrated by the high price tags and lack of choice, are walking, and sales volume has plunged over the past three months – the beginnings of a buyers’ strike.

In July, total car, truck, and SUV sales fell for the third month in a row, to 1.29 million vehicles, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis today.

The industry-standard Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate (SAAR) of sales, which takes the number of selling days per month into account, along with other seasonal factors, and then extrapolates the monthly sales to what they would amount to for an entire year, plunged by 13.4% from the same period in 2019, to 14.75 million SAAR, the lowest, beyond the lockdowns, since October 2012, coming out of the Great Recession:

Sales to retail customers accounted for a very high 90% of total sales as automakers prioritized building high-profit margin vehicles for the retail market rather than selling units at low margin to rental fleets.

Ford is an example at the more troubled end of the spectrum. It announced today that in July deliveries to end users plunged by 32% year-over-year, to 120,053 vehicles – thanks to the semiconductor shortage, resulting in component shortages, resulting in plant closings and mega-lots full of unfinished vehicles.

Deliveries by its dealers to retail customers collapsed by 38%. Deliveries to fleet customers had totally collapsed in 2020 as the rental fleets had stopped ordering, with two of them – Hertz and Advantage – filing for bankruptcy. And anything is progress from there.

Ford’s truck sales to retail customers plunged by 34.5% in July year-over-year, SUV sales by 30.5%, and car sales by 78.7% to nearly nothing.

Car sales were down to just 4,124 Mustangs, 19 GTs (Ford’s fancy rear-engine supercar), and 124 leftover Fusions still sitting on dealer lots after having gone out of production. Except for the Mustang, Ford has handed its car business to foreign automakers.

GM, Fiat Chrysler, and many others no longer report vehicle sales on a monthly basis. And Tesla never reported on a monthly basis, or even US sales, it only reports quarterly global sales.

The semiconductor shortage triggered widespread assembly plant closings globally, impacting vehicles that are assembled in the US and vehicles that are assembled in Mexico, Canada, Europe, and Asia.

Combined with the stimulus-fueled strong sales of new vehicles in March, April, and May this year, these forced production cutbacks led to a historic depletion of inventories on dealer lots.

Inventory levels at the end of July fell further from the already low levels in June, to below 1.3 million units. Supply fell further, from the already rock-bottom 37 days in June, to a record low of 31 days in July, when 60 days’ supply is considered healthy.

Under these conditions, customers had to buy what was there, and they couldn’t pick the color or trim package, and often not even the model, and pricing on popular models was take-it-or-leave-it – and in many cases, according to numerous reports, above MSRP.

Customers ended up buying something they hadn’t planned on buying, and paid more than ever imagined, and dealers made record per-vehicle gross profits in making this happen, and automakers, that had slashed their incentives further in July, were laughing all the way to the bank.

But other potential customers, frustrated by the lack of choice and the mega-price tags, didn’t buy at all, and walked out, which is what increasingly happened in July – which resulted in the plunge in vehicle sales to 2012 levels. It’s the timid beginnings of a buyers’ strike.

Plant closing announcements are continuing, and those production halts will dog the automakers going forward. The semiconductor shortage, which early this year was expected to be over with later this year, is now expected to last into 2022, and some voices already put 2023 on the table.

Buying a vehicle is the ultimate discretionary purchase for most people. They can drive what they have for another year or two or three, and they have proven that they can do this during various multi-year sales collapses, including during the Great Recession during which GM and Chrysler collapsed into bankruptcy, along with a slew of component makers, and new vehicle sales didn’t recover until 2015.

But this type of brutal buyers’ strike isn’t happening yet. What is happening now is just a timid reaction to the frustrations of not being able to buy what they want at a reasonable price.

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  147 comments for “New Vehicle Sales Slammed by Semiconductor Shortage, Record Low Inventories, Beginnings of Buyers’ Strike

  1. TenGallonHat says:

    Seeing lots of late-model $40k and $60k lightly used pickup-trucks for sale in my locale!

    The pinch is on!

    • TenGallonHat says:

      (private party ads)

      • Thomas Roberts says:

        It should be mentioned that both GM and Ford are discontinuing nearly every single sedan/coupe/”car” they make. They are keeping some sports cars for now, mainly the Corevette, camaro, and Mustang.

        They are chasing those SUV and Truck dollars, chasing those big car dollars, only almost crushed them at least twice so far.

        • georgist says:

          Because they are exempt from car emission standards:

        • Wolf Richter says:

          georgist,

          “Because they are exempt from car emission standards”

          SUVs and trucks are not exempt from emission standards. And that’s not AT ALL what the article you linked said (I deleted the link). So go ahead and read the article before you link it. The article discussed fuel consumption and therefore CO2 output of larger vehicles, such as SUVs (burn more gasoline, get more CO2). No recent model year vehicle is “exempt from emission standards.”

        • Joe Saba says:

          oh C O N T R A R E wolf
          In mountains were I’m from (show low, az) they blow UNFETTERED DIESEL CRAP year round for older models
          new diesels use DEF to make pretty just to run our models
          keep up good work my friend

  2. Trucker guy says:

    It’s nice driving a 40 year old beater. I just had to replace a spark plugs wire that dipped down and melted to a header. 30 bucks for all 8 wires. Job done in the napa parking lot in less time than it took the counter jockey to ring me up. Glad I don’t have a car note.

    Just wish housing would come back to Earth, even for the low end dumps and mobile homes. I’m not looking for a mcmansion. Just a piddly <1000sqft spot to lay my head. Sadly 50-60k a year income nowadays means I'm renting for astronomical prices for the time being. 200sqft for 1300/month is utterly absurd in some second tier small city in a rural state.

    • TenGallonHat says:

      Why don’t you move out of WA to a more like-minded state? Serious question. I think you’d be much happier elsewhere. I won’t give recommendations because I am soo tired of out-of-staters.

      • Trucker guy says:

        Cost is everywhere my guy. Washington in rural areas is actually much cheaper than rural Idaho areas. The issues is that I can find public records quite easily of properties and what they’ve sold for in recent years. Across the board in the general US home prices at the low end have doubled or in some places tripled or quadrupled. And many of the low end houses are being sold only as cash only and waived inspections.

        The state and area I moved from; Atlanta, low cost houses have jumped 3x in 3-5 years. Wages were utterly dead in the water for blue collar workers. Most I ever made working in GA was 15/hr. Unless you’re living with someone or paired off, you’re not gonna survive on that alone. Housing there was 200+ for starter homes if you could find them. Zoning regulations made it so only mcmansions with fancy veneers could be built. Apartments were unaffordable if you could find vacancies.

        It’s a crappy situation to be in here in Eastern WA but it’s a million times better than the South. Even still the situation is the same across the country. The lower class that are still paying their bills and being financially responsible are getting smothered by housing or renting costs. There’s land in Nevada for sale for 400 dollars an acre but there is no way to make money as it is 100 miles from the nearest power pole. I know in the major cities rent is collapsing because of urban flight or whatever but the people leaving are eating everyone alive who hasn’t lived in those major cities and have that equity in sold real estate or have made big city wages.

        I could move, sure. But there isn’t anywhere in the US where entry level housing hasn’t far surpassed wages. We need another housing crisis. It’s ridiculous that the artificial run up in housing and stimmies and WFH has allowed all these debt slaves to party like there’s no tomorrow with new cars, jet skis, boats, UTVs, etc while working class savers have to sit and watch 300k dollar tear downs get gobbled up by frantic idiots with more money than sense. Seems to me like anyone who was renting and saving has been left behind. It’s a weird time and experience to live in. All we’d need is mortgage rates to double and this could go back to some reasonable level.

        I could theoretically get into a house. But who would buy something that has jumped 2-3 times in value when normally it putters along gaining a few % each year at best? Powell and Co. say tapering isn’t coming and no crash is coming and yadda yadda yadda. Until shit hits the fan for some reason or another and the market panics causing them to panic. Then you sitting there with a worthless teardown you financed for 3 times the price of what it was worth.

        You may think there are more affordable places but the reality is that there aren’t unless you’re retiring and not needing a wage. And you’d be a fool to get into real estate for the first time right now. And they all promise it’s different this time and prices won’t drop. If they’re right, millennial and gen z are screwed. If they aren’t, you got burned for buying now.

        I need a crystal ball right about now.

        • Jon says:

          I’d say patience would be rewarded!

          Its gonna be interesting to see how long this goes on!

        • Thomas Roberts says:

          In the Midwest, in midsized cities, (under 100,000 people), you can easily find small houses for 60k to 80k that are just under 1,000sqft, sometimes upto 1500sqft, that can be fixed up nicely and cheapily. They have gone up somewhat, but it’s more the 1500sqft and especially 2500sqft and up houses, that have shot up in price and become more scarce.

          The bigger issue, preventing alot of young people from becoming homeowners in the Midwest, is related to a growing number of young girls, not wanting to get married (or pushing it far off). If you are young and single, some guys and a small amount of girls, buy their own small house, but it’s rare. If you are single or are unlikely to get married, houses are typically not worth it. Most guys 25 and up, could afford a small house in probably most average midsized Midwest cities by themselves, but if enough decided to, then those last cheap houses, would disappear. If married with 2 incomes, outside of big cities in the Midwest, houses are going up in price, forcing you to get a smaller house, but are still, usually affordable.

          The Midwest is a big place though, so it of course varies.

          In my area, alot of new apartment buildings are springing up, and their rent after utilities is something like $700 a month for a 1 bedroom and a 1 car garage. Older buildings are slightly cheaper and usually in better areas, with only a parking lot.

          Total expenses counted in, the rent for that newer 1 bedroom apartment is only slightly cheaper than buying a 1,000ish sqft house.

          For all age groups, the amount of divorces and people remaining single, is a very big part of the switch to apartments.

        • Beardawg says:

          Trucker Guy

          Kansas City
          Indianapolis
          Cleveland
          Dayton
          Des Moines
          St Louis

          All under $100K for a smaller SFH.

        • 3D Modeler says:

          Trucker guy, your cogent argument for what’s going on in this country is one of the most articulate I’ve read on this blog. You’ll do well…just be patient. This bs won’t last forever.

        • georgist says:

          Several people on this forum want to blame renters for not living “somewhere cheaper”. It’s clear we can’t all do that, therefore it’s a short-sighted and disingenuous suggestion.

          You are correct, housing is crazy across the board. The problem is rentiers, not renters.

        • Bruce says:

          Musical Chairs,the last one standing lost

      • tightloops says:

        I agree! We do not want them in Nevada either! People from liberal states just want to remake their new home state into what they had and forget the reason they moved in the first place. CHEAP LIBERALS WHO DON’T WANT TO PAY THE “FAIR SHARE” THAT THEY EXPECT OTHERS TO PAY NEED TO STAY IN THEIR OWN HIGH TAX STATE. WE DO NOT WANT THEM OR THEIR RUDE HABITS HERE!!!

        • 91B20 1stCav (AUS) says:

          Tight-i presume that you will continue to take their water, though…

          may we all find a better day.

    • VintageVNvet says:

      Maybe some recent/last time his story will provide some consolation truckr:
      We needed to come back to FL hood to care for very elderly parents in ’14, so sold the homestead in flyover, as this old boy was getting too old to mow and weedeat a mile of fence, etc., etc.
      Houses in the saintly part of TPA bay area were a dime a dozen for around $50K and many under that even; our buyer backed out and donated his deposit to local field for para olympic hopefuls, so we had to wait another year…
      ALL of the ones on my list within a mile of parents were gone, and every other one nearby had doubled by late ’15, but we were able to get one needing a total rehab in a great location, and close enough.
      It has tripled in price according to pillow,,, but will very likely crash right back down sooner or later…
      Keep your powder dry, eh?

    • roddy6667 says:

      In North and South Carolina, you can rent a 3 BR house for $1300, or a 1 BR apartment or condo for $800. Go to RealtorDotCom pr Zillow and search.
      My brother just rented a 1 year old 1800 sq. ft. ranch in a new neighborhood for $1800 in Traveler’s Rest, SC. Before that he was in North Carolina, similar prices.

    • rich says:

      Hold on to that 40 year old beater, because here’s a 70 year old truck for sale:

      Magnificent classic! Our Frost Ivory 1951 Chevrolet 3100 Five Window Pickup For Sale complete with 5.3L V8 and 4 Speed Automatic can be yours today for $93,000

  3. MCH says:

    Wolf,

    Something happening on your site? Last few days seeing a Dency.site ad. Which is a scam site, somehow loads up on the iPhone. So far observed three times. Only on your site.

    Please delete note after you see it.

    • MCH says:

      Sorry, need to be clear, it seems to auto load on your site. Just Wolfsteeet, not anywhere else

    • Wolf Richter says:

      MCH,

      Delete the browsing history of your device. You have something in there that gets triggered when you go to hundreds or thousands of sites including mine. You just don’t go to those other sites and don’t know about it.

      Everyone should delete their browsing history regularly anyway for lots of reasons. Just takes a couple of seconds. On iPhone:

      1. Go to Settings, tap on it

      2. Scroll down to “Safari,” tap on “Safari.”

      3. Scroll down until you get to the blue line: “Clear History and Website Data.” Tap on it

      4. A dialogue box at the bottom appears with a red line “Clear History and Data.” Tap on it.

  4. MCH says:

    I am curious to see if this buyer strike occur eventually, it is based on the perception of inflation after all. If people think cars are going to be more expensive next year, May be they buy now.

    Remember how we thought last year used car prices, especially from the rental car fleet would be suppressed, it didn’t happen. There is a feeling that it must, but somehow…. We will have to see I guess.

    • Depth Charge says:

      There is already a buyers’ strike. The slump in sales is not entirely due to a lack of inventory. I, for one, am a buyer on strike. It just so happens I was in the market for a brand new vehicle when this lovely COVID thing hit. Here I am well over 1 1/2 years later with no new vehicle.

      At first I thought it foolish to even enter a dealership because the nature of the virus was still unknown and I wasn’t going to risk my life for a car. Then, shortly thereafter, the prices just took off.

      As somebody who is very methodical and careful when purchasing expensive items, the skyrocketing price tags and low inventories put me off. And here I am today, not even interested in looking at this time. I know there are many others like me because I’ve talked to them.

      • Wisdom Seeker says:

        If all the cars produced are being sold, and inventories are at record lows, then the buyers that matter aren’t on strike.

    • Old School says:

      People only have so much income so higher prices of eating out or new car payments will be rejected by some people when they run out of money. Government will have to dial back transfer payments eventually.

      • MCH says:

        Not to worry, 2022, 2024, and the CA recall will save the day. More stimmy for you so you can vote the right way. Prices aren’t rising faster than the government can shovel money into your pocket. And if vanguard can offer $1k for their employees for proof of vaccine, surely the government can offer $10k and additional rental moratorium for the same. The point isn’t for the vaccine, it’s to use the vaccine as a pretense for more stimmy. (My autocorrect keep wanting to put in stinky)

        • NBay says:

          Oh goody! Free money. My favorite kind. I’ll just keep on getting vaccinated and tear up the cards. Do ya really think it will go up to $10K and STILL no rent????!! Caribbean here I come! I deserve it!

      • Wisdom Seeker says:

        Disagree with “only so much income”.

        Job openings are at record highs, and overall employment isn’t. Not everyone wants to work and not every job is a good one to start with, but there is clearly more income to be had for those willing to go for it. With the COVID health risk, though, it might not be worth it, at least until the new wave subsides…

        • ChangeMachine says:

          “Covid health risk”?

          Can you please quantify that, “wisdom seeker”?

  5. Shiloh1 says:

    What was the last model year of cars built without semiconductors (not counting radio)? ‘71?

    • Wolf Richter says:

      Maybe mid-1980s, at which time electronic engine management systems became standard (the “black boxes”).

      But even power windows and power locks likely had some form of chips in their controller units even back then.

      • VintageVNvet says:

        My ’64 Chevy 3/4 ton had no electronics, pwr windows, etc…
        Sold it after 25 years for what I had paid for it in ”94, wiht an additional 200+K miles on it, including a couple trips across USA both ways,,, and now wish I had not sold it,,, but I am now too old to work on it, even though it had tons of room in the engine compartment, etc.,

        • VintageVNvet says:

          Sorry, ’84, not 64 — can’t blame spell check on that one LOL

        • Wolf Richter says:

          Your ’84 truck may have had some chips somewhere, such as the ignition system or the starter system.

        • Wolf Richter says:

          If you build anything like a ’64 truck today, it will never become street-legal.

          Old vehicles like a ’64 truck are great fun as collectors’ items. And they’re great fun for occasional careful outings. But for ever-day use, they’re inefficient, polluting, uncomfortable, hard-to-drive (where is the backup camera?) death traps (no three-point seat belts, no airbags, no antilock brakes, no disk brakes, no side-impact protection, shitty suspensions, etc.)

      • Ted says:

        My 89 Corvette had 12 processors.

      • Auldyin says:

        W
        Agreed about ‘black box’ being the mainstream point.
        My 78 Z (carbs) has no chips, my Injected 84 ZX has EEM and integration to autobox.
        Fuel injection started it, Brits had a mechanical system late 60’s, Bosch went the electronic route around the same time and got more and more sophisticated. Brits got wiped (as usual) Bosch went on to rule the World, even licenses to China I think.
        Excuse ancient memory as always!

        • Wolf Richter says:

          ’78 Z with carbs? Typo on the year? Or non-US version?

          I could have sworn my 1978 280Z, which I owned for 20+ years, turbo charged, and heavily modified, had fuel injections (first year for the Z in the US). In fact, as part of my turbo installation, I could have sworn I replaced the stock injectors with Bosch injectors for the 3.2L BMW engine. The thing is the 280Z engine was based on the inline 2.8L BMW engine.

          That’s my 280Z and me — as a young man less than half my age :-]

        • Auldyin says:

          W
          Fantastic, we’ve nailed it between us, we’re both right! 78 was the year for chips.
          Mine was a 78 UK spec 260 carbed 5sp manual.
          California (Z’s main market) was first with pollution control. Nissan put their first injection engine upped to 2800ccs to keep un-strangled power and called it a 280Z as you show, same shell as mine.
          That model was never available in UK and the bigger injected engine only became available here in the new shell 280ZX. Don’t know how to post pics here.
          Your taste in cars used to be good, what happened? All that modern stuff?
          Was the Z still ‘clean’ with a turbo or did you cheat the regs??

        • Dan Romig says:

          In the States, the 1975 280Z had Bosch FI.

          I had one, but I ran 40mm Weber DCOE side draft carbs & an MSD ignition box. Wolf’s looks a lot nicer than mine.

    • Prof. Emeritus says:

      British Leyland built the Mini without chips up until the ’90s (though it was a far outdated design by the ’70s).

    • Sams says:

      At least 2006 when the “Rest of the world” spesification Land Rover Defender 300Tdi was discontinued. I guess Toyota and others had similar vehicle spesifications for some (the same) markets. Maybe even after 2006. But it was not possible to buy these in the USA, EU or other “civilised” places.

  6. Ron says:

    So I will be able to buy a 1-2 year old truck at full price hahaha no way let them set

  7. Greg Hamilton says:

    Wolf,
    I don’t know if you have discussed this yet, but what happened to all those excess rental cars that needed to be sold? If you did discuss this I missed it. Thanks for great content.

  8. Eastern Bunny says:

    Sales are low because there is no inventory.
    You can’t buy that which is not for sale.
    Car prices are never coming down, just hope the increase was transitory.

    • Trucker guy says:

      Even Powell stated last week that the price increases we’ve seen in nearly every sector likely won’t come down only that the inflation was transitory. The higher prices of today are here to stay. They just won’t be going up… According to him…

      • Tom S. says:

        That’s exactly right Trucker Guy. You’re charging more, the ports are charging more, the manufacturers are charging more, the labor and materials are more expensive, plain and simple. Ideally, sure, labor could be paid fairly and we put the inefficient businesses under…but the reality is they will open the country up to more immigration again and that will bail us out, again. I’m for more immigration but I do understand the many reasons why people are opposed. The problem is simply that business cannot compete with imported product without immigrant labor, and there isn’t enough domestic labor to fill those undesirable labor intensive jobs. So to me it’s either other countries setting the prices of our cara, or immigration. Automotive industry wise, that is. Scary times for the big 3, hopefully they use the profitable quarters wisely.

        • Augustus Frost says:

          What you are describing is a losing proposition, either now or later.

          Bring in more cheap immigrant labor now and borrow more to fund entitlements for those who have been displaced or aren’t working. Can’t borrow more forever, so “kick-the can” until the negative consequences lower living standards.

          While we are at, let’s just also lower everyone’s quality of life with increased congestion. The US only has about 100MM more people now than in 1975 when I moved back and this population increase is concentrated in a maybe a few dozen cities.

          Or, don’t bring in cheap labor now and wages have to be reduced, somewhat less if corporate oligopoly power is reduced to share the pain.

          Either way, it equals lower living standards.

          The reason there aren’t enough workers for the less and least jobs is because many or most don’t have take this work to survive. There isn’t an actual labor shortage, it’s a political outcome.

          The “can kicking” is going to end eventually and when it does, Americans are going to wake up and discover how much poorer the US really is since it doesn’t produce so many goods it did in the past. The US isn’t going to be able to run mega merchandise trade deficits forever, even if those who believe this is a “new normal” think otherwise.

        • Tom S. says:

          Augustus,

          Immigrants and entitlements aside…what is happening now is the solidification of the global workforce. Very few jobs will be protected should work from home remain. In automotive even engineering is being outsourced to India and Mexico where people don’t pay US taxes. The current plan is for the government to print enough to keep spending and corporate profits strong, income from taxes be damned. It’s a full blown Ponzi scheme and I don’t see a good way out.

        • cd says:

          Your out of touch with reality, the illegal immigrant today is illiterate and could care less about working….

          give it a break, thanks for selling your children down the river…

          sheep

        • Lawefa says:

          No government in the history of mankind has ever created
          any wealth. People who work create wealth.

  9. robert says:

    Can’t we do anything any more? The ‘chip shortage’ has been going on for more than a year now. They should be able to toss together a few fabs in no time and get everything cranked up. I know it’s a little complicated, but it shouldn’t matter these days.
    I suppose if China really wanted to supply, they would, but for Taiwan, or even the good old USA, or many other places: What’s going on?
    But I did see a recent story: The feds have a ‘plan’ which involves 500 Billion dollars … looks like everybody might be licking their chops waiting for the money machine.

    • Nathan Dumbrowski says:

      The FED built money presses rather than chip fabrication facilities. We did get a ton of freshly printed green bills.

      Yes, more could be done to build more chips. Why would the companies invest in the future when they can get a government handout today. Somehow the big massively profitable computer chip manufactures need to be incentivized to build a product that is a global linchpin

      • Tim Reynolds says:

        Don’t you worry. I am sure the Fed/US Govt is drawing up the plans right now on how they will control manufacturing and supply chain from their offices. You know, so this type of thing doesn’t ever happen again.

    • Auldyin says:

      R
      Co-incidence is the thing I watch.
      Huawei made a better phone than Apple.
      Trump banned Huawei on security grounds ie Apple is your last player.
      Huawei’s phone business got hammered in the west.
      China did not like that at all.
      What the Hell could they possibly do?
      UK & EU did their usual ‘poodle job’ for US.
      No chips in UK or EU either, what a surprise.

  10. James says:

    Yeah right..the Feds have a plan..that’s always the problem.
    500 billion for chips sounds good, but at least 50% will be wasted/lost.

    Let the chip manufacturers solve the problem, using the capitalistic profit motive & forget about the gober-ment stepping in and mucking everything up!

  11. Sir Eduard R. Dingleberry III says:

    Massive drop in MSRP for the new 2022 Nissan Leaf. Hopefully another sign that we’re flipping to deflation!

    • Joe Crews says:

      Leaf MSRP was lowered because the Nissan Ariya (new electric model) is due to launch in 1Q 2022. They did not want the pricing to overlap between Leaf and Ariya.

  12. Frank says:

    Ford sending vehicles to the dealers to be completed (chips installed). Not a vehicle I would want to purchase.
    Toyota got it right “Toyota Defies Chip Shortage to Post Record Output and Sales” Instead of trying to eke out every penny in the supply line they ensured at least a limited supply of critical parts, including chips.

    • 3D Modeler says:

      Yep, imagine the quality issues resulting from dealers having little experience retrofitting a bunch of chips. The titles should be branded with a “Chip Retrofit’ warning.

      • Anthony A. says:

        They are not going to be installing the microchips. They will be plugging in modules that already have the circuit boards, chips and other components in them. Plug and play.

      • El Katz says:

        The vehicle “completion” will be no different than taking a misbehaving “completed” vehicle in for repair. Most repairs are now nothing more than component/module replacement.

    • Nemo 300 BLK says:

      These modules, not chips, they are installing at the dealer control things like auto start-stop functions and power deploying running boards, which is why the trucks can drive on the trailers. I own three almost new Fords and I even agree their incompetent dealer network can install these modules.

      • 3D Modeler says:

        Depends on where the modules are located. The modules may be plug-n-play, but the disassembly and reassembly of surrounding components deep in the dash, engine compartment or a body cavity in order to access the modules is not something I’d pay a premium over list price for. But someone will.

  13. Catxman says:

    When the semiconductors become widely available once again, the market will explode with pent-up demand. That should boost Detroit’s balance sheets to the point where they can coast for a little while as they re-tune for an electric future. The incredible vanishing semiconductors might have done the green future a bit of a future, in that way of thinking.

  14. Double Bluff says:

    I wonder if the semiconductor shortage is actually someone teaching the U.S. a lesson?

    • Jon W says:

      I’m an electronics engineer, and I wonder this as well, but I suspect the cause is multi-faceted. The Chinese do make many of the types of chips that have run out, and it would not surprise me if they are restricting exports to hurt the USA, or at least preferentially supporting their own manufacturers.

      But then there are other factors, like Texas Instruments also being out of stock despite manufacturing in the USA. Additionally the timing of the fire at Renasas couldn’t have been worse really.

      It also would not surprise me if some hedge funds have gotten into the supply chain and are squeezing delicately balanced items. A bunch of companies have sprung up that do have stock of hard to get parts, but you have to ‘request a quotation’. I haven’t done that yet, but I imagine the price is going to be nose bleed inducing for what were previously dirt cheap items. It’s only a few years ago that Goldman tried to corner the global aluminium market. Or that other guy who tried to buy up half the world’s annual coffee supply.

      Actually, when you think about how evil and immoral these people are, and how much cheap money they’ve been given, this is probably at least 50% of the problem.

      • Trailer Trash says:

        “I imagine the price is going to be nose bleed inducing for what were previously dirt cheap items. ”

        They are copying the pharma parasites that drove the price of insulin and Adrenaline autoinjectors to the moon. If a few people die because they can’t afford their drugs, no big deal, ‘cuz there’s still another 300 million US peons to exploit.

        People are angry. One can see the anger everywhere: fights on airplanes, road rage shootings, attacks by police, attacks on police, etc. The whole place is a tinder box and corporate scumbags are throwing lit matches everywhere. The policy of divide-and-conquer is making the country ungovernable, and still the establishment media keeps promoting more division and hate.

        Dear Leaders fooled most of the people for a long time but now are just fooling themselves into thinking there won’t be massive payback. More and more people are getting wise to the fraud and corruption. The fact that most of it is “legal” (it’s good to have a magic legal wand) enrages us even more.

        “And it’s a hard, it’s a hard, it’s a hard, and it’s a hard It’s a hard rain’s a-gonna fall” (Bob Dylan)

      • Nick Kelly says:

        PS: thanks for leading me to an interesting read. As soon as I saw ‘corner aluminum’ I thought ‘impossible’ and who would try? The world is awash in Al and has been for decades.

        Here is what Goldy was up to: they were warehousing US Al and the plan was to get more money for doing that. So they made it harder to withdraw it, requiring notice etc. which drove up the storage time. and fee to 45 cents a day per ton. True they did buy Al as part of this but that was to create a local US shortage, and make guys (Coke for one) line up at their warehouse.

        Is the same as a corner? Maybe a variation but world wide Al is in such surplus that in 2015 Ann Yang reported a Chinese plant that tried to shutter but its SOE bank wouldn’t let it.

    • historicus says:

      TWO MASSIVE chip production facilities being built just south of Phoenix

      • roddy6667 says:

        I thought chip production required massive quantities of water. Phoenix?

      • Anthony A. says:

        That construction and start up will take a couple of years to get online and producing. They will have to import water more than likely.

        • El Katz says:

          All included, (data from a 2019 article), there are 90 million acre feet of water stored in the aquifers beneath Phoenix. They also actively replenish these “water banks” from their allotment of Colorado River water and other sources. Arizona also sits on top of 600 million acre feet of brackish water.

          Recycled water is big here. Water consumption in Phoenix Metro has remained the same as 20 years ago, despite the increases in population.

          I don’t know anything about chip plants, but there’s a good supply of contaminated water (natural occurring or industrial waste) available as well. Could that be used for chip production – with proper filtration? Don’t know.

          But don’t assume that AZ is sitting around with their fingers in their ears going “lalalala” while the volume of water from the Colorado River dwindles.

  15. ivanislav says:

    A question for the car folks – is it feasible or even *legal* to produce a new car or truck without any electronics these days?

    • Old School says:

      Not possible for a manufacturer because of emission and safety standards as well. Best hope would be to have someone restore something old if that’s what you are ater.

    • Jos Oskam says:

      I can’t see how. Here in Europe they are about to make black boxes, lane departure warning systems and G knows what else mandatory on new cars. Probably the same in the US.

      I’m happily driving a 66 Mustang which evidently has none of that crap but most people are afraid of these classics because they lack all kind of safety systems and need more TLC than a modern vehicle.

      And of course, the question is how long one will be able to continue driving classics, since more and more roads and cities are being closed to old cars to save the planet.

      May I cash in my chips before civilization has put an end to the last of my small pleasures.

    • Nick Kelly says:

      It isn’t desirable to not have electronic ignition. I kind of wonder how many guys dissing ALL electronics have ever changed the points in a car, or know why they were there.

      • Paulo says:

        Do you remember when people would ooh and ahh over EI?

        This article and comments reminded me of the old National Lampoon movie, Vacation. Clark Griswold goes to the dealership to pick up his sport wagon in cobalt blue, and comes home with the ugly green Family Truckster. “Oh no honey, this one is better”.

        Regarding an above statement on the ‘switch to electric’, I’m wondering (except for the efficiency of an electric motor compared to even modern ICE), what is the hope to replace gasoline with NG fired electric generation? Or, even coal powered generation? Not only is NG still a FF, there are issues of escaping methane with every bore hole. It’s as much hype as ethanol, imho.

        I just think we would all be far better off with extremely fuel efficient and light weight (simple) gas powered engines/vehicles. Throw some tax levies on to gasoline and diesel sales to pay for transit options, etc. Complex computers/cars requiring multi year financing seems nuts.

        I now put high test into my 81 Westfalia. It runs me well north of $5 per gallon, but we just drive less these days and don’t notice the difference. High test doesn’t have ethanol!!!!! I don’t get water building up in my fuel tank requiring replacement filters and new fuel pumps. Water eats Bosch fuel pumps for breakfast. The addition of ethanol in lower octane fuels actually uses more energy in the growing and processing of corn, than what it saves in petroleum. I just had to replace my fuel lines on two motorcycles. Ethanol rots out fuel line. It is not good for older vehicles at all. Good for the older voting farmers, not good for older cars.

        The cost to replace my Westie with something newish would be $100K. You can only buy a new VW in Europe, anyway…so the point is moot. If I were to buy a new north american van and camperise it, and even if I did all my own work, it would still run me $100K. I bought the ’81 because the body and interior were like new. Installed a new rebuilt engine and had all the running gear replaced and gone over in a specialty shop. I ended up with $30K into it. It is like new. Purchased off the lot in ’81 Google says it would have been $14,900. That was about 1/2 my yearly income then.

        I want to repaint it this fall, but my wife says it doesn’t need repainting. hmmmm.

        My point is that buying used and fixing, plus doing preventative maintenance, is far cheaper than buying new car lot bling. Plus, always take any prospective used vehicle to a decent mechanic for an opinion and assessment before buying. If you don’t do this, you are buying in haste. (We’ve probably all done it). Can’t beat a used Japanese car.

        • Old School says:

          The old Honda 90 motorcycles are great bikes for third world riding. That had small battery I think for lights. If you couldn’t kickstart you could push down hill to get it to fire up. If you had electrical problem you could get to run without battery by reconfiguring wiring.

    • Wolf Richter says:

      No. Not a highway-legal automobile. You can rig together a basic vehicle, such as a basic riding lawnmower without chips, but you cannot legally drive it on the highway. It also won’t have any electrical controls. And if your rigged-together riding lawnmower has something as basic as an electric starter, it will have a chip or chips in the controller unit.

      • VintageVNvet says:

        Maybe not ”legal” in some places Wolf,,, but my fil drove his mower to the liquor store for several years after he lost his DL!!
        Never got a ”ticket” though he did mention he was followed home several times by the local cops who knew him well…
        He was one of the local heroes in WW2 AND Korea, and the cops all knew that and did their best to protect him, mostly from him self,,, etc.
        As one getting pretty damn close to the same, I can tell everyone on here the local cops used to be the best guys in the hood,,, and, from what I heard about for eva!! several of those guys carried me, drunk to the classical definition, to the front steps and told mom to take me inside and not let me out again!
        ( Classical definition: Not drunk is he who from the floor can rise again and drink once more, but drunk is he who cannot either rise nor drink… )
        And that definition has certainly gotten a lot of us in bad bad trouble until we knew better, eh

        • Paulo says:

          Hey Vintage.

          when I was 15 my buddies and I were out for a run in my mom’s V dub. Gallon of wine in the backseat, no license and obviously no insurance. The lights came on and the officer asked me what the hell I was doing? I said, “I was going to get gas, but I think I’ll just go home.” He followed me home and waited until I went inside.

          Boy, are those days long gone.

    • Prof. Emeritus says:

      No, but you can choose to manufacture the ICs with cheap, outdated chips. Which is allegedly what the automotive sector was doing for long – they lag like ~10 years behind other fields of tech that introduce new hardware and software first. If you sit in a new Honda I think you can plot the Android license somewhere in the menu used by the head unit, it’s stuck somewhere around ~2014 version number. Saving 1 dollar each on a million chips quickly adds up to a million dollars of profit on someone’s year end report. Of course, the user experience will be awful if you try to run a modern navigation software on these units.

  16. ru83 says:

    Looks like foreign home buyers are coming back.

    Economist said to expect to competition from foreign buyers going forward again.

    ————————————————————————
    In June, when real estate agent Nitin Gupta took two clients to see a new housing development in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, a sales representative for the builder told him all the units were gone.

    The builder had planned to sell 100 homes to investors, out of roughly 1,500 he was planning to build. Investors had come to the site the day before, the rep told Gupta, and another agent had pitched the homes to a group of buyers in China over Zoom.

    “He said, ‘The people were saying, I want one, I want two, I want three. Boom, boom, boom,” Gupta recalls. “The agent sold about 50 to 60 homes and the builder had sold 130 homes the first day.”

    While the global COVID-19 pandemic has squashed sales of U.S. homes to foreign buyers over the last year, local buyers should be prepared for a rebound in competition from other countries in the next 12 months, economists say.

    Texas, Gupta’s state, ranked as the third-most-popular destination for foreign real estate buyers between April 2020 and March 2021, according to a recent report by the National Association of Realtors. Florida and California claim the top two spots, while Arizona, New Jersey and New York follow Texas.

    Chinese clients have been the top buyers of U.S. residential homes by sales-dollar-volume for a decade, and continue to rank No. 1 even as sales from April 2020 through March 2021 plunged 70% from the same period a year earlier.

    ————————————-

    My question to the board. Who many people in the U.S. are buying houses in China. Just curious. Why is it on sided?

    • ThePetabyte says:

      Why is it legal?

      • Depth Charge says:

        Why? Because the USA is for sale to the highest bidder. The system is rotten to the core. Every protection that every other country offers its citizens is not available to US citizens. Take illegal immigration to start with – NO OTHER COUNTRY IN THE WORLD allows that. Yet when we, as US citizens, criticize that, we’re automatically labeled racist. It’s because we’ve got a disgusting group of narcissistic pigmen who have their hands around the throat of the country to the point we can barely breathe.

        • VintageVNvet says:

          Concise and exactly to at least one point DC, if not many points of the challenge for WE The PEONS, per UnAmused, a very wise person that I for one am sorry is not on this wonderful website every day as he or she formerly was.
          I was spouting off and pontificating about the control and out of control activities of the rich and richer here in USA for many years before the internet was anything other than a tool of the military ( of which I was briefly a part in ’68. )
          Not going to get any more involved due to my elder and even more elderly situation these days, though I will add I was in the streets in the later sixties when I realized how bad it was those days,,, ( due to excellent education training us to be able to ”read between the lines” of every issue of the MSM, etc. )
          Keep on keeping on brother or sister,,, and the best of luck to all you younger folks including the so called boomers.
          I am just hoping we can, some how, find a way to avoid another global war that helps no one, etc., etc.

    • Nick Kelly says:

      ‘Chinese clients have been the top buyers of U.S. residential homes by sales-dollar-volume for a decade…’

      Do you mean top FOREIGN buyers? As it happens, Americans were the top buyers with China just beating Canada for the foreign medal.

      ‘China, Canada, India, Mexico and the United Kingdom were the top five countries of origin by U.S. residential sales dollar volume. China and Canada hold first and second place in sales dollar volume at $4.5 billion and $4.2 billion. India stood at $3.1 billion, Mexico at $2.9 billion and the United Kingdom at $2.7 billion.’

      Total non- Chinese of top five foreign were 13 billion or triple China’s.

      The Canadian peril is underrated. They just blend in better.

      Total US res sales in 2020 were about 250 billion.

      • Nick Kelly says:

        PS: all sales data 2020

        • Paulo says:

          We used to get lots of Americans buying property in Canada back in the late ’60s and ’70s. Nowadays it is German buyers. This is rural, not cities. Chinese buy in cities, Germans seem to buy up rural and are content to let property sit idle for most of the year.

          Although, The Washington Group (Montana) has done their level best to buy up BC.

      • ru82 says:

        I cannot link the article. It was an article on Foreign buyers only. Thus China is the top buyer.

    • Wolf Richter says:

      ru83,

      Here is the actual information about foreign buyers in the US:

      https://wolfstreet.com/2021/07/26/us-home-purchases-by-foreigners-plunged-for-4th-year-in-a-row-to-lowest-since-at-least-2011-but-they-bought-more-expensive-homes-than-americans/

      Lots of Americans buy homes in other countries, including in Mexico, Europe, Japan, and China. One of our commenters here, and his wife, own an apartment in China.

  17. Micheal Engel says:

    1) Total vehicle sales reached 18.8M in Apt 2021, the highest since 2005. There were no chips shortages until Apr. It developed in the last two months.
    2) Car are consumers biggest component. “Real” consumer spending reached a new all time high in Mar/Apr 2021. It tank in the last two months.
    3) Heavy trucks sales are in a trading range since Jan 2021.
    4) China car sales plunged 80% in Feb/Mar 2020, but recovered to a lower high. Ford & GM car sales in China are way down before covid.
    5) If Xi strike US, GM will lose China after losing Europe, while
    dumping small passengers car.
    6) If Xi strike, GM & Ford EV will have no batteries.

    • Dan Romig says:

      Michael,

      “Niron Magnetics, a Minnesota startup company spun out of a University of Minnesota research lab, is planning to use $21.3 million in fresh capital from investors to build a magnet-producing factory in the state.

      It will make magnets for use in electrical vehicles, among other things.

      Niron Magnetics produces permanent magnets for use in industrial motors, audio speakers, magnetic sensors, consumer appliances and wind turbines without the use of rare earth materials, which can raise serious environmental hazards.

      The company’s technology instead uses iron and nitrogen, which it said are less expensive and more sustainable.

      The company also states its production process is 95% less damaging across certain environmental factors compared with alternative methods.

      Rare earth magnets are mostly made of neodymium, and China controls 90% of the supply, according to Reuters, which also reports prices for neodymium oxide are up 90%. Nissan, BMW, Toyota and Volkswagen are among the carmakers looking to cut back on the use of rare earth content in their motors.”

      -From Nick Williams in my local paper’s business section on Friday, 30 July.

      It would be great if we could use new technology to build fast cars without needing stuff from China; build really accurate hi-fi loudspeakers; and get electricity out the air more efficiently!

      It might seem a bit far-fetched to think that by adding nitrogen to iron it will be the Holy Grail for magnets and electric motors, but let’s hope it plays out.

      Where’s the Holy Grail for batteries? Is it out there somewhere?

      • Yancey Ward says:

        Sounds like these magnets are good at attracting money.

      • Maximus Minimus says:

        Sounds like the company is using superconducting magnets cooled by liquid nitrogen.
        Doesn’t sound like an idea for miniature magnets.

        • Dan Romig says:

          The article was light on specifics, but underneath a photo distributed by the company and published in the paper:

          “Niron Magnetics is developing an advanced manufacturing process for the mass production of permanent magnets.”

          Some of the investors are Volvo Cars Tech fund, Anzu Partners out of D.C. and Volta Energy Technologies out of Naperville, IL.

          Last November they got $5 million from the Department of Energy to develop permanent magnets for electric vehicle drivetrains in partnership with Marquette University & General Motors. The plant will be roughly 20,000 square feet.

          It will be interesting to see how things transpire.

        • Maximus Minimus says:

          I looked up Niron, and there is no specifics about technology, so found this on phys.org from Uni of Minnesota:
          “Wang said it was suggested in 1972 that Fe16N2 was extremely magnetic, and this was backed up by Hitachi researchers in the 1990s, but these findings were not confirmed by later researchers. Fe16N2 is metastable and tends to form other crystal structures, complicating estimations of the volume of the material that is actually Fe16N2.”

          So my assumption was wrong, but this is extremely experimental. But then, with so much liquidity sloshing around, everything seems like a worthy bet.

        • Dan Romig says:

          Thank you Maximus Minimus.

      • Nick Kelly says:

        If the co can make iron mags that equal Neo mags they should be able to raise a billion next month, with govt involved on Nat Security grounds. Sounds good but a ‘let’s see’ story.

    • Old School says:

      I am dubious of Fed’s mandating EV by a certain date. It seems to me car business is all about creating a product people desire. If you try to force feed an automobile type, people defer purchase and spend the money on something other than an automobile.

  18. rich says:

    “New Vehicle Sales Slammed by Semiconductor Shortage, Record Low Inventories, Beginnings of Buyers’ Strike”

    Which is why I didn’t sell my five year old F 150 for what I bought it for new. If I can’t replace it, it makes no sense for me to sell it.

    • Depth Charge says:

      It makes sense in many instances. There are still many models of cars and trucks you can order and get for below invoice. People are selling their used cars and trucks and replacing them with brand new for oftentimes the same price, which begs the question: Who are these IDIOTS paying all this money for used vehicles?

  19. Bart says:

    Interesting article Wolf. Thanks.

    Have to ask, headlines I see at AutoNews are that GM made $2.8B in Q2, Toyota posts record profit, Honda raises forecast.

    Correct assumption that Q3 repots will be significantly different and is Honda raising forcast because they aimed low?

    Auto factories have a lot of overhead and from what i understand, dont make money until they are running mid 90% of their capacity.

    • Wolf Richter says:

      Bart,

      As I pointed out in the article repeatedly, automakers across the board are prioritizing the manufacturing and sales their most expensive vehicles with the fattest profit margins. So dollar-revenues and dollar-margins are big fat numbers, even as sales volume in units is way down.

  20. David Hall says:

    Appliance mfg. is affected by the chip shortage. Smartphone production might get pinched. A foam shortage is affecting furniture mfg. output.

    A new wave of infections is keeping workers at home; exacerbating a worker shortage. Some long term disability with a small percentage of infections.

  21. historicus says:

    Caveman economics

    Inflation BAD

    Fire GOOD

    take note J Powell

  22. Winston says:

    My hobbies are all tech hobbies. One of the major US designers and manufacturers of hobbyist electronic modules has a series on YouTube about searching for suitable substitutes for out of stock or parts with huge price increases. A recent example: an long-produced integrated circuit that was $2 is now $21.

    • Depth Charge says:

      I find it fun to buy NOTHING but food, and stack every dollar I earn.

      • VintageVNvet says:

        Similar here DC, but have to add beer, wine, booze,,, eh?
        Would name a few, but afraid if I did so, this would raise the prices even more because of the world wide spread of readers on WolfStreet. com!!

        • Turtle says:

          Neither should we risk another long thread on the pros and cons of alcohol consumption.

  23. Brent says:

    Good news on the horizon-look up the article:

    “US Army leadership is worried that its next-generation Humvee replacement is too comfortable”

    Quote:

    For leadership, the ride is so smooth it brings its own concerns,” 1st ABCT spokesman Maj. Pete Bogart told Task & Purpose.

    ….

    “Leadership wants soldiers to remember that they’re in a tactical vehicle,” he added, “not a Nissan Altima.”

    That is the right spirit,yay !!!

    Ford,GM,Toyota,Nissan-when/if chips will become available again-take those chips and shove it where Sun does not shine !!!

    For for those who dont want to drive >$60K “space ships” with 50ECM & 2000 microcontrollers each-

    Humvee Raider Plus Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) 4 door, customized for civilian use, starting at $28K

    And many many other makes & models of no-nonsense air conditioned chipless basic military cars.

    • Nick Kelly says:

      Canada ducked Nam and Iraq but did go to Afghanistan. We borrowed some tanks from some NATO country that were NOT air- conned.
      A degree (lower) of crew comfort is not always wasteful.

      BTW: the Hummer in Iraq, a pretend military car, was a sitting duck. Soon an order went out for 1000 Bradley armored cars. The word ‘tactical’ reminds of me of Bell and Howells BS ‘Tactical Flashlight’

      • 91B20 1stCav (AUS) says:

        Nick-‘war surplus’ to ‘Mil-Spec’ to ‘Tactical’, never underestimate the brilliance of marketing minds to subvert and devaluate a term in the pursuit of sales…

        may we all find a better day.

  24. Tim Reynolds says:

    Costumers is what I am going to be calling all US customers from now on. It’s more accurate, since they are part of an economic charade.

  25. Micheal Engel says:

    1) The Niron CDC kicked the evictions can down, permanently. The Niron’s horse is our new god.
    2) Buy a 2021/2022 $40K-$60K F-150 in Oct/Nov for whom.
    3) RE guppies will be swallowed by the struggling cities and the minis.
    4) The Niron cities will own thousands of mom & pops houses units.
    5) Wall street minis will grow from puny 10,000-80,000 units to full a scale 800,000-1,000,000 units Blue Whales.
    6) The blue collars contractors will lose their jobs. They are too “Blue” for the reds. Canadian Blue taste good like beer should.
    7) When “things” are bad innovations grow like mushrooms in the labs.
    8) Rotation to W. PA, WV, OH, IN, Wisconsin & MN will replace the west singularity.
    9) The Holy Grail are mini nukes !!

  26. Nick Kelly says:

    Re: cars. GM and Hyundai are stuck with HUGE, unheard of, recall costs of about 11K per car to replace batteries that catch fire. Total for both is about 1.5 billion.

    Prediction: we are going to hear a lot more about battery issues in the near future. Tesla’s early ones are getting old and a lot are going to come due in a short period. Will Tesla have them and at what cost?

    • Wolf Richter says:

      Ford in July recalled about 1 million vehicles for major safety issues. Recalls are standard practice. They often happen after some accidents in which people died. They don’t get expensive unless you’re talking about millions of vehicles. But it’s only EV recalls, which are small-scale for now, that get anyone’s attention.

      • Cobalt Programmer says:

        A new car built by my company leaves somewhere traveling at 60 mph. The rear differential locks up. The car crashes and burns with everyone trapped inside. Now, should we initiate a recall? Take the number of vehicles in the field, A, multiply by the probable rate of failure, B, multiply by the average out-of-court settlement, C. A times B times C equals X. If X is less than the cost of a recall, we don’t do one.
        -Narrator, Fight Club, 1999

        • Wolf Richter says:

          That sounds good in a fictional movie. In reality, recalls are forced by the government if the automaker doesn’t do them voluntarily.

    • Prof. Emeritus says:

      Car manufacturers are increasingly starting to have background contracts with battery producers where they share the costs of such recalls in case it results in repair costs, loss of reputation or ban / delay of sales on certain models. It’s nothing new actually, no car company went bankrupt by airbag recalls, only Takata did.

      • Nick Kelly says:

        The majority of the 67 million airbag replacements were AFTER Tanaka went BK. e.g., ‘It will cost Ford $610 million to replace the airbags as a result of NHTSA’s decision. Because of Takata’s bankruptcy, Ford is shouldering all costs itself.’

        GM had even larger costs.

        As for this being ‘nothing new’, eleven grand per IS new. That’s what got my attention. Fortunately for GM and Hyundai they were niche products in their line. If it had been a million autos it would be ten billion.

        If you have actual info as to which battery manufacturer is sharing in the stated 1.5 billion cost to them for a mere 150K cars, share it.

  27. Artem says:

    Maybe supply has something to do with manufacturing uncertainty about EVs and future virus shutdowns. When the car makers aren’t sure where demand for ICEs is going to be, it’s harder to invest in production expansion.

    Or it’s just a chip shortage?

  28. Boomer says:

    Scratch a few dozen more F150’s

    “The drive.com” reports 44 auto racks derailed on the NS railroad destroying some of those coveted F150’s on their way to market.

    “What’s reported to be a 44-car train derailment took place in northeastern Missouri on Monday, crushing and dumping dozens of new Ford trucks and vans throughout the countryside. “

    • Depth Charge says:

      This happens all the time. Saw some pictures of dozens of destroyed Ram trucks, and Toyotas too.

    • Wisdom Seeker says:

      @Boomer –

      Income opportunity for someone to salvage the electronics modules and use them to finish off some other F150s stuck in production queues…

  29. Micheal Engel says:

    Stellantis made $7B profit in the first half of 2021.

  30. throop says:

    I’m on a buyers strike. I would like a new car but can’t justify or afford the inflation. I’ve rebuilt engines before and will just keep fixing my cars until prices become more reasonable. Parts seem a lot more expensive these days but still a lot cheaper than buying a new car or paying a mechanic.

  31. Quite Likely says:

    Lots of similarities to what’s going on in the housing market. Hopefully we see prices come crashing down to earth in both.

  32. RedRaider says:

    Re: cars sitting on dealers lots waiting for chips to be delivered.

    Isn’t that a REALLY gutsy move on the dealer’s part? Isn’t a new model year rapidly approaching? Whose going to buy these new but old model year cars when new model year cars are available? I would think there’s deep discount selling coming when the new model year cars arrive. Or won’t the manufacturers create a new model year until the old model year clears the pipeline? Sounds like a FUBAR situation to me.

    an anyone who understands the business explain this to me?

    • Wolf Richter says:

      RedRaider,

      Dealers are desperate for trucks. That’s the motivation. On the other hand, techs will have to be trained to perform the work, but dealers will be paid for it. It’s opt-in, so some dealers may choose not to do it, and then they get fewer trucks; other dealers may jump on it with both feet to get the maximum allocation of trucks and make a killing with them once the parts come in.

      The model-year change over this year (to 2022) will be irrelevant for dealers given the current shortage of vehicles.

  33. ru82 says:

    Goldman saying SP500 will hit 4700 and possibly 5000 if rates remain low.

    Crazy how well the stocks, housing, and cryptos have performed this past 12 months.

    Money is flowing out of peoples pockets. Crazy

    Really if you look at most stocks over the past 3 years….incredible.

    Lot of 2nd homes have been bought with these gains. No quantitative data, just from close acquaintances.

    • RightNYer says:

      It’s really not crazy when you consider how much money was printed.

    • RightNYer says:

      Also, in my anecdotal experience, very few people have actually bought houses with their stock gains, at least in the traditional sense of cashing out those stocks and buying houses with cash.

      Generally, their stock portfolios have emboldened them to take on larger mortgages or buy houses with cash that they wouldn’t otherwise have done so.

      In other words, the wealth effect is purely an illusion. People are spending unrealized gains, and if they go away, the wealth is lost.

  34. Micheal Engel says:

    1) SPX 30 min : the trading range : July 7 hi/ July 8 lo. SPX SOS will send price to a new all time high, after BU. // or : H&S, with X2 RS, back to TR and below.
    2) WTI Futures weekly : either to 107.50 from 2014 // or back to the 42/62.60 trading range from 2015. A neckline with Oct 2018 high.
    3) Gold Futures weekly : hugging a support line from June 2019 low to Mar 1 close for two months. By Fri close this line might be breached, but it doesn’t matter. Gold might osc hugging the line, up & down, for for few more weeks, to complete week #13.,

  35. TenGallonHat says:

    Hold on to your pants…

    ” B iden to Sign Order to Have 50% of US Auto Sales Electric by 2030: B iden’s executive order outlines goal to have electric and other zero-emissions vehicles make up half of the new cars and trucks sold by 2030 ”

    Also read somewhere about ***mandatory breathalizers***, can’t find that article now. $$$$$$$

    NO COMPLAINING — YOU [ALLEGEDLY] V0TED FOR THIS!!!!!!

    • Wolf Richter says:

      TenGallonHat,

      Oh lordie. No, there is no “order” that automakers have to sell 50% EVs by 2030. It’s a SUGGESTION. It’s voluntary.

      Automakers are EXCITED about EVs. That’s the only segment that is growing. Consumers are buying EVs. There are long wait lists. US automakers have announced $100 billion in investments in EVs. They’re letting their ICE engineers fade out and they’re massively hiring the best and brightest for EVs.

      What automakers wanted was for the President to endorse EVs and endorse their EV brands (Tesla wasn’t part of this). This was a HUGE free promo for EVs. Get it?

      • TenGallonHat says:

        When I read a “President signs an order”…………. I read it as a “President signs an order”.

        And why wasn’t TSLA there? BECAUSE THEY AREN’T UNIONIZED. Pathetic!

        Oh yeah, the Big 3 are “gonna need a little help :( ” to do this. FIGURES!

  36. Swamp Creature says:

    Also read somewhere about ***mandatory breathalizers***, can’t find that article now. $$$$$$$

    Its in the Infrastructure bill. Can you imagine if they report intoxication to the police dept automatiocally

    • Wolf Richter says:

      Can I let my kid blow into it??

      But drinking and driving does kill a very large number of people, including many innocents (“family of five killed by drunk driver” and similar).

  37. Rosebud says:

    Wolf, notice Modular in your auto thread? To go with Modular in a housing thread from a few months ago?

    If you recall, the sequence is:

    Liberation, May 21-Oct 9, 2021
    Modulation,
    Innocence,
    Grace,
    Satisfaction,
    Empowerment,

    each 5 months duration approx.

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