Foreign & US Autos, A Nursing Home Beauty Contest (GM, F, TM, HMC)

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It was no secret that US auto sales were going to be down the drain.  Frankly, it is hard to find many who really expect any sudden recovery.  The election on Tuesday and lower gas prices are not believed to have any material impact in the sector either.  It is almost starting to look like a beauty contest for nursing home residents.  There is just no way to make these companies look pretty.

  • General Motors (NYSE: GM) -45% with cars down 34% at 169,000 light vehicles and light truck sales down 51%.
  • Ford Motor (NYSE: F) -29% with 132,000 light vehicle sales.
  • Chrysler (private) -35%, with 95,530 units.
  • Honda Motor (NYSE: HMC) was down 25% to 85,864 as car sales declined 22% and truck sales fell 29%.
  • Toyota Motor (NYSE: TM) -25.9% to 152,101 vehicles, with Toyota brands down much less than Lexus.

The good news is that GM did not get surpassed by Toyota. These numbers can’t decline forever.  Because of auto accidents, car leases ending, and a general feeling of now wanting to drive an oldbeater, there will be new cars being purchased again.  It just won’t be any time very soon.

Jon C. Ogg
November 3, 2008