Car sales are of major importance to the chemical industry. The ACC calculates each new car uses $2441 worth of chemistry. The declines reported below for March and Q1 do not, therefore, make pretty reading.
Even more discouraging is that none of the main auto manufacturers expect to see any pick-up in sales in the near future. Ford, for example, described the environment as being ‘very challenging’ and said their strategy was to focus on ‘being profitable at lower volume’.
There are also indications that the current downturn has spread from individuals to the wider economy, with Chrysler referring to an ‘industry-wide slowdown in large pick-up truck’ sales.