US auto sales collapse in June

‘Collapse’ is not a word that should be used lightly in business. But there is no other way to describe June’s US auto sales figures:GM reported June sales down 15%
Toyota were down 12%
Ford were down 28%
Chrysler were down 36%

These declines came in spite of the fact that 130 million households are currently receiving tax rebates (as part of the $168bn economic stimulus programme). Equally, they were not one-offs, as readers will know from previous monthly updates. They are part of a trend will has been gathering pace for the past 12 months. Ford and Chrysler seem to be in major trouble.

Optimism about a speedy rebound has also disappeared, with Ford’s Group VP, Jim Farley, commenting that ‘Consumer fundamentals and consumer confidence deteriorated as the first half unfolded. The economy enters the second half of the year with a notable absence of momentum and a high degree of uncertainty’.

Given the importance of auto sales to the chemical industry, H2 is shaping up to be very difficult indeed.

About Paul Hodges

Paul Hodges is Chairman of International eChem, trusted commercial advisers to the global chemical industry. The aim of this blog is to share ideas about the influences that may shape the chemical industry over the next 12 – 18 months. It will try to look behind today’s headlines, to understand what may happen next in important issues such oil prices, economic growth and the environment. We may also have some fun, investigating a few of the more offbeat events that take place from time to time. Please do join me and share your thoughts. Between us, we will hopefully develop useful insights into the key factors that will drive the industry's future performance.

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