Auto sales fall around the world

AUTO AUG08.jpg

August was a bad month for US auto sales. GM sales were down 20% versus 2007, Toyota down 9%, Ford down 26% and Chrysler fell 35%.

This set the blog wondering about relative performance , and the chart shows the result. 2007 wasn’t a great year, with only Toyota (the red column) showing a sales gain. Q1 then saw all the majors posting sales declines versus 2007. June might have been expected to show an improvement, as the $100bn Federal stimulus package arrived with consumers. But in fact, sales fell further versus a year ago.

Ford (green) reduced its decline in July, but fell back again last month. GM (blue) is now having to bite the bullet with further production cuts, forecasting a 100k decline in Q3, and a 167k decline in Q4. Whilst Chrysler (purple) are ‘bumping along the bottom’, according to their President Jim Press, who sees sales being ‘slow through most of 2009′.

Even more worryingly for the chemical industry, the US slowdown has also spread to other Regions. European auto sales fell 16% in August, whilst China was down 10% and India down 4%.

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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