One characteristic of recessions is that recovery is always ‘just around the corner’. We can see this pattern in today’s US auto market. Since 2009, forecasters have been convinced that sales will quickly return to Supercycle levels of 15-17 million/year. But sadly, by around this time of year, it has become clear that nothing has […]
Tag Archives | GM
Chrysler CEO, Sergio Marchionne, has issued a wake-up call to Western auto companies about the growth of China’s exports. He warns that they “can’t count on dramatic growth in Asia to drive prosperity“, and suggests that China’s plans to increase auto exports pose an “enormous” risk. Meanwhile, US auto sales disappointed again in July. As […]
Time was when US auto sales only rarely dipped below 1.1 million/month. Since the Great Recession began, however, they have only rarely been above this level. Analysts are yet to take this change on board. So June’s 1.05 million figure (red square) was described as a ‘surprise’. Yet as the chart shows, most months this […]
US auto sales remained stable last month. As the chart shows (red line), they were just above the 1.1 million level. Until the Crisis began in 2008, this was the minimum level for monthly sales, but now it seems to have become more of a maximum. Beneath the surface, some other significant changes are underway: […]
After 2.5 years of 0% interest rates, $5trn of government stimulus and a payroll tax cut, the US economy is finally beginning to create jobs again. The jobless rate fell last month to 8.8%. And the wider U-6 jobless rate, which includes those unemployed for more than 6 months, fell to 15.7%. In turn, this […]
EU auto sales remained weak in February, and dependent on just 4 countries. As the chart shows (red line), they followed January in being at the bottom of historical monthly sales. Overall, January and February were down 0.3% versus 2010, with 2 million autos sold: • German sales were up 16% at 435K; France was […]
February’s data on US auto sales contained good news, and not such good news, for the chemical industry. • The good news was that sales were relatively strong, as the chart shows (red line), although still below levels seen in the 2005-8 period (black line). • And higher oil prices are supporting sales of more […]
US auto sales disappointed again last month. As the chart shows, January (red square) came in well below the 1.1m level that was normal during the Boom years. And even this 819k sales level required major increases in incentives. GM, of course, was focused on stabilising its stock price after the IPO, so it needed […]
US auto sales have slowed again. We seem certain to end 2010 at the bottom end of last year’s forecasts for demand, which ranged between 11.5m – 12.5m. This seems the main conclusion from analysing November’s sales figures. The blog has developed the new presentation above, showing sales by month since 2005, to assist comparison […]
US auto sales (black line) in April showed welcome improvement versus 2009, but were still a long way short of earlier demand levels. They were up 19% versus April 2009. But even with this improvement, they were down by 24% by comparison with 2 years ago. On an annualised basis, they were only 11.2m versus […]
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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.