US autos Mar11.pngFebruary’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 efficient autos. This should increase polymer sales, as steel and glass is replaced.

• The not such good news was that companies are still using heavy discounts to boost sales:
o GM continued to offer major incentives, plus cheap financing.
o Toyota was also offering large incentives, which will no doubt continue into March, as it seeks to counter news of a further 2.2 million vehicle recall.

This suggests the US auto industry is still suffering from a lack of pricing power, in spite of all the $bns spent in restructuring. This will not make it easy for chemical companies to push through further feedstock-related increases for its raw materials.

PREVIOUS POST

Chemical companies report strong Q4 results

05/03/2011

2010 was a remarkable year for chemical company profitability. Back in Q1, BASF&...

Learn more
NEXT POST

Shipping index signals China slowdown

08/03/2011

The blog’s recent visit to Singapore included several discussions about th...

Learn more
More posts
Your A to Z Guide to the reality of Brexit after 31 December
29/11/2020

(Picture credit Shutterstock) A.  Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty set out the rules for leaving ...

Read
Plastics producers face a ‘wake-up call’ from both ends of the value chain
22/11/2020

Plastics producers have had a great run over the past 60 years, as demand took off for their product...

Read
Smartphone sales confirm mid-market of ‘affordable luxury’ is disappearing
15/11/2020

Another 3 months, another decline in global smartphone sales. And more pressure on mid-market player...

Read
Chemistry & the Economy webinar on Thursday
10/11/2020

Please join me for the next ACS Chemicals & Economy webinar on Thursday, at 2pm Eastern Standard...

Read
Welcome to the New Normal – a look ahead to 2030
01/11/2020

10 years ago, I took a look ahead at what we could expect in the next decade, as discussed last week...

Read
If you don’t want to know the future, look away now
25/10/2020

Next week, I will publish my annual Budget Outlook, covering the 2021-2023 period. It will highlight...

Read
Chemicals in the eye of the storm as UK heads for a WTO Brexit on 1 January
18/10/2020

On Friday, the UK premier confirmed what many of us have expected for a long time. There is unlikely...

Read
Pandemic redraws the map
11/10/2020

  Companies have entered a new landscape where the coronavirus has accelerated major paradigm s...

Read

Market Intelligence

ICIS provides market intelligence that help businesses in the energy, petrochemical and fertilizer industries.

Learn more

Analytics

Across the globe, ICIS consultants provide detailed analysis and forecasting for the petrochemical, energy and fertilizer markets.

Learn more

Specialist Services

Find out more about how our specialist consulting services, events, conferences and training courses can help your teams.

Learn more

ICIS Insight

From our news service to our thought-leadership content, ICIS experts bring you the latest news and insight, when you need it.

Learn more