June Light Vehicle Sales SAAR Drops To 10 Months Low, Upside Economic Case In Question

Tyler Durden's picture

As is by now well known, when it comes to upside theories debunking the bearish "economic contraction" case, there are two core arguments: a Japanese pick up, and a surge in automotive production and sales. And following a jump in Japanese industrial production last week, there was a brief consensus that the soft spot as a result of the earthquake and tsunami have been overcome. Until the subsequent Tankan confidence index release, that is. And in the meantime, nobody can still explain how the economy is expected to return to trendline if peak electric consumption can not be met by a crippled electrical infrastructure. Which leaves auto production, and the latest iteration of inventory restocking. Zero Hedge already discussed the glaring split in inventory data between the Chicago PMI and the Manufacturing ISM, which as Goldman noted previously is a major wildcard in determining future GDP growth. Perhaps David Rosenberg said it best in his Friday Breakfast with Dave: "While there is no doubt that we will see an inventory boost from a revamping of auto production in the coming quarter, what will be critical is whether final sales will hold up. So far in June, chain store sales are running below plan. Auto sales, however, are the real wild card and could hold the key as to whether we are, in fact, at an inflection point. Go back to August 2007 and they put in an interim peak of 16.3 million annualized units. They bottomed for good in February 2009 at 9.2 million units. Then they hit a nearby high of 11.7 million units in March of last year just ahead of the market downturn and "double dip" concerns, only to then trough at 11.5 million in August 2010 just as the market was ready to rip. And then, in February of this year, sales peaked at 13.4 million in February. The May number was 11.8 million - and today we get June. Stay tuned." Consensus was for a significant rise to 12.0 million in June. The actual number was 11.45 million. The lowest since August 2010. So much for an inflection point (not to mention that all of this ignores the record channel stuffing in post-reorg GM).

Here is how the June "end of the soft spot" appears in chart form.

Goldman's Brian Jacoby who was among those expecting a 12 million SAAR print, was unable to provide any favorable spin on the data, with the one observation that some California sales could have been deferred to July following a 1% cut in the state's sales tax.

Low inventories and reduced incentives remain a drag on sales

The June 2011 US light vehicle SAAR (seasonally adjusted annual rate) was 11.45 million units, well below the Bloomberg consensus of 12.0 million. June 2011’s SAAR was above the 11.1 million reported in June 2010, but below the May 2011 SAAR of 11.8 million. Low inventories at the Japanese OEs and reduced industry incentives continue to weigh on sales. In addition, Ford mentioned that California announced a 1% reduction in the California sales tax for July, which may have caused some consumers to delay vehicle purchases in June in order to take advantage of the July sales tax cut. California is the largest auto market in the US. We expect the monthly SAAR to stay low until inventories recover by 3Q. Our SAAR estimates remain at 13.0 mn in 2011 and 14.2 mn in 2012.

Ford sales up 9.2% yoy adjusted; slightly below our estimate

Ford’s June light vehicle sales increased 9.2% yoy on a selling-day adjusted basis, slightly below our estimate of up 9.8%. Ford’s retail sales were up 8.7% yoy on a selling-day adjusted basis (13% yoy unadjusted), and total fleet sales were up 9.6% yoy (14% unadjusted). Ford’s truck sales were up 7.3% yoy and car sales were up 12.5% yoy, on a selling-day adjusted basis. Ford ended the month with dealer inventory of 426,000 units, or a 57 days’ supply. The company made no changes to its 3Q North American (NA) production guidance of 630,000 units (up 7.5% yoy).

Chrysler sales up 25.2% yoy adjusted; well above expectations

Chrysler’s June vehicle sales increased 25.2% yoy on a selling-day adjusted basis, well above our expectations of up 19.6%. Chrysler’s truck sales were up 37% yoy and car sales were up 1%, on a selling-day adjusted basis. The company ended the month with dealer inventory of 314,065 units, or a 68 days’ supply. Truck sales remain solid with the Ram pickup truck up 29.5% yoy (adjusted) and the Grand Cherokee was up 196% yoy (adjusted). The new Chrysler 200 sedan sold 7,219 units in June, up from 7,098 units in May 2011, and well above the outgoing Sebring it replaced.

GM sales up 6% yoy adjusted; well below expectations

GM’s June sales increased 6.0% yoy on a selling-day adjusted basis, well below consensus. GM stated that its truck inventories ended June at a high 122 days’ supply, but it plans to cut production and reduce it to 100-110 days. Retail sales increased 16% (unadjusted) and fleet was down 1%

We are very curious how Deutsche Bank spins this second strike to the end of the "soft spot."

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
Cognitive Dissonance's picture

Well, now that is strange. Basically this was all I saw in the headlines.

Ford sales up 9.2% yoy adjusted;

Chrysler sales up 25.2% yoy adjusted;

GM sales up 6% yoy adjusted;

What happened to the rest of the story? Must have been a typo or maybe a miscommunication because we have a free press and they most certainly would report the news fairly and with balance.

I met the extended family over the weekend and, strange as it may seem, they all believed things were hunky dory. When I asked why they thought this, they told me the boob tube was reporting that the coast was clear and it was safe to come out and play.


Ahmeexnal's picture

Time for another 'cash for clunkers'?
Or better yet, how about adopting India's succesful plan:


Health officials in the Indian state of Rajasthan are launching a new campaign to try reduce the high population growth in the area.

They are encouraging men and women to volunteer for sterilisation, and in return are offering a car and other prizes for those who come forward.

ibjamming's picture

It means the Indian government thinks there are too many people and they are offering people a new car and other prizes if they agree to be sterilized.

We should try it here...in the inner cities.  They'd do it for an iPhone and a life contract!  It's actually MUCH cheaper for society in the long run!

Boilermaker's picture

That's because those numbers are legit.  What you're missing is that, yes, the SAAR is down but the Big 3 are continuing to gain market share like hell (mostly at the expense of the Japanese makes).  I think everyone knows I work in the industry and live in Metro Detroit.  I can tell you that our order books are not down and that we supply mostly the Big 3 and / or tiers supplying the Big 3.

The SAAR did suck and had a drop off.  But, it did NOT negatively affect the Big 3.

Aside from the fact that I do think we are in for one hell of a nasty storm, I don't think the continual market share gains of the Big 3 are negative.

As so far as it being a side-effect of the earthquake and tidal wave...fuck them, they certainly would have done the same if not even more aggessively.

As far as "channel stuffing", that's a bit of a misrepresentation.  GM  (and Ford and Chrysler) want about 60 days at the dealers.  They should be 'over stuffing' the dealers now to capitalize on the Japanese OEM's ills.

I'm not saying the American auto industry is A-OK.  But, they are making moves, continually, in the right direction.  What pisses me off is that we should have never been in this position to begin with.

Also, it is the fist month in almost 3 years where the domestic makes have had a majority share of the market.

Libertarians for Prosperity's picture

Also, it is the fist month in almost 3 years where the domestic makes have had a majority share of the market....

Yeah, and it took one the the world's worst earthquakes, tsunamis and nuclear disasters happening simultaneously to make it happen. American cars are such fucking garbage, I'd rather hop around on a damn pogo stick than drive around in a rickety American rattletrap.

And by the way, Tyler, light vehicle SAAR was at 12 month lows, not 10.

Zero Govt's picture

BoilerMaker, "I'm not saying the American auto industry is A-OK.  But, they are making moves, continually, in the right direction"

With the dishnourable exception that the likes of GM are repeating the same mistake as sub-prime, and offering near zero interest sub-prime car loans to any slapper off the street to flog their wares. And just like sub-prime these junk loans have a default rate of 4-5%, nearly twice the rate of standard car loan debts. This is quite beyond stupid after recent events in mortgages, another mindnumbing house of credit cards! 

Boilermaker's picture

So, just so I'm clear, the only way the Big 3 can even sell a car is to offer it approve credit to a desperate person that shouldn't even get credit?  I follow the incentives offered but not exactly the credit standards and how they differ from the Big 3 and the Japanese, Korean, and Euro makes.  Do you have a credible source backing that up?

Boilermaker's picture

..."American cars are such fucking garbage, I'd rather hop around on a damn pogo stick than drive around in a rickety American rattletrap."

You lost all credibility.  But, of course, you're free to believe whatever rhetorical non-sense you want to believe.  Unfortunately, no credible reliability determining organizations agree with you either.

But, damn, it's fun to go on an ignorant tirade.

Atomizer's picture

I'm all about GM Volt. Insider's tell me, if we bet against the Volt.. $$$$ will shower us bitches.

Video: Two cars charred, including Chevy Volt, in home garage

Not sure how it all works, but they told me they have some sort of insurance and if GM lose's, we win.

My guy's are working on the LED, Light bulb, Windmill and Solar markets right now!


Atomizer's picture

ah forgot ta mention, dat frick, fracking natural gas iz another gaming play. Thanks ta CNBC Cramer in the hood. Yo da derivatives market iz da pot in da hole Ya' know what I'm sayin'?


kito's picture

its all semantics unless the msm is forced to report sales "down" yoy

Boilermaker's picture

What?  They are reporting it the same as they always have (at least for the 18 years I've been in the industry).

Let me guess....you don't have a fucking clue how a car even works other than the 'fill it with gas and turn the key' thing.

Of course, 11.8M SAAR sucks, but that doesn't have a fucking thing to do with GM, Ford, and Chrysler.  That has to do with the entire industry.

Stick with doing valueless drivel for a living.  And for FUCK SAKE, get rid of that gameshow host shit-eating-grin photo.

kito's picture

Congrats. Being head of the service dept makes you the auto pundit of zh. Do you pull your observations out of your tailpipe? Why are the numbers so horrible? 16 mil in sales came as a result of pets and corpses getting credit lines. Those days are gone. What we have now is a range that will be maintained. A bit up and down but relatively stable until there is actual growth in the economy.

Boilermaker's picture

..."16 mil in sales came as a result of pets and corpses getting credit lines."

No shit, you fucking moron.  That's why market share is so important.  Can you grasp that?  Oh, and I'm not a service dept head (whatever that means).  I'm a VP at a mid-sized supplier.  So, if "Kito" knows more about it than I do then throw yourself a parade in your own honor.  My guess is you are completely clueless other than 'you love your Honda'.

kito's picture

You live in detroit, a black hole of culture and prosperity, You my friend have no credibility.

Boilermaker's picture

You've never even been here and have no idea what you are talking about.  Particularly, I don't live 'in Detroit' but rather the northern suburbs.  Furthermore, living and working in Detroit hurts my credibility with respect to the auto industry?  How fucking stupid can you possibly be?

Shouldn't you be ripping-off a scared elderly person?  You stink of a societal jackoff.

kito's picture

Boilermaker your anger and hostility are a clear indicator of self esteem issues. Which is understandable working within an industry that had its ass bailed out by the govt. American cars are less refined and less reliable. To put it bluntly they are shitboxes. The big 3 want to blame the unions for their ineptitude but the fact is they lost market share because their vehicles were crap. Get the fuck off your high horse you midde level piston and pump pusher. American cars have gained market share because japanese cars are nowhere to be found on lots right now. Check out the latest vehicle quality survey? Big 3 taking their rightful middling places as usual.

Boilermaker's picture

Go suck an asshole 'kito'.  I'm quite sure you are well accustomed to it.  You're an empty suit of a moron with no fucking credibility whatsoever to discuss anything that requires wrenches and oil.  You're just another blow-hard shit-for-brains waiting for someone else to spoon feed you what you should think and regurgitate.

I can't even imagine what kind of manicured-nails pussy you are in real life.  You'd piss your pants if had to actually have a detailed debate on the manner as it would instantly expose your utter fucking incompetence.

Seriously, you're the worst ass licking suck up on this site.  Your 'opinion' is beyond worthless.

kito's picture

Ironic you mention spoon feeding coming from your industry

Boilermaker's picture

Ironic that your "expert opinion" goes contrary to the buying decisions of the American populace and professionals (you know...the paid type) that evaluate the reliability of automobiles.  I'm sure you've got a kung fu grip on the 'real' situation, though. 

wesa's picture

It sounds to me like Boilermaker is making some sense.  His viewpoint comes from someone within the industry and appararently from a vantage point of knowing some real numbers.  Give him some credit.

Reese Bobby's picture

Not making sense to me.  Big 3 beat a little on a shortage of cars from Japan.  Big deal.  How is that a sustainable positive sign for the Big 3?  It is logical to surmise some sales were deferred but there was also a temporary boost from Japan, e.g. many people bought a Chrysler minivan even though they aren't up to Japanese standards.  Sorry if the truth hurts...



Boilermaker's picture

It doesn't matter how or why it happens.  It matters because people don't buy cars every year and, furthermore, those <same ignorant> people are now considering, test driving, and making decisions to buy domestic vehicles.  It's entirely likely that the trend will continue.  That's a good thing unless you work for the Japanese OEs.

..."many people bought a Chrysler minivan even though they aren't up to Japanese standards."  This is just fucking ignorant and totally stupid.  You don't even know what that means, which is ironic, becasue it doesn't mean anything.

Reese Bobby's picture

You are entitled to your opinion.  Chrysler is getting one more shot at survival via Fiat, an Italian auto manufacturer.  Think about that for a minute swearing guy.


I am rooting for American auto manufacturers.  I just realize they don't have to be the Big 3.  So far only Ford has proven they can compete.  Coincidentally they didn't need a government bailout.  Odd...

trillion_dollar_deficit's picture

In preparing for the arrival of our twins, weve been looking at getting a bigger vehicle. Had our eyes on both the Honda and Toyota minivans. But, they are no where to be found. Theres not a single one of either vehicle on any of the dealer lots around here.

Boilermaker's picture

So, out of pure spite, you're refusing to even consider (or test drive) a Big 3 make?  I'm curious.

trillion_dollar_deficit's picture

Just going by reviews of minivans man.

I am also somewhat considering a new Explorer, but the minivans are much lower to the ground (important for my 5 ft 2 in wife).

Will tell you though that I will never, ever, ever consider a GM or Chrysler product in the future though. After their collusion with this criminal WH and the destruction of 150 years of established contract law so they could continue to suck off the taxpayer teet, those two copanies are for all intents and purposes dead to me.

Boilermaker's picture

I can tell you the the Koreans get high levels government subsidies and the Japanese do also from the US state and local governments (including heavy tax abatements, training 'credits', etc.).

Ford was also at the brink (even worse, really) but had mortgaged everything just prior to the credit shut-off.  Otherwise, they wouldn't have had enough cash-on-hand either. 

So, basically, you feel about GM & Chrysler the way I feel about the TBTF Banks.  I draw the line between then in that I believe heavy manufacturing has a core value in the economy (planes, trains, and automobiles).  Whereas CDO's, CDS, and other financial garbage create no value whatsoever.  I want the American OE's to rebuild from the ground up and build superior products.  I think they are doing so.

trillion_dollar_deficit's picture

I feel the same way - manufacturing does have a core value. However, the government should not be in the business of picking winnders and losers. They should not be handing out $40 billion in tax breaks to GM. They should not be rewriting bankruptcy laws. They should be putting the needs of the UAW ahead of the needs of the taxpayers. And they should not be lying about everything they are doing so that they improve their reelection chances next year.

KickIce's picture

Well said.  Anytime government get involved prices become inflated; see education, healthcare, housing and automotive.  All big ticket items for middle class families and each and everone is putting a squeeze on the average joe.

e1618978's picture

I bought a Dodge Grand Caravan once, total piece of crap - multiple transmission failures.  Two honda odysseys and 150k miles since I sold the dodge, and no problems with the Hondas.

Personally, I will never buy an American car again - everybody told me that the reliability problems were in the past when I bought my car, just like they probably say now.

Tall Tree Man's picture

California Sales Tax dropped by 1% starting July 1st.  I suspect a lot of people held of buying vehicles until July.

Boilermaker's picture

That actually was one of the reasons cited for the SAAR drop although I don't really think it had that profoundof an effect.  Incidentally, that would make sense to 'channel stuff' the dealers in California though...right?

Kreditanstalt's picture

The number-crunchers would have us believe that SOMETIMES it seems as if this whole ridiculous Ponzi of an economy depends on whether or not ONE mythical Mid-West (or Tokyo!) shopper decides to buy some crap he or she doesn't really even NEED...like another CAR...!

Screw the statistics.  Stop trying to qunatify the unquantifiable.  You're behaving like an economist. 

glenlloyd's picture

So in other words a butterfly flaps its wings in Tokyo and a car remains unsold on a dealer lot that's already full of unsold cars?

For decades now the 'smarties' have quantified the unquantifiable and look where it's gotten us. Tell them they're wrong and they just huff and puff about how they can't be.

I recall a book I got when taking stats in college...the title was, "How To Lie With Statistics."


Kreditanstalt's picture

This sure does make me wonder how many millions of people's jobs would just POOF! v-a-n-i-s-h in a puff of smoke if (REAL, absent growth in the money supply) interest rates were to rise.

Think about dealers in all kinds of useless & overpriced crap no one really needs: poodle groomers, granite countertop installers, nail salons, real estate agents, sellers of massage chairs and purveyors of fashion clothing and cheap costume jewelry.  Not to mention the ZILLIONS of people who seem to be in the business of "holistic" this-or-that, "motivational counselling", enabling me to "reach my inner self" or "artificial supplements",  "health and nutritive counselling"...not to mention "jewelry design" and aromatherapy...

It's getting so no one knows how much is REAL anymore.  It truly DOES depend on people buying cheap-quality overpriced crap no one even needs.

No one gets rich selling flour or potatoes.

nodhannum's picture

Totally agree kreditanstalt! I have noticed that 90% of groupons/living social coupons of late have been from said poodle groomers, granite countertop installers, nail salons, real estate agents, sellers of massage chairs and purveyors of fashion clothing and cheap costume jewelry not to mention the "holistic" this-or-that, "motivational counselling", enabling me to "reach my inner self" or "artificial supplements", "health and nutritive counseling", "jewelry design" and aromatherapy folks...in short...all of the sixties flower power, kumbayah, can't we just get along, baby boomer crap. It appears to me that these folks are sucking the ground it is so dry as of late. Now, mind you, I do live in a university community where these jackals follow the "maserati Marxist crowd" so we mAy be an outlier, but these folks are hungry now that all the credit cards have been maxed out.

time123's picture

Yes, there was a soft patch, but some people start to become optimistic again.



admin at http://invetrics.com

Yen Cross's picture

 Is Timmah, sitting on that chart spike?  The cash for clunkers 09-10 spike?