Oops. While Phil LeBeau was proudly crowing about how great the auto industry 'was' doing, the actual data of how it 'is' doing printed with a dismal drop from Novermber's exuberance. Domestic Sales dropped to their lowest annualized level in 14 months with the biggest miss since Oct 2008! The story was very widespread, as SMRA notes, nearly ever automaker reported lower than expected sales... apart from:
*MASERATI N.A. DEC. SALES UP 210%
and on the basis of cars sold per employed person... we have peaked...
Nearly every automaker has reported lower-than-expected sales for the month of December relative to our forecast and the consensus. At this time, domestic light vehicle sales are running at a disappointing low 11.3 million annualized pace, which compares with 12.6 million for November.
If taken into context, we can say that the strong selling pace in November pulled sales away from December. In September and October, domestic light vehicle sales fell under 12.0 million due to the impact of the federal government shutdown, slipping to 11.7 million for both months, as it negatively impacted on buying confidence.
In November 2013, sales recovered strongly to 12.6 million, perhaps too strongly to the detriment of December's sales. Therefore, if we average November and December together, we get 12.0 million, which is a respectable, though not spectacular, selling pace.