Once again we learn that not a single sell-side analyst could have predicted the unprecedented "snow in the winter" weather shock that everyone knew about a month or so ago. In the latest example of just how confused "analysts" were when it comes to analyzing weather patterns, we just got both Ford and GM January car sales which tumbled by 7.5% and 12% respectively, on expectations for a decline of only 2.3% and 2.5% for the two US carmakers. And confirming that automaker executives continue the trend we have seen with all other sellers of goods and services, namely that when it is snowing in the winter, nobody buys anything, it was all the weather's fault.
- FORD: WEATHER HAD EFFECT ON TIMING OF SOME FLEET DELIVERIES
- GM SAYS EXTREME WEATHER DEPRESSED CO., INDUSTRY SALES
Perhaps they are referring to the abnormally dry weather in California?
Maybe not. Here is the detail from GM:
Historically, January is the industry’s lowest sales month of the year. Extreme winter weather in the South, Midwest and Northeast this January further depressed GM and industry sales. The seasonally adjusted annual selling rate (SAAR) for light vehicles is expected to be an estimated 15.3 million units, down from 15.6 million in December.
And from Ford:
“Given the difficult weather in our largest sales regions, we are fortunate to have held in at retail as well as we did,” said John Felice, Ford vice president, U.S. marketing, sales and service. “In areas where the weather was good, such as in the West, sales were up. The poor weather also had an impact on the timing of some of our fleet deliveries. A bright spot is Lincoln, which had its strongest sales in four years.”
Of course, it could be the weather - one doesn't know since the geographic sales breakdown is not provided. Or perhaps, it just may be that the Uncle Sam car loan-funded car purchase bubble has also finally burst.