Ford, GM Car Sales Tumble: Weather Blamed As Usual

Tyler Durden's picture

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.


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.

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666's picture

Are sales down to the dealers or the public? Both, I'm sure. Besides, why would I want to buy a crappy GM or Ford vehicle when I can buy quality ObamaCare on easy monthly payments?

NotApplicable's picture

Sorry, it's my fault. Instead of buying any new cars, I bought tires, batteries, front-end alignments and wiper blades for three old ones.

Ignatius's picture

I was gonna go out this mornin' and buy one of them Maseratis they was adverteasing about during the Super Bowl, but it looks like rain so I guess I won't.

Sterling Rod's picture

Not the weathermen where I live.  They s*ck.

Mrs. Cog's picture

@Cog - Notice how your words all run together when you comment from the dentist chair?

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

The crown just turned into a root canal. Help. I'm being held hostage by a mad dentist. Moar novacaine. Please! I'm begging you.

Mrs. Cog's picture

Oh no... I'm calling the front desk to have the receptionist come take your iThingy away. Last time you placed trades from the nitrous chair you became all confident and bought us moar junior miners lol.

Hulk's picture

Real country folks don't need no painkillers !!!

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

I'm just a transplanted city people. Moar novacaine stat.

NotApplicable's picture

Make sure and get a nice gold crown!

National Blessing's picture

I drive a Hyundai Santa Fe.  It does well in the snow.  A Hyundai is all I can afford.  Perhaps I'm a loser.  Sigh.

DblAjent's picture

Well, at least we've moved from "Bush" to "weather."

THAT'S Progress(ive)

101 years and counting's picture

im waiting for its weather's fault for the debt ceiling breach/us default later this month.  btw, if you expect a refund, id file taxes asap.

Sudden Debt's picture


American cars rust away because of the salt they use to keep the roads ice free.

would you buy a now can on wheels if you knew it would rust away faster than normal?

superflex's picture

American cars dont rust away because of the salt on the roads.

American cars rust away because they use cheap recycled steel and dont fully dip their cars and frames in galvanizing solutions like some German manufacturers.

You dont see Audi's rusting away here in the states.

What American or Asian manufacturer offers a 12 year corrosion warranty?  


NidStyles's picture

You do not see rusty Audi's because their engines suck so bad that no one wants to drive them, and those that do hate how much the repair bills are after the drivetrain warranty expires so they sell it for something newer..

German cars are absolute garbage and I can't believe people pay those inflated prices for an image... Oh wait, NVM I can believe it.

Sudden Debt's picture

German car excell in a thousand ways to American cars.

You've clearly never drove one.

American cars always have the plastic dash  that shines like a Chinese palace and it all feels so fragile.

German cars are save, robust, real fun to drive and besides that very economical to drive gas wise.

Seasmoke's picture

Sorry. BMWs are far from garbage. I always buy them used and drive for over 10+ years with very few issues. Plus walked away from head on collision when some moron pulled out in front on me.

superflex's picture

The engine and drivetrain are two parts of my old A4 I never had issues with.  The water pump failed at 110,000 miles and the fuel pump failed at 137,000.  Other than that, it's minor shit like window regulators, coil packs.  Those repairs, I can do myself, just like oil changes.  My daughter is driving the old A4 now.  It is far safer than any American car.

If it was such a horrible brand I would have not bought a used S4.  The 4.2 V-8 is pretty bombproof just like the 1.8T/2.0T.  It sucks gas, but it kicks ass.

You've obviously never owned an Audi.

Go back to worshiping your Pontiac Aztec.

Edit, I did replace the steering rack on the A4 at 120,000 miles which was the most expensive repair to date at $1,300.


nostinknbadges's picture

I drive used german cars. I do my own repairs because i hate TV and sitting around on the weekends. I spend, maybe, $400 a year, drive the cars hard and get them easily into the 250k mile range when i usually give them to a family member because i am bored of the car.

Why i don't know but I'm museing on a Dodge PU. Lots for $1,500 that need panels cut and replaced and I've never done welding so i could learn that for a while, maybe rebuild a transmission.

I am amazed that so many people can't cook, fix, read a how to book, yet tell me about starving in Sudan or how to catch a NFL football, not that they have ever played pro sports or been to Sudan.

fedupwhiteguy's picture

If you buy the econo version of a german car, then sure, its probably sucks. But the mid to high end MB is freakin awesome. Its virtually maintenance free so far and great gas mileage on the freeway. We also own two Ford products, Escape and F250. Both reliable, only after spending a small fortune on each.

Element's picture

Wait 'til the next dike bursts ... we'll see how long those truffle-eating Citroens last in the north sea.

yogibear's picture

LOL, loads of vehicles in their lots. Another round of "Cash For Clunkers"?

Replace your GM, Ford or Chrysler for a Korean car and stimulate the Korean economy. 

An all those subprime auto loans. Once people can no longer pay their 6 or 7 year loans they get repo'd.

More repo'd vehicles  coming back.

outofideas's picture

Both my Japanese and Korean SUVs are made in the US. So was my last Japanes SUV. My last GM vehicle, nearly 20 years ago, was made in Canada I think.

BandGap's picture

Didn't Chrysler just post an 8% GAIN? WTF, they have covered lots and shuttle services?

Baaa, baaaa!

Tsar Pointless's picture

The economy is now breaking bad. It needs some meth, stat!

ISM Mfg Index craters in January:

No new cars for the Tsar anytime soon, I can tell you that much, unless something drastic happens.

NoDebt's picture

Too much inventory build the last year.  Now all the glorious GDP-boosting 2013 auto manufacturing can (yet again) be sold at steep discounts into a weak market.

Well done, GM and Ford.  You guys never disappoint.  Fleet sales and "rebate technology" are going to ride to the rescue again, as they have since the 1970s.

Dr. Engali's picture

They should just come out and say the truth..that the consumer is fucking broke. That should get old Yeller foaming at the mouth to crank up the printers.

NEOSERF's picture

Carmakers really need to jump on this selling over the internet 3-D printing thing...

Sufiy's picture

Huge ISM miss and Gold took off to $1265 now - we need to breakout $1270 for Short Squeeze Fireworks now!


"Our guide for a more definite indication that the wheel is coming off the broad market is the lower blue trendline shown on our 5-year chart for the S&P500 index below – if the market makes a significant breach of this supporting trendline we could see an absolute bloodbath that would quickly go global."

 Clive Maund: Gold Market Update

superflex's picture

I'm going to blame my low charagability this month on the weather.

The management will totally buy that.


Bearwagon's picture

Why don't you just stay home a few days, and don't work at all, and blame that on the weather? Your management should buy that, too.

krispkritter's picture

 'Extreme winter weather in the South...'  Puhhhlease, been mild as shit in the South except for the storms last week which were no different than the ones a few years before.  The only thing extreme anymore is the extreme overuse of that word and the unfailing ability to point the financial finger at anything except factual numbers(which are like Bigfoot now) and the Un-Recovery.

Winston Churchill's picture


We had a week of cool weather in S. Florida as per usuall every year.

We will be sweating our balls off again in a month,hiding in the shade ,and

laughing to ourselves at the stupid snow birds lying in the sun.

Mad dogs, and northerners ,out in the midday sun.

Yancey Ward's picture

Also, January came early this year, and it had only 31 days this year.  Buy now or be priced out forever.

Obama_4_Dictator's picture

haah, all my cars are paid off and in great shape.  I don't needs any fancy new gadgets or widgets!  They won't be seeing me for many years!

SheepDog-One's picture

With all the named 'winter storms' and all that truck and 4WD should be up.....what, people only buy vehicles in springtime weather? Nonsense.

viator's picture

I though it was getting warmer? You mean the opposite of global warming is getting so bad it is effecting the economy? Soon someone will tell us critters are moving south.

"This year's invasion (of snowy owls) is one of the most dramatic natural history spectacles in the Northeast

"metropolitan airports, which quickly abandoned the tactic of killing snowy owls to keep planes safe after public outcry denounced the practice."





PopeRatzo's picture

I though it was getting warmer? 

I know, right?  How can I have a fever if my feet are cold?

Colonel Klink's picture

I'm not buying anything of substance until the current graft and fraud stops.  In auto parlance, crash the whole fukkin thing.

NidStyles's picture

I only buy second hand and from private sellers. At least then I know it doesn't have the Boston Brake special installed because I have already removed the ABS modules and stripped the car of non-essential electronics.

Ignatius's picture

Marketable skills in the world just 'round the corner.


FredFlintstone's picture

I buy cars when I need them, not if the weather is cooperating. In fact bad weather would help my negotiations.