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Toyota and Honda post larger drop in Dec sales

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I guess this could be considered, kinda sorta good news.. a little, maybe.

http://biz.yahoo.com/ap/090105/auto_sales.html?.v=10

Toyota, Honda lead declines in Dec. auto sales

Monday January 5, 2:32 pm ET

By Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer

GM, Ford, Toyota, Honda sales fall more than 30 percent in December as economic woes continue

DETROIT (AP) -- Toyota and Honda's U.S. sales fell more than their U.S. competitors' in December, with Toyota's 37 percent decline and Honda's 35 percent drop showing the Japanese company's popular fuel-efficient models were little help as consumers steered clear of showrooms due to the dismal economy.

Ford Motor Co.'s U.S. sales fell 32 percent in December, while General Motors Corp.'s dropped 31 percent. Chrysler LLC and other automakers were to report their U.S. sales for December and 2008 later Monday.

Ford's sales for 2008 fell 21 percent from a year earlier, keeping the Dearborn automaker in third place in the U.S. auto sales race, falling behind Toyota Motor Corp. for the second straight year.

Toyota's 2008 sales fell 16 percent to 2.22 million, compared with Ford's 1.98 million. Detroit-based GM's 2008 sales totaled 2.95 million, down 23 percent from the year before. Honda Motor Co.'s 2008 sales fell 8.2 percent.

Analysts expected auto sales industrywide to drop up to 40 percent in December as consumers remain uncertain about the economy and their jobs.

The auto Web site Edmunds.com predicted sales for the full year will total just over 13 million, down 18 percent from 2007 and the lowest level since 1992.

Subaru of America Inc. said its U.S. sales crept higher in 2008, poising the Japanese company to be the only major automaker with a yearly sales increase. Subaru's U.S. sales rose by 0.3 percent to 187,699 vehicles from 187,208 in 2007, as consumers snapped up its top-selling Forester and Impreza models.

Ford said it sold 138,458 light vehicles last month, down from 204,787 in December 2007. But even though its sales were dismal, Ford said it expects to fare better than the industry overall.

Meanwhile, GM sold 220,030 light vehicles compared with 319,837 in December 2007. The recent month's results were boosted by heavy sales incentives, including financing offers announced near the end of the month after the Treasury Department said it would give $5 billion in federal aid to GM's ailing financing arm, GMAC LLC.

The sales slump continues to mean good deals for consumers, though. Aaron Bragman, automotive marketing research analyst for IHS Global Insight in Troy, Mich., said large incentives such as zero-percent financing and rebates will continue well into 2009 as automakers try everything they can to boost sales.

Full-size truck incentives ran from $7,000 to $8,000 in December, and Bragman expects that to continue all year as the economy fails to improve.

"You look in the paper and the deals on brand new GM pickups are astonishing," he said. "The discount that you get buys a heck of a lot of gasoline."

One automaker, Hyundai Motor America, is trying to woo skittish buyers by promising to let them return cars free for up to a year if they lose their jobs and can't make the payments.

The "Hyundai Assurance Program" applies to customers stricken by misfortune outside of their control, such as losing their job, becoming disabled or losing their drivers license for medical reasons. It covers depreciation up to $7,500.

Similar bold moves might be necessary throughout the year. Global Insight predicts that U.S. sales will drop from 13 million in 2008 to 10.3 million this year as the economy continues to sputter.

While that may bring deals for consumers, it's bad news for the automakers. GM and Chrysler LLC were forced to go to the government for loans to hold off bankruptcy, and Ford says it may need government money if sales don't recover in 2009.

But Bragman said the sales drops are not unique to the U.S.-based automakers.

"This is a domestic market problem because we see the same kinds of declines at Toyota and Honda as we see at GM and Ford," he said. "It's not a matter of getting financing. It's a matter of getting shoppers."

Toyota said it sold 141,949 vehicles in December, down from 224,399 a year earlier. Sales of the Prius hybrid fell 45 percent as gas prices fell from their record highs in July.

Honda sold 86,085 vehicles last month, down from 131,792 a year earlier but up from 76,233 in November. The month-over-month improvement was a trend seen by most automakers.

Ford said it sold 43,087 Ford, Lincoln and Mercury cars last month, down 26 percent from December 2007. The company sold 90,418 Ford, Lincoln and Mercury light trucks in December, 34 percent fewer than the same month a year earlier.

George Pipas, Ford's top sales analyst, predicted that passenger cars will outsell trucks in the U.S. this year for the first time since 2000 as consumers continue to be wary of high gasoline prices.

Ford said there was a glimmer of hope in its sales figures. Its market share was 14.6 percent, up 0.7 percentage point from December 2007 and the first time since 1997 that the company has seen its share go up three straight months.

It also sold 195,823 Focus compacts in 2008, the highest total since 2004 and a 13 percent increase from 2007.

"This is a strong ending to end a very challenging year," Jim Farley, Ford's group vice president for marketing, said in a statement.

GM, which said its market share held steady at 22 percent for the year, said its December car sales totaled 87,506, down 25 percent from the year-ago period. But the total included a 43 percent jump in Malibu sales and a 19 percent increase in Impala sales.

December light truck sales fell 25 percent to 132,524 units and included a 66 percent plunge in demand for the TrailBlazer SUV and a 34 percent drop in Sierra sales.

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Good news for Toyota! :)

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This shows that it is not "Detroit builds cars people dont want" that the cable talking heads repeat non stop. it is that no one is buyng and even the sainted T-H are not getting footprints in showrooms.

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Only problem is Chrysler sales fell 53%. Ouch. They were up compared to last month, which counts for something I guess.

AUBURN HILLS, Mich., Jan. 5 /PRNewswire/ -- Chrysler LLC today reported total December 2008 U.S. sales of 89,813 units, up five percent versus November 2008 (85,260 units), and down 53 percent from the same month in 2007
Edited by Dodgefan
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Only problem is Chrysler sales fell 53%. Ouch. They were up compared to last month, which counts for something I guess.

Strewth!

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Only problem is Chrysler sales fell 53%. Ouch. They were up compared to last month, which counts for something I guess.

Not really. December sales are generally much higher than November. GM's December sales were 44 percent higher than November.

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good job toyota. can you shoot for 'best decline evah' again next month?

one thing to note PEOPLE! subaru was up! VW is doing good. LEASING STILL MATTERS!

the time GM and Ford get leasing back is the time their numbers go back too!

chastise leasing if you want, but wasn't leasing like 30-35% of domestics business? THIS MIGHT EXPLAIN WHY SALES ARE DOWN AN EQUIVALENT percent.

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chastise leasing if you want, but wasn't leasing like 30-35% of domestics business? THIS MIGHT EXPLAIN WHY SALES ARE DOWN AN EQUIVALENT percent.

The evidence (like those companies who haven't stopped leasing posting similar drops) points to "no".

IIRC the US % was actually much less than that. I believe it was single digits. I believe the Canadian numbers were in the 30+% range (it is the only way we can afford vehicles because we pay Cadillac dollars for Chevys).

Thanks to the GMAC turnaround, I bet in the last week or two of Dec GM sold a lot of vehicles to people who were turned down in November. Take a look at the taxes taken off your next check. Think about what % of that is subsidizing some schmuck with a new truck who is going to default. Thanks government bailout!

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Just remember, these import numbers are skewed by the relatively successful end of 07 for the big Japanese 3...the Det3 had already begun taking on water in Dec 07.

While it's nice to see the marketplace treating all equally, the imports refered to here were having banner sales months during the comparison period.

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Just remember, these import numbers are skewed by the relatively successful end of 07 for the big Japanese 3...the Det3 had already begun taking on water in Dec 07.

While it's nice to see the marketplace treating all equally, the imports refered to here were having banner sales months during the comparison period.

That never seemed to matter when the domestic sales slides were being compared to 'banner sales months'

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the time GM and Ford get leasing back is the time their numbers go back too!

:cheers:

red_tag_financial.jpg

Get Special GMAC financing on select 2008 and 2009 models through February 2, 2009.(9)

You'll also discover that every Chevy car, light-duty pickup and SUV is backed by America's best coverage. That includes a 100,000 mile/5-year(3) transferable Powertrain Limited Warranty, plus Roadside Assistance and Courtesy Transportation Programs.

But you have to hurry because these financing options end February 2nd.

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I saw a dealer locally with a sign out front that says "GM is back in the lending business!"

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That never seemed to matter when the domestic sales slides were being compared to 'banner sales months'

I was only referring to the fact that numbers are not telling the whole story---if I'm coming off of record sales and you're in the tank the previous year, the story isn't really just in a direct month-to-month comparison.

That being said, it appears that the new car market will be in the toilet for awhile---how long will dictate GM and Chrysler's survival, as neither can survive on a SAAR of 10 million units for too long---you simply can't take enough supply out of the system fast enough without the Big B.

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Toyota and Honda had FAR fewer incentives during December than GM and Ford. That could account for the sales numbers.

Edmunds

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Toyota and Honda had FAR fewer incentives during December than GM and Ford. That could account for the sales numbers.

Edmunds

When do Toyota and Honda not have far fewer incentives than GM and Ford? And look at the increase in incentives for Toyota... nearly doubled.

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Toyota and Honda had FAR fewer incentives during December than GM and Ford. That could account for the sales numbers.

Edmunds

Mr. Siegen the trick word is average automotive manufacturer incentive. Since all the trucks are offering heavy incentives and since GM, Ford and Chrysler have their portfolios truck heavy they are going to have higher AVERAGE incentives. Let us compare apples to apples. I am going to use carsdirect.com prices as they tend to hover around nationwide average retail prices.

Toyota Camry LE (4cyl) vs. Chevrolet Malibu LS (4cyl).

Chevy retails for $22,275 carsdirect price is $20,160 - incentives of $2,115 (9.5%).

Toyota retails for $21,375 carsdirect price is $18,430 - incentives of $2,945 (13.8%).

So Toyota is outChevying the Chevy, in the incentive department. Since when did that happen?

Out of curiosity, let us even bring the Accord LX 4cyl auto. Honda retails for $22,375 carsdirect price is $19,958 - incentives of $2,417 (10.8%). I triple checked my calculations and numbers there. In December, of those three, only Chevrolet gained sales wise.

Now let us compare the Turd Base V6 2dr 4x2 Regular Cab vs. Silverado 4x2 regular cab LT.

Chevy retails for $27,465 carsdirect price is $24,110 - incentives of $3,355 (12.2%).

Toyota retails for $23,185 carsdirect price is $17,698 - incentives of $5,487 (23.7%). We need no explanation there.

Now Silverado sells more than 4 times what Turd does, while the Malibu sells less than half what Camry does, of course the average incentives will be higher for Chevy than Toyota. And GM carried more other duds like Trailblazer, but where the main market of mid-sizers and pick ups is GM is actually doing better both incentive and sales wise.

Edited by smallchevy
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The evidence (like those companies who haven't stopped leasing posting similar drops) points to "no".

IIRC the US % was actually much less than that. I believe it was single digits. I believe the Canadian numbers were in the 30+% range (it is the only way we can afford vehicles because we pay Cadillac dollars for Chevys).

Thanks to the GMAC turnaround, I bet in the last week or two of Dec GM sold a lot of vehicles to people who were turned down in November. Take a look at the taxes taken off your next check. Think about what % of that is subsidizing some schmuck with a new truck who is going to default. Thanks government bailout!

As usual, your pulling facts out of your ass: with GMAC getting bank status, they cannot lease in Canada. Those are Canadian bank rules. GM's sales were tanked in December in Canada, although not as much as Honda and Toyota. Canada's numbers have avoided the precipitous drop that the U.S. experienced, but I would expect Canada's pain to start in '09. Exhibit A would be Toyota and Honda's poor 4th quarter results.

And what we actually pay for vehicles in Canada is on par with the U.S, my mis-informed friend. Currently, you can buy a Cobalt for $14k, plus freight and taxes. GM has contracts with Enterprise, Tilden, etc. that has tied their hands with respect to cash rebates and MSRP adjustments, so GM has had to get creative with their rebates, of which there currently is $4,500 on a Cobalt; $5,500 on a Malibu. Look for actual 'cash rebates' very soon.

None of this has been paid for by the taxpayer. These prices have been ongoing since leases went away in August.

I really wish you would stop drinking the bong water.

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no way leasing was only 9%. creidble outlet i recall reading was GM ford etc leased at 25-30% of their business.

so when chrysler and gm etc killed their own leasing, in a way, that's their own problem.

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