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by Matt Brogan

It seems it’s a case of another day, another bad news story from the US.

This morning we received March sales figures from the US which show a total sales slip of some 36.8 per cent for that month.

On the bottom of the pile, perhaps not surprisingly, are GM and Ford with the pair posting the sharpest sales slip of all major US car manufacturers.

GM posted a 44.7 per cent slide for March, while Ford’s sales dropped 42.1 per cent. Chrysler also had a shocking month with its sales tumbling 39.3 per cent.

Rival Japanese manufacturers were also suffering with average falls ranging between 36 and 39 per cent.

The results exceeded analysts’ projections, but despite all the bad news, some analysts and company officials believe the worst may have passed.

“We believe we may be at or near the trough of the industry’s year-to-year comparisons but do not see an uptick in industry demand before fourth-quarter 2009 at the earliest,” Standard & Poor’s equity analyst Efraim Levy said.

Only the April figures will prove this theory correct.

Legend:

Note: Other includes estimates for Aston Martin, Ferrari, Lamborghini and Lotus
*Includes Mini and Rolls-Royce
**DaimlerChrysler sold the Chrysler group on Aug. 3, 2007
***Incudes Maybach, Mercedes-Benz and Smart
****Includes Jaguar and Land Rover (through May 31, 2008) and Volvo
*****Includes Saab
†Includes Honda Division and Acura
††Includes Hyundai and Kia
†††Includes Nissan Division and Infiniti
‡Tata Motors includes Jaguar and Land Rover as of June 1, 2008
‡‡Includes Toyota Division, Lexus and Scion
‡‡‡Includes VW, Audi and Bentley




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