Carmageddon Continues: New Vehicle Sales Plunge To “Horribly Mature” 1999 Levels

Saturday, July 6, 2019
By Paul Martin

by Tyler Durden
Fri, 07/05/2019

The auto industry continues to look like a bursting bubble in progress and all around sad state of affairs, despite low rates and the “prosperity” of the stock market hitting new all time highs. Meanwhile, under the surface of those numbers, the actual economy – especially in autos – is telling a different story.

New vehicle deliveries, combining fleet sales and retail sales, were down 1.5% in Q2 to 4.5 million vehicles, according to Wolf Street.

For the first half of the year, vehicle deliveries fell 2.4% to 8.4 million vehicles. This puts the pace for new vehicle sales on track to fall below 17 million for the year, which would be the worst level since 2014. Further, it has lowered estimates for the full year to 16.95 million units delivered, on par with a “horribly mature market” in 1999. In addition to a struggling consumer, these lowered estimates are also result of rising interest rates and competition from off-lease vehicles.

This has resulted, simply, in fewer customers splurging on new cars.

As we noted on Friday morning, it’s likely Ford and General Motors are breaking a sweat after the latest slate of economic data hit the wires. Though its overall truck sales held up, those of Ford’s signature F-Series pickup truck fell over last year in June. GM was not as fortunate with sales of its Silverado and Sierra trucks down, especially on the heavy-duty side of the line-up. With the caveat that fleet sales can indeed be trucks and comprised 24% of Fiat Chrysler’s June sales, Ram pickups were nonetheless the standout as a fresh redesign and fat incentives drove sales up over 2018.

Ford’s sales fell 4.1% in Q2. Car sales at Ford plunged another 21.4% to just 110,195 units, as customers continue to favor new pick up trucks, SUVs and vans instead. Truck sales rose 7.5% but F-series pickups fell 1.3%, cannibalized by Ford’s midsized pick up, the Ranger. However, even the company’s SUV sales look ugly – they fell 8.6% to 215,898 units.

According to newly released data on Friday, Ford also posted an abysmal quarter in China, selling a total of 154,042 vehicles in the second quarter, a 21.7% decrease compared to the same period last year.

General Motors saw sales fall 1.5% in Q2 after plunging 7% in Q1. Fiat Chrysler sales fell 0.5% in Q2 and the company announced that it will abandon reporting deliveries on a monthly basis, following in the footsteps of Ford and GM. Here’s a better look at Q2 numbers for most auto makers:

The Rest…HERE

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