Let everyone go bankrupt!

Here’s the % change in sales for November:

GM: -41%
Ford: -31%
Chrysler: -47%
Toyota: -34%
Honda: -32%
Nissan: -42%
Mazda: -31%
Mitsubishi: -35%
Subaru: -8%
Suzuki: -46%
Hyundai group: -39%
VW group: -21%
BMW group: -27%
Mercedes: -38%
Porsche: -48%

Notice the particularly large drop for Porsche & Mercedes. It seems like the luxury makes are going to feel a lot of pain soon.

In other bad news: Honda is closing it’s Swindon, UK plant for two months because of overstock. They also announced their F1 team is for sale. If it doesn’t sell by the start of the season, they will simply shut it down. It costs at least $200 million/year to run an F1 team.

Toyota also announced budget cuts in their F1 team, although I don’t think they released the actual figures. Toyota was amongst the top 2 teams in terms of budget, approaching $1 billion/year. And imagine, they still haven’t won a race since 2002!!

I’d be more interested to know what is propping up VW and Subaru…


What about Maserati, Ferrari, and Rolls?

On another adjacent theme:

My company tracks the installation of home theaters and the data says that there will be very little change in the $100K+ installations because the uber-rich won’t be making any major changes in their spending habits. They already have the money and will spend it on whatever they want. Only the sub $100K installations will see a major hit because most of those are financed by home equity loans or bonus payouts and homeowners will probably delay their installations until the economy picks up.

I imagine this observation can be applied to may different industries.

Funny you should mention those, my girlfriend was over at the target in minnetonka, which happens to be across the road from a Maserati dealership, when she overheard some ladies say something to the affect of “I just don’t know what all this talk about a recession is, I just don’t see it…”

Personally I am in a position that is also not affected by the downturn, as much as some, but I am at least aware that other people around me are experiencing negative affects.

Just bought a Subaru. Great car for a great price and handles like a dream in all conditions.

not that anything is propping them up, it’s just that these are percent change in sales, so if your sales are relatively small to begin with, there is less room to move (compared to honda, toyota, gm)


Aw, I love you Subaru and VW, I kid, I kid

Funny you should mention those, my girlfriend was over at the target in minnetonka, which happens to be across the road from a Maserati dealership, when she overheard some ladies say something to the affect of “I just don’t know what all this talk about a recession is, I just don’t see it…”

Were they idling in the parking lot with the windows of their Quattroporte’s rolled down talking between cars?

I think there is a lot of truth to this. Here in Denver, most of the most spectacular houses (around Country Club, esp. Park Club Place) were built in the mid 30s. The Great Depression wasn’t a bad time to be rich.

Of course not, they were inside the store while their quattroporte’s were idling outside to stay warm for when they are ready to meet each other at the next location.

Give it time. Duesenberg, Cord, Auburn all disappeared with the Great Depression, and Packard, Chrysler and others became more mainstream. Even though the uber-rich have the money, they might not want to be too conspicuous with their consumption. After all, they have to park somewhere. However, The home theater is neatly hidden away…

Toyota F1?
Did not hear that.

But Honda F1 pules team out off 2009 season.

Following the statement made by Takeo Fukui, President of Honda Motor Co., Ltd. in Tokyo today, members of the senior management and Jenson Button have responded with great optimism:”


The only good thing about living in or near Youngstown, Ohio (and I do mean the ONLY good thing). Is that it is SO economically depressed, and has been for so long, that you don’t even notice. Of course all the people are a just so happy and optimistic (yeah right).

I wonder if N. Americans were more like S. Americans and had riots and que-de-ta when they did not like how their government was working. If well any thing would be different?

The uber rich need to get spending to get the economy back up.

Is it April 1 already?

Toyota braced for historic loss

Another weird thing: Oil is at $34 a barrel. That’s less than I predicted last year, and far sooner than I thought as well. I was imagining oil at $40 in another 4 years.

I’ve heard a couple different theories on the oil price dropping off suddenly–note that this is mostly unsubstantiated, take with salt:

“Oil companies are laying low as the new administration transitions in, so they don’t get unwanted attention from a democratic white house”

“OPEC and big oil drop the price whenever people start to get fed up enough to seriously consider alternative fuels and economy cars”

Addition to that one: the drop in oil price was accompanied by an unexpected jump in new truck sales. Are we really that freaking stupid?

I was going to list a few more, but honestly they’re pretty silly.

These cuts follow a drop in sales. In the US, Porsche’s biggest market, the company sold 11,850 cars in the six months to the end of January, a 27% drop from the same period a year earlier

The cuts are in production.


Also, Honda has axed the NSX, canceled the development of a new S2000, canceled a new RWD Acura RL (think BMW 5 series competitor) and the new CR-X that may have never been in development.

I’m glad to see some of the automobile companies are cutting back on production instead of workforce. Cutting production is by far a better solution than cutting jobs, in my opinion. By cutting back on the production time during the course of a day, week, or however management plans to solve the company’s goals saves jobs, that way everyone is in the misery together. To bad some of the other industries and organizations can’t follow this practice during the recession.

As far as I know, the UAW won guaranteed hours 50 years ago. They get paid whether they get asked to come in to work or not. Here’s an article from 1955 when they first won that one: http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,823770,00.html

Obviously with January sales down 50% (!) this year, some of this stuff is destined to be torn up. But if you’re an auto worker with a big house, an SUV or two, and maybe a boat, and you’re upside down on all of it, cutting your hours instead of laying you off isn’t really doing you a big favor. GM just offered buyouts to all hourly workers ($25k plus a free car), and I think you’ll see a lot of people taking it. GM (along with the other two) have way more capacity than they are ever going to need ever again.