Cars, Cars, Cars-Too Many Cars

First, the automakers turned in another awful performance. November car sales were down 31% while truck and van sales fell 24%.

Here is the body count:

  • GM                                    -41%
  • Ford                                  -34%   
  • Chrysler                            -47%
  • Toyota                              -34% 
  • Honda                              -32%

All of those are November as compared to October numbers.

Naturally, this news just happened to fall on the first day of the last ditch effort to ram through a Detroit bailout that can be blamed on the lameduckers. Ford, GM and Chrysler all had their turn in front of their potential benefactors and while Ford said they may need some money in the near future, they did feel fairly comfortable muddling through in the meantime. Chrysler and GM on the other hand indicated that the apocalypse was nigh.

GM said that it might have to fold its tent by the end of the year if it didn’t get $4 billion right now. It also said it needs another $14 billion to keep on truckin’. That’s $6 billion then it thought it would need two weeks ago. If you don’t ask they can’t tell you no, I guess. Chrysler for its part wants $7 billion by New Years Eve and another $6 billion on top of that.      

Amid all of this there actually some lawmakers who are talking seriously about a government funded, pre-packaged bankruptcy. Imagine, some creative thinking is actually occurring. Probably by a bunch of guys that lost their election and want to get a few shots in before they leave Dodge for good. Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reed were still giving signals that the course is going to be the taxpayers pocketbook.

Expect that by next mid-week at the latest this little to have been played out. It’s all scripted right down to the opening day coinciding with the release of the sales data. My prediction? A full scale bailout, little in the way of meaningful concessions that will improve the operating viability of the companies and lots of pious press conferences proclaiming the salvation of the American automobile industry.       

more: auto salesbailout

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