Friday, January 2, 2009

UPDATES: Car Sales Are Up! No, Really They Are!! Well, Maybe Not Exactly Up But .....

Remember the old adage about fools whistling in the dark? Robert Farago at The Truth About Cars points to a steller example of that phenomena in the auto industry among Michigan dealers. And Ronnie Schreiber has a new blog, Motor City Motorobilia, that looks quite interesting.

And The Wall Street Journal points to the Treasury's decision to aid GMAC as another illustration of why it's never fair or even prudent for government to pick winners and losers in the market. To wit:

"The messy little policy issue is that these GM products compete with those sold by Ford, Toyota, Honda and numerous other car makers that won't benefit from GMAC's cash infusion. And with the cost of financing often crucial to buyer decisions, the feds have now put the muscle of the state behind one company's products.

"Ford in particular must wonder what it did to deserve this slap. CEO Alan Mulally joined the GM and Chrysler chiefs in testifying for the bailout even while insisting his company didn't want the funds. And once the bailout was announced, Mr. Mulally said that 'All of us at Ford appreciate the prudent step the Administration has taken to address the near-term liquidity issues of GM and Chrysler.' So much for gratitude."

Makes me want to go buy a new F-150. Well, almost. Maybe a Focus Hybrid?


  1. Perhaps the Journal should read the legislation. In the past, GMAC would not loan you money to buy a Ford product, but with the TARP legislation and GMAC becoming a bank holding company, GMAC is now required to loan you money to buy any vehicle - from any manufacturer.

    It is for that reason that Ford did not object. You will soon be able to walk into a Ford dealership and buy a vehicle using financing from GMAC.

    What's not being reported is that the big 3 still don't want, really, to sell you a car. You can tell by all the caveats and fine print in their advertisements. They're still trying to hustle you.

  2. Want to sell cars? Lower your prices.

  3. There's a dealer in Nashville (ChryCo, IIRC) whose radio ads repeat over and over, "Price sells cars." I have no idea how the dealership is doing, sales-wise, these days, but at least they seem to understand the realities.l

  4. I'm considering buying a Ford when I get back to the states late next year or early in 2010.

    A Ford Ranger.


  5. Boycott the Bailout!!

    GM and Chrysler got our money once! Never again!!

  6. I just bought a new Ford Taurus, got a very good deal on it.

  7. I still have a 1996 Taurus. Overall it's been a pretty good car, and considering its features, was reasonably priced. If I did a lot of highway driving I'd consider getting another one, especially since they have CVT now. The Duratech engine is very nice and still runs like new. If you mostly drive around a city I'd recommend something else, like a Ford Focus or a Honda Jazz.

  8. Just read Pop Sci and other Car mags test of the new Hybrid Ford FUSION. It is using the new direct injection engine with the electric. It beat the Prius. Fusion is now getting 38 and 43 mpg in actual driving tests. It is the new 2nd generation Hybrid.

    Dont know if they are making any money on it yet though. When the Prius came out Toyota was losing about 15,000 on each one sold. IM hearing they only lose about 5,000 on it now.

    So pushing car co. to make and sell these are NOT a way back to profitability. The new VOLT from GM is supposedly being sold at 40,000. That is IF the government give it a 7,000 dollar tax incentive. So it wont make GM any money. Not for a long time. They have invested around 875 million in it.

    So, that first one is going to cost a lot. Better sell a lot of them.

  9. Since "Peak Oil" has been shown to be a myth, why not buy a bigger, safer car?

  10. With "Peak Oil" being shown to be a myth, why not buy a bigger, safer car.

    Try dropping a tennis ball and basket ball together, with the tennis ball on top. The momentum of the Basketball transfers into the tennis ball. Do this outside kids. The tennis ball goes very high. That is the advantage of mass. If you hit a truck with a cheese box, the cheesebox loses.


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