Thursday, November 02, 2006

About That Love Affair With Trucks...

by Tom Bozzo

The spin on the October sales figures figures from the domestic Big Three, released yesterday, was generally positive, with year-over-year truck sales up particulalry sharply at GM.

Between the Katrina aftermath and the expiration of last year's employee discount sales, October 2005 was a disaster, so beating it isn't much of an accomplishment. Also, GM's new full-size pickups hit dealers last month, which would be expected to give their truck sales some added lift. The two-year-ago comparison shows that the truck market has a long way to come back.

October 2006 truck sales, versus October 2004

ManufacturerOct. '06 SalesOct. '04 SalesOct. '06 YTD Oct. '04 YTD
Ford (all brands)133,036192,0691,540,6041,933,983
Chrysler Group127,217133,7721,360,7581,441,762

Note: 25 selling days in Oct. '06, 27 selling days in Oct. '04.

Along with these sales figures, the domestic big three's vehicle production forecasts for the fourth quarter are down sharply over the last couple years' incentive-juiced totals. While it's not bad for the companies only to make those vehicles they can profitably sell, the need to contain auto and housing slumps makes it another Good Luck Chairman Ben moment.
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