Monday, January 12, 2009

The Enzo of Auto Sales

Jean ValJean asks:

And speaking of predictions to the downside.. how about a thread for predictions of 2009 car/light truck sales?
I call 9.5 Million.

I'm normally not one for hyperbole but I don't think this is even close. 2009 is the year of the used car. First a little background:
2000-2007 New Auto Sales
13,181 13,510 13,639 13,594 13,609 13,551 13,271 13,671

This from the BTS.

The MSM is predicting 10.5m and JVJ is saying 8.5m. I'm saying 7.5m. We all know what's going down and normally I'd like Jean's number but there's a wildcard; deflation. The hit for a new vehicle purchase is bad enough but when residual value is a function of new model yer prices you don't want to take the chance that next years' model will be cheaper. Right now I'm chasing down something like a 2005 Volvo V70 2.5T. $14k is easy but I'm looking for an $11k cherry.

BTW, the Ferrari Enzo pictured above is being repaired by Ferrari. It "belonged" to a fugitive German software crook and crashed on PCH about 15 miles away. I just thought that the idea of autos being half-off was amusing.


Property Flopper said...

Could it really be two firsts in the same day?

Anonymous said...

IMO that POS ain't worth fixing.

Rob Dawg said...

LATimes story here.


Lou Minatti said...

They can move a lot of cars fast if the government acts as a lender of last resort and cranks up the subprime auto loan business again. If a person with no verifiable income can walk into a dealership and sign on the dotted line and get $1500 cash back, where's the drawback for the buyer? They had no credit to begin with, they drive a new car for 6 months to a year, plus they get a nice chunk of mad money.

Pleather Murse said...

I heard an ad on the radio recently in Arizona from a local Kia dealer who is offering a buy one, get one for $1 deal. You buy a new Kia and they'll sell you a 2007 model for $1.

Santa Flipper Clause said...

Ho Ho Ho - It's Santa Flipper Clause

Didn't Casey crack up an expensive car? Somebody please refresh Santa's poor memory and I will bring you a bottle of Scotch next December.

Santa F. Clause

Son of Brock Landers said...

@pleather murse

you are correct, but Kia has been doing that deal once a year it seems since 2003. I heard an in the early fall of 2008 where Nissan did the buy a altima or higher and get a versa for free. When more automakers are doing those deals, i'll believe that maybe 10 mil cars will be sold. I think Lou has it right in that the government and their odd policy choices is a wildcard. Add to that the average age of a car in the american household (north of 9 years).

Pleather Murse said...

Not that I would buy a Kia for any amount of money, lol. I have done well with some really old American cars though. An '89 Buick that ended up with 275K miles before I gave up on it but took me across country several times. An '85 Sedan DeVille with over 100K (that I bought in '07) which cost about a grand and also took me from coast to coast with nary a hiccup (and also doubled as a comfy hotel along the way ... are you reading this Casey?) A good used car is the way to go, but next time I'd be looking at maybe a Honda.

Rob Dawg said...

The average vehicle age is getting close to 9 years. That's because cars are lasting longer. If you have to a 2005 model you bought new in Sept 2004 has only a few more payments and you can hold on to it for another 8 if you have to and boy will some of us have to.

Pleather Murse said...


KC rented a sports car at some race track for an hour or two and did some damage to it but I don't think he totalled it.

Nigel said...

Even in these times, it's foolish to buy new. A dealer's captive lender will extend the same generous financing terms on older models, so long as the brand is the same as the dealership.

For instance, my 2004 Range Rover I bought six months ago qualified for the same 3.9% financing a new 2008 would have, but I got it for 25% of the asking price.

A definite win/win.

As far as Casey's crashed Porsche goes, it wasn't his. Were any of the things he crashed his?

It was somebody else on the track's unfortunate mistake. For Casey, it was a photo op.

Peripheral Visionary said...

Rob, I'm worried you may be right. Cars are not a totally discretionary purchase, but a vast majority of Americans can get by on their current automobiles if needed, and this year they will need to. The replacement chain, new car -> used car -> student car -> driveway car -> immigrant car -> junkyard, is going to be slowed down dramatically, with a lot of people holding onto existing cars (or even resurrecting driveway cars) rather than commit to a new purchase. The proportion of people who have to buy is even smaller than for housing, and of course they certainly don't have to buy new. I hope you're wrong, but worried you just might be right.

And on the car stories, my old Ford Escort finally gave up the ghost at 185,000 miles. Terrible decision, Escorts are highly unreliable and I was hitting high maintenance costs by the time it died. But I kept it running for an amazingly long time because I had to, and plenty of other Americans will be making the same decision.