APRIL SHOWERS PUT A DAMPER ON AMERICAN CAR SALES


‘Two fewer selling days’ was part of General Motors reasoning for their drop in sales this April, as compared to April of 2006. GM’s sales dropped 9.5 % to 307,554 but with two less days to sell cars, their daily selling rate was down just 1.9 percent.

DaimlerChrysler was a rare example of improvement this past month. Sales of the Chrysler Group cars were up 2%, even as Toyota; Honda; Nissan; Hyundai; and Kia dropped.

Average sales capitulation for those five Asian automakers was 8.7%, a number that reflects negatively on Toyota and positively on Nissan. Purchases and leases of Toyota’s dropped only 4.3%, while Nissan’s went down 18 percent. Honda, Hyundai, and Kia regressed with percentage drops of 9, 5, and 7 respectively.

Ford Motor Company sold 12% less F150’s, which seriously inhibits any chance of growth. Therefore, Ford’s numbers were down 13% as a whole. The intentional drop in fleet sales can only be considered a small part of Ford’s overall plummet. (See story here.) Ford sold to fleets at a 5% slower rate in April of ’07.

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If you decide to buy yourself a city car in 2009, would you stick with the obvious choice (below) or try something new (right) ? What if something new was a Toyota Endo and could potentially seat more than two?

Rumours are gathering momentum, and the common thinking is that Toyota will produce an Endo-like city car sometime in 2008. The Endo concept was a 3+1, with a small seat behind the passenger and a child-sized perch behind the driver. The Endo would be a healthy 16 inches shorter than Toyota’s already small Aygo.

Mix a little Toyota quality and dependability with a terrific concept, and you may have a winner.

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Add Hyundai to the growing mix of diesel believers for America. DBA is a growing group. Hyundai has a desire to produce a 50-state compliant diesel engine by ’09 or ’10, specifically for the Veracruz. A 240bhp torque monster would do quite well in a Tiburon or Sonata, too….. The Gaffoglio Family Metalcrafters added 12 inches to the midsection of a Lamborghini Gallardo. What righteous cause could they find? Shaquille O’Neal. Hopefully that’ll cheer up the big man after getting swept out of the playoffs….. Apparently the keys to a Volvo XC90 are at the bottom of the ocean with $50,000 in gold doubloons…. If you are pregnant, do deliver your child at 2:03:04 on 05/06/07. The birthing parents closest to that time – a sequence that will not happen again for a century – could receive a new Chrysler Sebring. Ask the concept facilitators to make it a 300C instead.