Some Light At The End Of Auto's Tunnel?
April 2, 2009 at 5:29 AM (PT)
Radio has been particularly hurt by the rough times in the auto industry, losing a large percentage, if not all of the billing from one of it's largest advertisers. So any good news from the car biz is a good sign, and while no one's ready to throw a party yet -- as two of DETROIT's three automakers inched ever closer toward bankruptcy, the industry got a bit of good news yesterday when MARCH auto sales -- though dismal -- weren't as bad as analysts feared, reports THE NEW YORK POST.
Overall, US auto sales tumbled 37% last month for the 17th consecutive drop in car sales, bringing annualized car sales to under 9 million units. In FEBRUARY, those sales dipped to 9.12 million -- the lowest level since 1981. MARCH had one fewer selling day than a year ago.
GENERAL MOTORS continued to drive the decline, recording a 45% plunge in car sales, right about what analysts expected. It was a vast improvement from FEBRUARY, when sales tanked 53%.
FORD sales skidded 40.9% in the month, which was slightly better than expected, even as sales of SUVs like the EXPEDITION and EXPLORER fell 73%. CHRYSLER dropped 39%.
"We believe we may be at or near the trough of the industry's year-to-year comparisons, but do not see an uptick in industry demand before (the fourth quarter of 2009), at the earliest," said analyst EFRAIM LEVY at STANDARD & POOR'S EQUITY RESEARCH.