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As expected not good.


https://arstechnica.com/cars/2020/04/new-vehicle-sales-fell-...


General Motors reports that for the first three months of the year, its sales were down by about 7 percent compared to the same period a year earlier. At Fiat Chrysler, the drop was 10 percent. Toyota's sales fell 9 percent. Subaru posted a 17-percent decrease over the quarter. Volkswagen sales fell by 13 percent, with a 14-percent drop at Audi and a 20-percent decline at Porsche. BMW sold 15-percent fewer cars in Q1 2020 than Q1 2019, with an even bigger 35-percent decrease at Mini. Nissan had a similarly dismal quarter, declining 30 percent, year on year.

Not everyone did quite so horribly. Mazda sales dropped by just 4.5 percent for the first three months of the year, and Kia actually managed to increase sales by about a percent, although Korean stablemate Hyundai posted an 11-percent drop in Q1 2020.

However, the real effects of COVID-19 on the industry were mainly felt in March, and those numbers are far uglier. Sales of new cars and trucks last month fell by between 40 to 50 percent compared to March 2019, for the brands reporting sales with that level of granularity.
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Who, but a fundy Xian who is convinced the virus is a hoax (e.g. Liberty University students), is going to be car shopping?

I think most everything is going to be down. Except perhaps Costco (COST), and maybe Netflix (NFLX) is getting new subscribers(?). I suppose Kroger or Safeway (if they are public) could be doing well since people are panic-buying everything from the grocery stores. Perhaps meat packers since the meat cases in the grocery are empty, which implies the producers are selling it as fast as they can process it.

1poorguy
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Perhaps meat packers since the meat cases in the grocery are empty, which implies the producers are selling it as fast as they can process it.

1poorguy


Our local stores have managed to keep the fresh meat shelves filled. Frozen not so much.

CNC
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The last two or three times someone went to the grocery the meats were mostly stripped. We don't venture forth very often now (1poorkid did it a few days ago, and snagged the last carton of eggs in the case). No meat was available.

I managed to cobble together a Costco delivery order. Was able to get a case of Spam (not me favorite, but if we go Hawaiian it can work), and a case of chili. Stuff goes in and out of stock at Costco almost hourly, making it very tricky to get an order together.

I think we have nori, so I foresee some Spam musubi in our future.
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Who, but a fundy Xian who is convinced the virus is a hoax (e.g. Liberty University students), is going to be car shopping?

I'm not a fundy Xian and I may be in the market for a new vehicle.

PSU
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Nearly all the Liberty Univ students are foreign students or don't have a 'home ' to go home to.

It's less than 20% of the normal student population.

Business aren't buying.....

Oil field workers and contractors by the millions laid off...same with airline folks.....

1/3rd of Americans financially stressed.....and not able to afford a new car without a job.....

Car sales plummeted 80% in China.

The worst is yet to come here with 42 states on lockdown and millions unemployed and more millions worried if they'll have a job....


t.
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Who, but a fundy Xian who is convinced the virus is a hoax (e.g. Liberty University students), is going to be car shopping?

I might. I drive cars until the are not drivable. I'm coming up on year 10 of my Honda Accord. I expect it to keep going, but if it fails, I'll be looking. It won't be as desperate as I usually am since I can get by on just one car in the family since we are all at home, but I would still be looking (mostly online) for a new car.

Wally
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1pg: I managed to cobble together a Costco delivery order. Was able to get a case of Spam (not me favorite, but if we go Hawaiian it can work),

My ex is from Hawaii. She claims Spam is the national bird of Hawaii because that was almost the only meat they could get during world war 2, so they adopted it. She had a recipe book "100 recipes for Spam" from that era.

CNC
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We are more or less sheltering in place. If we absolutely have to go out, we will. Like for 1poorlady's surgical follow-up this morning. Otherwise, no. They would have to be offering outrageously smokin' deals to get me into a non-essential store like a car dealership. Are they gonna sanitize the interior of a test-driven car? Maybe a cursory wipe down, probably not thorough. No, not going there. Doctors and food, and that's really it.

In total we have three cars (including 1poorkid's). If one car dies, so what. We'll get by until this thing passes.

1pg
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We are more or less sheltering in place. If we absolutely have to go out, we will. Like for 1poorlady's surgical follow-up this morning. Otherwise, no. They would have to be offering outrageously smokin' deals to get me into a non-essential store like a car dealership. Are they gonna sanitize the interior of a test-driven car? Maybe a cursory wipe down, probably not thorough. No, not going there. Doctors and food, and that's really it.

Dealerships are offering online purchases of cars. They even deliver the car to your home. They do a thorough cleaning so I'm not sure there is any more risk than the mail you get in the mailbox or the delivery box at your front door. Also I don't think I'm at any more risk than I would be at the grocery store.

Since this is a financial site, I took your response as who would spend a large chunk of money during these unsettled financial times. That's exactly why I would buy a car.

PSU
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Are they gonna sanitize the interior of a test-driven car? Maybe a cursory wipe down, probably not thorough.

In Colorado, nothing is being test-driven. I have friends who own a repair shop and there are very specific requirements for anyone touching a car for any reason. For sales, some dealerships are offering to pay the buyer $1000 to deliver it to their home.
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Since this is a financial site, I took your response as who would spend a large chunk of money during these unsettled financial times. That's exactly why I would buy a car.

In that respect, it would depend on how stable employment was (or how investments were doing). If we end up in a full-blown depression is your job safe? Are your investments being halved? Even if they had a great deal, those would have to factor into the decision for most people.

1pg
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I wouldn't buy a car I couldn't test drive. I forget what company (Carvana??) offers a totally-online experience. But I want to test it. How is the acceleration, how is the braking, how is the handling, is the seat comfortable, how is the visibility, etc. So I won't be buying a car online**.

1poorguy



**I think they offer a free return period, or at least some of them do. I still prefer to drive it up-front.
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Teslas continue to sell like crazy, as fast as they can build them. They just reported their best Q1 ever (+40% more deliveries than last year). Order online, delivery with no human contact, and return it during the first week (with <1000 miles on the odometer) if you don't want it. Model S, Model X, Model 3, and now Model Y!

Of course they can't build them right now except in China, where the Shanghai Gigafactory is up and running full speed, currently making 2-3,000 Model 3 per week.

-IGU-
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Yeah, they were forced to close Fremont for the "stay at home" order, weren't they? Are all car makers having to shut down operations? I haven't heard specifically.

I did hear that they want to start Gigafactory Berlin early, trying to accelerate the schedule.
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Yeah, they were forced to close Fremont for the "stay at home" order, weren't they? Are all car makers having to shut down operations?

It's ambiguous. The county wanted to shut them down, and at first Tesla didn't want to. There are old federal rules that apparently say auto manufacturing can't be shut down (i.e. they're essential businesses), presumably due to wartime repurposing of such factories into building tanks and such.

In any case, at some point Tesla said they were voluntarily shutting down the car manufacturing operations due to lack of parts, and cutting personnel by 75%. That's in Fremont, and then they did the same several days later in Nevada, where they manufacture batteries and powertrains. And something similar is happening in New York (near Buffalo), where they build solar and superchargers.

And now they are using some of the remaining 25% of staff to built ventilators in at least Fremont and New York. So it's hard to tell exactly what's going on and whether there's any coercion.

Other car manufacturers have cut or ceased some of all operations, but I don't know any details. Just paying attention to Tesla.

-IGU-
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Perhaps meat packers since the meat cases in the grocery are empty, which implies the producers are selling it as fast as they can process it.

People are buying more meat from grocery stores because they aren't eating it at restaurants. I doubt there is a big difference in meat being produced. The packers are having to change their packaging mix because retail and restaurants have different requirements.

Mike
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1poorguy:

We wonder how many will dare enter into ANY time payment plans for anything right now, with jobs hanging by threads. Folks with cash, sure, but time payments? No way.

As for buying on line, we have shunned all that forever. We want to SEE and FEEL what we buy for clothing, let alone cars. If what we buy turns out to be less than what it should be, we've always wanted to be able to bring it back. Of course, right now, most of us tend to avoid buying ANYTHING if we can...

It has to be a tough time for car/truck/home sales people right now, but great for those with cash in their pockets or bank accounts.

Vermonter
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I expect the used car market to be overloaded ......with people turning in leased cars early...with lease terminations that aren't renewed...

and with desperate people selling cars to raise cash to survive....

those oil field workers and others who had big incomes - maybe from working 60-80 hour work weeks.....and going to be unloading those $50K pickup trucks by the thousands.....or they'll be in default and those vehicles repossessed and sold off quickly to get cash for them.

those internet folks suddenly are going to be offloading family second and third cars - many top end.

I could envision used car sale prices dropping like a stone - especially on the mid-top price models.

t.
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We wonder how many will dare enter into ANY time payment plans for anything right now, with jobs hanging by threads. Folks with cash, sure, but time payments? No way.

If a dealer offers me 0% financing, I'll grab it. If the dealer offers that they'll cover the first 3 or 6 months of payments, I'll also grab that.

PSU
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If a dealer offers me 0% financing, I'll grab it. If the dealer offers that they'll cover the first 3 or 6 months of payments, I'll also grab that.

My 2007 Honda Accord only has 150k on it.

But if I see a good deal, I would upgrade it before my normal schedule (when the wheels fall off). Though I think things will get worse before they get better, so I’ll be patient.

I’m keeping a crocodile eye* on potential car deals.

AW



* Sleeping with an eye half open
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My 2007 Honda Accord only has 150k on it.

But if I see a good deal, I would upgrade it before my normal schedule (when the wheels fall off). Though I think things will get worse before they get better, so I’ll be patient.


My 2008 Toyota Highlander only has 216k miles on it. I was already looking at the newly redesigned Highlander before the virus became an issue. I don't have any mechanical issues so I can also be patient.

PSU
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I wouldn't buy a car I couldn't test drive. I forget what company (Carvana??) offers a totally-online experience. But I want to test it. How is the acceleration, how is the braking, how is the handling, is the seat comfortable, how is the visibility, etc. So I won't be buying a car online**.

I would too in a normal world. If I had to, I would buy online. I'd just restrict myself to makes/models I am familiar with.

Wally
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My 2007 Honda Accord only has 150k on it.

DD has a 2008 Civic with 180k miles on it, and was car shopping just before everything closed down. She actually was trying to sell her car first, and if that didn't work, would trade it in on the new one, but the window closed, so she's just driving her car longer while she waits for a good deal on a new Civic when things open up again.

She's got the cash to pay for it, started a new job with a huge raise just as everything closed so is working from home, and still has her 2nd job at Home Depot, so she can most certainly still afford the new car. Like others have said, if the financing is a better deal, she will take that, and make the payments either from cash flow or from the cash she would have used to pay for the car.

If her car manages to sell somewhere between now and when she can buy a new one, she'll just drive one of our cars when she needs it as we still have more cars than drivers, and that doesn't include DH's motorcycle.

Not everyone needs to make payments to buy a new car, and that can mean finding a good deal when no one else is buying.
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I may be in the market for a new vehicle.

Buy American. Buy a Tesla.

Wyomingtim
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Buy American. Buy a Tesla.

Tesla doesn't make an SUV. Please don't say the Model X. Anything with it's 5.4" clearance is not an SUV.

PSU
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Tesla doesn't make an SUV. Please don't say the Model X. Anything with it's 5.4" clearance is not an SUV.

I've been saying that almost since the Model X came out. I really like the X, but it's not an SUV. More like a minivan. My Cherokee is an SUV. Or your Highlander is an SUV. But not the X.
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Just for curiosity I checked the inventory at a local Honda dealers web site. Wondered how much my car was worth, so I put the info into the pricing link, knowing that it would also generate a phone call from dealer(s).
Sure enough, 15 minutes later my phone rang.

I told him that the reason I was even thinking was that I read a story about new car sales being hammered.
He said, "That is true. It looks like a ghost town here. Nobody is coming in to look at cars." I mentioned that I have a 1.99% loan and I hated to give up that great rate. He said, "We might be able to get that for you, too." Maybe. I suspect he was just saying that hoping to get me to come into the showroom.
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If a dealer offers me 0% financing, I'll grab it. If the dealer offers that they'll cover the first 3 or 6 months of payments, I'll also grab that


Yeah, I was thinking about buying a new Subaru before all this hit. I’ll probably postpone... but I’m going to keep an eye on the deals because there may be an offer I can’t refuse.
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If you're gonna wait anyway, why not wait for an EV instead of a high-pollution fossil burner? That's what I'm doing. Later this year several new models are slated to be introduced. I wouldn't anticipate the virus affecting that.

If I can help it I will never buy another fossil-burner. I'll make do with what we have until the new EVs come out.
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2gifts: If her car manages to sell somewhere between now and when she can buy a new one, she'll just drive one of our cars when she needs it as we still have more cars than drivers, and that doesn't include DH's motorcycle.

I recently sold our 2001 Chrysler PT Cruiser to CarMax for $700. Wasn't a great price, but I got a check on the spot. Glad I sold it before the SHTF.

CNC
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