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Light Truck Sales Plummet in May 2008

May08sales
Passenger car sales have exceeded those of light trucks for three months running, with the gap widening. Click to enlarge.

May 2008 US sales of light-duty trucks dropped 23.6% compared to May 2007 to 601,703 units, according to Autodata. Overall light-duty vehicle sales were down by 10.7% for the same period, while sales of passenger cars increased 2.4%.

Car sales exceeded truck sales for the third month in a row, with the gap between the two widening each of those months. In May 2008, passenger cars accounted for 56.9% of all light-duty vehicle sales; the last time the passenger car percentage was at that level (on an annual basis) was in the mid 1990s (58.8% in 1995, 56.7% in 1996).

May08sales2
Percentage change in vehicle sales for Big 6 automakers in May 2008. Click to enlarge.

Major automakers saw their truck sales take a pounding in May. GM reported a 36.9% drop in sales of its light trucks on a drop in total vehicle sales volume of 27.5%. Ford reported a 25.8% drop in its total truck sales; Ford’s SUV sales were down 44.4%, and pickup trucks and vans were down 28.6%. Overall, Ford sales were down 16%. Chrysler LLC saw its truck sales drop 24.3% on a total drop in vehicle sales of 25.4%; Chrysler was the only one of the top volume automakers to see its car sales decline more than its truck sales.

Toyota’s truck sales dropped 12.2% on a total sales decline of 4.3%; Honda’s truck sales dropped 8.8% on a total sales increase of 15.6% (up 31.9% in cars); and Nissan’s truck sales dropped 10.2% on a total sales increase of 8.4%.

Echoing GM Chairman and CEO Rick Wagoner’s comments about a structural rather than cyclic shift in the US auto industry (earlier post), Chrysler Vice Chairman and President Jim Press said today that:

There is a new era emerging in the restructuring of the American economy. There is an unprecedented shift in the industry that is challenging, but we are determined to provide consumers what they need and want.

Comments

Axil

@sulleny

an ability to quickly adjust product lines…

Any rapidly changing environment is a good market environment. For example, remember the IT bubble back at the turn of the century. We all had to buy the latest widget to keep pace. The same is true now. However, these transportation produces are too expensive for much product turnover. So when the consumer make a choice, it better be right. If not, he walks

Axil

@Joseph

Maybe $15/gallon gas will motivate to leave a little earlier, if you got the money, maybe not. But I think us poorer people will drive slower.

Patrick

I think it is a combination of "hitting the turning point" cost of gasoline/diesel AND that the price has been rising fairly consistently for the past few years.

If we were to suddenly go from $2 to $4 per gallon over 9-12 months; truck & SUV sales would probably still be okay as people would expect prices to drop. Since we have gone up...down a bit...up more...down just a bit...and up more the general public probably no longer believes that this is a temporary bubble that will pass.

litesong

Many who say things are CHANGING, still don't get what is happening. People stopped buying trucks...or anything else(look at the 2nd graph). & things are worse than even the 2nd graph indicates. The 'big' Honda & Nissan car share jumps are for companies with much less market share.

One person(rich?) says the gas price hike was 'moderate'. The poor person that just died cause of lack of money didn't die of moderation. Sub $3 gas to $4+ gas isn't moderate & affects(kills) the very poorest first.

The commentary here reminds me of Nero fiddling while Rome burned. Now I see why people starve in rich nations. Those that have, don't see those that have not.

RUPESH TANWAR

Kind Attn. Purchase manager

Dear Sir,

Good Day !!!!

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f) We do Private Branding for Globally known famous brands in BULBS

.

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Thanks and Best regards

Rupesh Tanwar
(sales executive)
Mob.+0091 9910307008
JAGAN LAMPS LIMITED
14, Shopping Centre, Ring Road,
Near Punjabi Bagh Flyover,
New Delhi-110035 (India)
Phone: +91 11 28312342, 28312357,
Fax : +0091-11-28312165
E-mail:- sales@auotbulbs.org
info@autobulbs.org
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Account Deleted

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