Ford, GM, Toyota: August Auto Summary

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However badly the big car companies bled sales this summer, it appears that August brought no hope for better days.

Bloomberg speculates that Toyota (TM) sold more cars that Ford (F). The news service writes that "Toyota post a 2 percent gain this month to displace Ford as the second-biggest automaker in U.S. sales so far this year, according to research firm Global Insight Inc. Ford’s sales fell 12 percent, the average estimate of six analysts surveyed by Bloomberg."

As credit companies become concerned about lending quality, the low end of the car sales business could be hurt as few buyers can get easy loans. Bloomberg gives that view a little bit of color: "ubprime buyers accounted for 19 percent of U.S. new-vehicle purchases last year, including 22 percent of loans at the U.S.- based automakers, J.D. Power & Associates said in a study released in April."

And, double digit decreases in sales may be repeated for some of the domestic car companies:

The SAAR average is based on forecasts from seven analysts and a survey of 22 economists. The analysts’ estimates are based on daily rates for August’s 27 sales days.

Analyst              GM     Ford    Chrysler    SAARHimanshu Patel       -1%    -13%     -7%        15.9(JPMorgan)Rod Lache            -3%    -11%     -4%        16(Deutsche Bank)Chris Ceraso         -2%*   -11%*    -8%*       16*(Credit Suisse)Richard Kwas         -13%   -12%      1%        15.3(Wachovia)Peter Nesvold        -7%    -16%     -14%       15.7(Bear Stearns)Rebecca Lindland     -9.3   -9.4     -3%        15.8(Global Insight)Paul Ballew          N/A    N/A      N/A        16.2(GM sales analyst)Bloomberg Economists N/A    N/A      N/A        15.7(average estimate)Average:             -5.9%  -12%     -5.8%      15.8

Not good

Douglas A. McIntyre