As Chrysler Fails, Nissan Loses It Relevance

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The big news about November car sales is that Chrysler continues to lose market share at a remarkable and unsustainable rate. Edmunds predicts that Chrysler sales will drop 35% from the same month last year, bring its piece of the US market to 7.8% down from 11.4% in November 2008. Chrysler’s new management insists that the car firm can survive for two years while it prepares to bring Fiat models into the US to bolster its product line. The boast gets harder to believe as each month passes. Chrysler is unlikely to have sold more than 55,000 vehicles last month

The other important milestone in November may be that Nissan became the laggard among car companies with any meaningful market share in the US. Hyundai could move ahead of Nissan in total sales. Hyundai sales are expected to surge 26% to 43,000 units. Nissan sales are expected to be flat compared with November of last year at about the same unit level as Hyundai.

Edmunds does not expect a significant change in sales for Ford (NYSE:F), Toyota (NYSE:TM), or GM compared to November 2008. Honda (NYSE:HMC) sales are expected to drop 9%.

Edmunds expects total industry sales to be down 4% year-over-year and off 15% from October 2009.

Douglas A. McIntyre