Toyota And Honda Head To The Slaughterhouse

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Unit Sales Forecast

Manufacturer

May 2011 Forecast

% Change vs. April 2011

% Change vs. May 2010

Chrysler

110,132

-5.3%

5.1%

Ford

188,280

-0.5%

-1.9%

GM

225,394

-3.1%

1.5%

Honda

92,889

-25.6%

-20.7%

Hyundai/Kia

115,434

6.1%

43.4%

Nissan

66,371

-7.2%

-20.8%

Toyota

109,416

-31.4%

-32.8%

Industry

1,060,392

-8.3%

-3.7%

Toyota  (NYSE: TM) and Honda (NYSE: HMC) were expected to have a hard time keeping enough inventory in stock to compete with their Korean, European, and US rivals. The Japan earthquake has shut down a number of their plants. Toyota recently said it would not have production entirely back online until year end.

The damage to sales will happen sooner than expected and will be worse. Truecar.com, which produced the charts here, expects Honda sales to drop over 25% in May when compared to April. Toyota unit sales will fall 31%. Toyota lost market share last year because of recalls. At its peak, the world’s No.1 car firm had over 15% of the US market. Truecar.com expected that to drop to 10.3% in May.

The Japanese car company trouble goes well beyond tight inventory. The three American car companies were expected to struggle as they came out of the recession. Ford (NYSE: F) carried a heavy debt load. GM (NYSE: GM) and Chrysler went through prepackaged Chapter 11 with the help of the federal government. Lack of capital should have damaged the ability of the American firms to design and produce new models. But, their resilience was much better than forecast.

The most difficult challenge for the Japanese may be the Koreans. Japan was the low cost, high quality producer of cars in the 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, and early this century. The expense of Japanese car production has risen with labor costs. The Koreans have so far dodged that problem.

Douglas A. McIntyre


Market Share Forecast

Manufacturer

May 2011 Forecast

April 2011

May 2010

Chrysler

10.4%

10.1%

9.5%

Ford

17.8%

16.4%

17.4%

GM

21.3%

20.1%

20.2%

Honda

8.8%

10.8%

10.6%

Hyundai/Kia

10.9%

9.4%

7.3%

Nissan

6.3%

6.2%

7.6%

Toyota

10.3%

13.8%

14.8%