Photo of a Chevy icon.
GM can't keep its sales up after all. CC by Thomas doerfer/WikiMedia Commons

The largest domestic automakers, or the Big Three, have been trying for a while to get market share back. There isn’t an automaker out there that hasn’t been desperate to get people to buy cars again. There was some help from the auto rebate program, Cash for Clunkers, that helped some people feel secure enough to buy. Sales for General Motors, and other automakers, thanks to Cash for Clunkers did somewhat improve, but since 2009 GM sales and other auto sales have declined. Consumer confidence is trending low for almost everything from cars to clothes to real estate.

Spring showers, May flowers and lower GM sales

General Motors has returned to profitability and is close to filing for an Initial Public Offering and paying off the portion the company owes for the auto bailout. GM sales have been declining since last year. Nearly all automakers have had declining sales thanks to Cash For Clunkers going by the wayside, though. GM sales have been declining since August 2009. According to the New York Times, the sales for GM have dropped 25 percent since then. However, it wasn’t a huge shock. Analysts anticipated there would be a drop in sales once the auto credit lapsed. General Motors did shutter or sell all but four of the brands the company makes. It is assumed that consumers have been waiting for Labor Day sales to get better prices.

There were also lower sales for Ford

Ford sales also declined between August 2009 and August 2010. The rebate credit really only helped people who already were going to buy or had enough cash. The drop wasn’t as bad for Ford, though. Ford sales only dipped 11 percent. However, in a break from the pack, sales for Chrysler increased by 7 percent. It is anticipated that this year will have more than 11 million autos sold, compared to the 10.4 million sold last year. Auto sales rates are seasonally adjusted month to month. Last year, the sales rate in August was 14.1 million, and this year the rate is 11.5 million.

No one wants to spend that much right now

There isn’t an industry unaffected by consumer confidence right now. Auto sales, on a positive note, are far less dismal than real estate. New green vehicles are expected to sell fairly well, but unless more people feel safe enough to buy a new Dodge, Ford or Chevy, sales are going to be sluggish at best for some time.

Sources

NY Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/02/business/02auto.html?ref=automobiles

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