Sunday, March 18, 2007

Can't afford home. Can't afford car either.

This Detroit Free Press report earns the "No-Shit-Sherlock Award" this week as they attempt to link dips in car sales to sunny weather states.

You know, I'm not entirely up to speed about the housing market and economic situation in Michigan. What I have heard is that the situation isn't pretty. But here's a nugget of useful information for our Wolverine-state friends at the Freep:

Dips in sales of Detroit cars has little, if anything, to do with sunny weather.
A little self-criticism is always a good place to start, and might clear the air a little.
Consider some of the following factors on for size:

  1. Detroit's automakers have been officially "jumped" by both Toyota and Honda in terms of car sales in America. It is highly doubtful, given past performance, that American automakers are in any position to recover market leadership in the short or long-run. Good for American car sales? Not really.
  2. Honda, Toyota, Volkswagen and BMW have shown the greatest technology innovation, highest customer satisfaction and highest overall quality ratings of industry auto manufacturers. GM and Ford are essentially MIA in all three departments. Good for American car sales? Gee, lemme thin..No.
  3. Southern Californians, Nevadans, Arizonans and Floridians have something a little more important to worry about these days than buying a Hummer that get's them 10 miles to the $2.80 gallon of gas. Yeah, I can understand how this might be quite a shock to some. You see, the item that all four of these markets share in common, besides sunny weather, is a housing market slowdown, the economic consequences of which may become very serious indeed. The financial well-being of many individuals and families in California alone may be adversely affected. Suddenly, buying a car - new or used - will become less and less of a priority as 2007 wears on. Now, is this good news for car sales - domestic or foreign? Probably not.

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