The sales numbers for March are about as ugly as the North Carolina win over Gonzaga. But who are the real losers from last month? It's hard to tell based on the shallow way the mainstream media reports car sales. From this Bloomberg article, we know that Kia and Ford had the biggest drops overall. We also learn that the Malibu and Fusion suffered the most. And Nissan, VW, and GM were the only automakers with an increase. But what does this really mean?
First, we don't know what this means for profits. Ford and GM make far more off trucks and SUVs than they do off cars. If they sold the same amount of F-150s and Silverados, but fewer Fusions and Malibus, it might not be so bad.
Second, we don't know to whom these vehicles were sold. The MSM reports all sales as if they were to consumers. Nissan might have seen an increase due to higher fleet sales, which are less profitable than consumer sales.
Third, we do know how much each automaker missed the mark. We know Ford sales were down 7.2 percent, worse than the 5.9 percent predicted. But that's a difference of -1.3 percentage points. VW, one of the "winners," was off the projection by -6.3 percentage points. And Honda was off by -5.6 percentage points. Honda actually looks the worst to me. Much of that drop came from the Accord, which dropped 12 percent and the Nissan Rogue overtook the CR-V in sales. There are other signs of worry for Honda.
There are plenty of questions left after being told how sales were in March.