Best of the Week
Most Popular
1. Stock Markets and the History Chart of the End of the World (With Presidential Cycles) - 28th Aug 20
2.Google, Apple, Amazon, Facebook... AI Tech Stocks Buying Levels and Valuations Q3 2020 - 31st Aug 20
3.The Inflation Mega-trend is Going Hyper! - 11th Sep 20
4.Is this the End of Capitalism? - 13th Sep 20
5.What's Driving Gold, Silver and What's Next? - 3rd Sep 20
6.QE4EVER! - 9th Sep 20
7.Gold Price Trend Forecast Analysis - Part1 - 7th Sep 20
8.The Fed May “Cause” The Next Stock Market Crash - 3rd Sep 20
9.Bitcoin Price Crash - You Will be Suprised What Happens Next - 7th Sep 20
10.NVIDIA Stock Price Soars on RTX 3000 Cornering the GPU Market for next 2 years! - 3rd Sep 20
Last 7 days
Amazon Black Friday vs Prime Day vs Cyber Monday, Which are Real or Fake Sales - 1st Dec 20
The No.1 Biotech Stock for 2021 - 1st Dec 20
Stocks Bears Last Chance Before Market Rally To SPX 4200 In 2021 - 1st Dec 20
Globalists Poised for a “Great Reset” – Any Role for Gold? - 1st Dec 20
How to Get FREE REAL Christmas Tree 2020! Easy DIY Money Saving - 1st Dec 20
The Truth About “6G” - 30th Nov 20
Ancient Aztec Secret Could Lead To A $6.9 Billion Biotech Breakthrough - 30th Nov 20
AMD Ryzen Zen 3 NO UK MSRP Stock - 5600x, 5800x, 5900x 5950x Selling at DOUBLE FAKE MSRP Prices - 29th Nov 20
Stock Market Short-term Decision Time - 29th Nov 20
Look at These 2 Big Warning Signs for the U.S. Economy - 29th Nov 20
Dow Stock Market Short-term and Long-term Trend Analysis - 28th Nov 20
How To Spot The End Of An Excess Market Trend Phase – Part II - 28th Nov 20
BLOCKCHAIN INVESTMENT PRIMER - 28th Nov 20
The Gold Stocks Correction is Maturing - 28th Nov 20
Biden and Yellen Pushed Gold Price Down to $1,800 - 28th Nov 20
Sheffield Christmas Lights 2020 - Peace Gardens vs 2019 and 2018 - 28th Nov 20
MUST WATCH Before You Waste Money on Buying A New PC Computer System - 27th Nov 20
Gold: Insurance for Prudent Investors, Precious Metals Reduce Risk & Preserve Wealth - 27th Nov 20
How To Spot The End Of An Excess Market Trend Phase - 27th Nov 20
Snow Falling Effect Christmas Lights Outdoor Projector Amazon Review - 27th Nov 20
4 Reasons Why You Shouldn't Put off Your Roof Repairs - 27th Nov 20
Further Clues Reveal Gold’s Weakness - 26th Nov 20
Fun Things to Do this Christmas - 26th Nov 20
Industries that Require Secure Messaging Apps - 26th Nov 20
Dow Stock Market Trend Analysis - 25th Nov 20
Amazon Black Friday Dell 32 Inch S3220DGF VA Curved Screen Gaming Monitor Bargain Deal! - 25th Nov 20
Biden the Silver Bull - 25th Nov 20
Inflation Warning to the Fed: Be Careful What You Wish For - 25th Nov 20
Financial Stocks Sector ETF Shows Unique Island Setup – What Next? - 25th Nov 20
Herd Immunity or Herd Insolvency: Which Will Affect Gold More? - 25th Nov 20
Stock Market SEASONAL TREND and ELECTION CYCLE - 24th Nov 20
Amazon Black Friday - Karcher K7 FC Pressure Washer Assembly and 1st Use - Is it Any Good? - 24th Nov 20
I Dislike Shallow People And Shallow Market Pullbacks - 24th Nov 20
Small Traders vs. Large Traders vs. Commercials: Who Is Right Most Often? - 24th Nov 20
10 Reasons You Should Trade With a Regulated Broker In UK - 24th Nov 20
Stock Market Elliott Wave Analysis - 23rd Nov 20
Evolution of the Fed - 23rd Nov 20
Gold and Silver Now and Then - A Comparison - 23rd Nov 20
Nasdaq NQ Has Stalled Above a 1.382 Fibonacci Expansion Range Three Times - 23rd Nov 20
Learn How To Trade Forex Successfully - 23rd Nov 20
Market 2020 vs 2016 and 2012 - 22nd Nov 20
Gold & Silver - Adapting Dynamic Learning Shows Possible Upside Price Rally - 22nd Nov 20
Stock Market Short-term Correction - 22nd Nov 20
Stock Market SPY/SPX Island Setups Warn Of A Potential Reversal In This Uptrend - 21st Nov 20
Why Budgies Make Great Pets for Kids - 21st Nov 20
How To Find The Best Dry Dog Food For Your Furry Best Friend?  - 21st Nov 20
The Key to a Successful LGBT Relationship is Matching by Preferences - 21st Nov 20
Stock Market Dow Long-term Trend Analysis - 20th Nov 20
Margin: How Stock Market Investors Are "Reaching for the Stars" - 20th Nov 20
World’s Largest Free-Trade Pact Inspiration for Global Economic Recovery - 20th Nov 20
Dating Sites Break all the Stereotypes About Distance - 20th Nov 20

Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

FIRST ACCESS to Nadeem Walayat’s Analysis and Trend Forecasts

US Auto Makers Feel the Heat of High Gas Prices 

Companies / US Auto's Jul 05, 2008 - 12:51 AM GMT

By: Salman_Khan

Companies The Sport Utility Vehicle has been an American icon ever since it was born into mass popularity during the days of World War II when the American WillysJeep was introduced in the US car market. Vehicle buyers were drawn to their large cabins, higher ride height, and perceived safety. Additionally, full-size SUVs have greater towing capabilities than conventional cars, and can haul trailers, campers and boats. SUVs had the added benefit that they could carry more passengers than a pick-up truck. Finally, a perception of social wealth SUV owners grew.


For 17 years, the Ford F-150 Pick-up truck was the best selling vehicle in America on a monthly basis. That spot was lost to not only one car but to four. The Toyota Camry and Corolla and Honda Civic and Accord all past up the Ford F-150 in sales for the month of May and more vehicles are expected to make the leap.Light truck and SUV sales at major auto makers are down anywhere from 12 percent at Toyota to 37 percent at GM. GM announced plans to close four plants that manufacturer trucks and SUVs . Nissan, Ford and Chrysler all have similar plans.

General Motors Corp., the automaker that popularized the " monster car" Hummer, may sell a mini-car four feet (1.2 meters) shorter than its biggest offering and more than a foot shorter than anything else it markets in the U.S. to win back buyers scared off by high fuel prices. GM may bring the production version of the Chevrolet Beat to the U.S. , people familiar with the plan said. The car, which would normally be reserved for Asia and Latin America , gets as much as 40 miles a gallon, a fuel efficiency topped in the U.S. only by hybrids. The possible American introduction of the Beat would be one step in a fleet downsizing and shift away from fossil fuel-based vehicles that the people said is already under way at Detroit- based GM. Resigned to $4-a-gallon gasoline and stricter pollution rules, the largest U.S. automaker has recognized that its response must go beyond the mothballing of large truck plants, the people said.

GM, turning 100 this year, has few options to re-inventing itself. Mattel Inc., maker of toy cars, has a larger market value than General Motors Corp. for the first time as record U.S. gasoline prices crimp sales of real cars and trucks. The company reported its largest annual loss in 2007, $38.7 billion, and hasn't had a profitable year in the past four. The car maker's U.S. market share hovers at the lowest level since 1925, and last year GM was 3,000 cars away from being dethroned by Toyota Motor Corp. as the world's largest automaker. GM shares fell to the lowest since 1954 this week after an analyst said bankruptcy was ``not impossible'' if the auto market continues to deteriorate.

Besides the Beat, GM is weighing a list of options for refocusing its auto lineup on fuel efficiency rather than performance. They include the U.S. introduction of a small pickup popular in Latin America and an expansion of the number of versions of the Volt plug-in electric car, the people said. GM is also trying to increase production and speed up availability of the successor to the Chevy Cobalt sedan and develop a fuel-efficient alternative to the Cadillac Escalade sport-utility vehicle, they said.

Already, GM has reassigned engineers to many of the projects, according to the people familiar with the planning. The company is taking them from SUV and truck programs suspended while awaiting the return of customers. Now, these people said, GM sees no point in waiting.

Sales of the smallest cars in the U.S. have risen 31 percent in the first half this year as the industry total fell 10 percent and the largest SUVs 31 percent. GM reported a 21 percent plunge in U.S. sales of pickups, SUVs and vans for the first six months. Higher input costs, which can be primarily attributed to a surge is steel prices is also seen as hitting the profitability of SUV makers.

Thus, a clear shift in consumer tastes and preferences is being marked in US, thanks to Crude Oil spike. As pointed out in my earlier post in the same blog, Americans are cutting down on distance travelled on road. American Airline industry too is reeling under the pressure emanating from high Aviation Turbine Fuel ( ATF ). Not surprisingly, American railroad industry has posted a decent comeback this year, with Ridership on Amtrak trains in the Northeast corridor, including those through Springfield , climbing sharply higher. May was the best month ever for the government-owned railroad company, said Amtrak spokeswoman Tracy L. Connell . For the Northeast corridor, from October to May, our ridership was up 11 percent over the same period a year ago, and for May alone, it was up 9.2 percent over the previous May. Other Mass Transit System like Peter Pan Bus Lines, which serves much of the Northeast, has also seen its ridership rising as gas prices have been rising.

Earlier also, during the oil crisis of 1973 when OPEC blocked shipments of crude oil to countries that supported Israel in the Yom Kippur War, Americans and other countries converted to more fuel efficient cars. Before the embargo, American car makers made larger and less fuel efficient vehicles. As the embargo took place, consumers made up their minds with their wallets. Foreign producers like Datsun (Nissan), Toyota , Peugeot, Volkswagen, Mazda and Honda generated record sales during this time. As OPEC lost its hold on oil production, gas fell cheap once again by the 1980s. Americans were driving larger cars once again, albeit with somewhat better fuel efficiency than that of the 1960s and early 1970s. SUV sales finally peaked in 2004 and 2005, with a sales of 4 million SUVs.

One has to wonder though, will we see the SUVs back on top in the American auto market any time soon? This is yet another question, which only the time can tell.

By Salman Khan
Salmanspeaks.co.nr

Salman Khan is a Commodity Analyst working with a leading Delhi based Indian brokerage firm, Mansukh Securities and Finace Limited as Research Analyst in Commodities. He has a rich experience of tracking Energy, Precious Metals, Base Metals and Agri Complex for last 2 yeas across various International and Indian commodity bourses (NYMEX, COMEX, LME,  CBOT, SHFE, MCX and NCDEX. He is a voracious reader and a prolific writer. He is the inhouse editor of monthly journal "MAKE MORE GUIDE" published by Mansukh Securities and Finance Limited . His articles have also appeared in leadind portals like seekingalpha.com , youthejournalist.com and youcantrade.in . He also blogs regularly at his personal blog salmanspeaks.co.nr .

Salman Khan Archive

© 2005-2019 http://www.MarketOracle.co.uk - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.


Post Comment

Only logged in users are allowed to post comments. Register/ Log in

6 Critical Money Making Rules