It’s fair to say that auto sales of any brand is down, and down significantly and for a lot of reasons, not the least of which is government intervention. Current economic conditions aside, the Prius and vehicles like it are not what the market demands. And for whatever demand there is, there is no demand to eliminate the SUV and American cars as we know them. That demand is coming from Washington, not the market.
Despite claims that Americans turning their backs on gas-guzzlers have contributed to the present dire straits faced by GM and others, Toyota’s latest sales figures point to a stagnant market for more efficient Japanese models as well.
Sales of the Prius in the US were down from 15,011 in May 2008 to just 10,091 for the same month this year. For the year to date, sales of the Prius in the US stand at 42,753 compared to 79,675 in 2008 – a drop of more than 45 per cent.
Markets don’t respond well to political direction. There are many laboratories to look to for evidence of this. Venezuela is one such laboratory. The former USSR and Cuba are others.
Markets are self-correcting when ‘allowed.’ That is to say, when they are not interfered with. Above everything else, markets don’t do well in an atmosphere of fear, uncertainty, and doubt. Folks’ 401k plans bear this out. Devious as it may be, one could argue that the administration is using the FUD factor to help advance its agenda.
Motivation aside, the power grab the Obama administration has perpetrated over various industries and companies within his first 100 days is sending only one message to business. Watch out, you could be next.