Sunny Outlook for March Sales

2013 Ram 1500s

Auto sales prognosticators are optimistic about March 2013 sales numbers. Both LMC and J.D. Power are predicting a healthy jump in total sales for the month, according to Automotive News, putting the year-end total on target to hit into the mid-15 million unit mark.

For pickup trucks, that's likely to translate into an even healthier outlook, with well over 2 million unit sold projected by the end of the year. And that's with several fewer nameplates than in previous years. 

According to the Detroit Free Press, both Ford and GM will be selling close to 1 million pickups each by 2015, largely based on several new light-duty and heavy-duty models scheduled to make their debut between now and then, along with several new powertrain options and new completely new models.

March numbers will give us a good idea of what the remaining three quarters of the year will bring, barring any natural disasters, unforeseen fuel spikes or yet another governmental fiscal cliff. We'll have the numbers for the top pickup truck sales leaders by April 2.



Gee and I thought the economy had collapsed. I guess I was watching too much Fox News.

Thanks Obama!

@MaXx LOL, you're right sir!


Large push on trucks because people know trucks will shrink and be less powerful in the years to come because of Obama's fuel requirements !

And guess what,carbon tax,road pricing and price per mile driven and road ussage tax will be applied because the government will make less money from the gas tax,so they need money and they will tax roads/miles you drive.The government makes more money of a gallon of gas then the oil companies..FACT !

Furthermore,private land drilling is up,thus more trucks needed (obama pulled back government land drilling)

If the Keystone pipeline comes in,I am sure more trucks will be bought !

MaXx,did you know people are out of touch,employee's at Home Depo (I think its that company) When they got their pay checks they had more money taken off because Obama's tax policy,and the people though the company Home Depot was screwing them out of money,in fact its Obama taking money away from workers ,Not home Depot !


You guys are wrong !

Future sales look promising because the dolt will be out in a few years !! Then we get a government reducing tax on the average Joe,and business then more jobs,economy grows,more trucks bought !

This is not good news, I want truck sales to be in the toliet as I plan on buying a new one in the next several months and want a good discount.

@Not A Left Wing Cyclist ! - but you are a right wing nut and a rather loosely spun one at that.

Good to see vehicle sales improving. Vehicles are the 2nd biggest purchase next to housing. Increased sales in both areas are usually a sign of an improving economy and consumer confidence. We still have to see the repercussions of cutbacks in government spending. Taxes are going to have to rise in the USA due to rising debt.

In Canada, the government is slowly tightening rules on borrowing and has been brow beating mortgage companies into not reducing interest rates too much. This is being done to prevent the same housing collapse that occurred in the USA from happening here.
Canadian vehicle sales, especially truck sales have been holding their own the last few years mostly due to massive rebates offered by car companies.

On the subject of pipelines, we need Keystone just as much if not more so that the USA. Alberta bitumen has to go somewhere for processing. The Chinese what it just as bad but our "greens" are blocking that pipeline too. I'd rather see our oil sold in the USA than in China.

Posted on March 25th, 2013 • by Bill Cawthon
Chrysler Group is the fastest-growing manufacturer in California. The company says its focus on the Golden State is paying off as retail sales grew 50% in 2012 in America’s largest new vehicle market. In comparison, overall industry sales grew just 26%.

This is the second consecutive year Chrysler’s growth has outpaced the competition. Since opening its California Business Center, Chrysler Group sales have skyrocketed 137%.

@Not A Left Wing Cyclist -- The government does not make more per gallon of gas than oil companies. The federal excise tax for gasoline is 18.4 cents per gallon and 24.4 cents for diesel. Much of the fuel taxes come from the states that have to fund their transportation infrastructure. Oil companies make much, much more than this. Regardless, we in the U.S. have some of the lowest fuel prices in the developed world. Most of our fuel taxes haven't been raised in years and aren't indexed to inflation, so while more cars end up on the roads each year, state governments have less money to repair them.

Congestion pricing and usage costs would be better than a fuel tax, because, as a truck buyer, you might drive fewer miles in a less efficient vehicle while a dude in a Prius drives ten times as much and pays less. So, if you want to support paying fewer taxes, you should be in favor of congestion pricing. Let the Prius guy pay for how much he drives, not how much fuel he uses.

Obama did not pull back drilling on federal land. A bunch of leases just expired. This isn't news, especially after the election made it well-known. Google it.

And what's this stuff about Home Depot? Obama's tax policy has reduced taxes on the majority of Americans. Remember those Bush tax cuts? Despite being branded as a taxer, Obama's policies ensured that 99% of those cuts remained law. Are you talking about the payroll tax? The one that Obama pushed for as a part of economic stimulus but has since expired?

Seriously though. I'd rather talk about trucks.

@Not A Left Wing Cyclist!:Yet another post from purple cam, eh?

How's that push for 600hp engines going for you, so pickup truck drivers don't have to pay the paranoi taxs at the tolls?

Yeah, lets make them suck gas, what a joke!

Josh R: I only have the time to respond to just one of your mistakes, and that is the gov. DOES in fact make more $$$$ off oil than the co. that, pay's for the leases to drill, and all the expences to drill, and to refine the products, then when you say you have the gov. it is not only the feds, but local state gov. did you forget about them? when you add it all up the gov. in fact does make more $$$ than the oil co., and not only do they have no investments and cost to do so, they even make $$$ to let the oild co. go look for the oil, before it is even brought out of the ground, refined and brought to market, in other words they make $ from the co. on oil that is not there, with no risk involved, you need to do your homework before spouting off progressive talking points!

@sandman4x4 You got it right, saved me having to say it. The only reason that energy prices are higher in some other countries is that their taxes are higher. Our government isn't in trouble because it does not tax enough, it's because there is no incentive whatsoever for them to live on a budget, like the rest of us have to do. Thanks again, sandman!

That's good news to hear. Love how they talk about Ford and G.M but show picture of Ram. This is the best year I have ever seen for pickup's. Ram has been positive for the past 3 years in sales.

You guys may be correct in the tax versus profits measure but you are forgeting that lowering fuel taxes would be almost a moot point since this is factored into the commodity market price plus the fact that even including some high tax states the total cost is only about 30 cents. Last I checked (Friday since that is when I fueled up) 87 octane gasoline was $3.39. The other $3 is going directly to the cost of extracting the next gallon of oil. We aren't finding cheap oil anymore. That is the only thing that would drive the price down (I guess we could have another world wide economic near depression to drop prices if you'd rather go that route)

So as individual consumers we should look to conserve the amount of fuel we have to keep inflation pressures on fuel down. Will more states go to tax per mile situations, probably, but that is probably more fair to begin with. No matter how we look at it the cost of merely being alive is going to go up and I'd rather drive the more efficient vehicle in the mean time.

Papa Jim,

I did read your arguement that if we don't buy gas then the cost per unit will rise and prices will go up not down which may be true in one-off cases with no other outside influences but that isn't reality. If you and I don't buy the gas it will be sold to some other country like China and it will get shipped out on a container ship. That is happening now. We in the US have been a net exporter of refined gasoline over the past few years since we have excess capacity and someone is willing to pay a higher price than the US market. That is what will happen with the Keystone expansion. Yes more oil will be sold to US owned refineries but it will be refined and shipped overseas since the US market doesn need it and won't pay the price for it. It will do nothing to help transportation costs for us. In order to do that we'd have to have a governemnt controlled market like Venezuela or Saudia Arabia. I doubt you are in favor of nationalizing any industry.

To try and explain it through example consider the following:

If someone is addicted to cocaine you don't try and rehab them by giving them more cocaine so why would giving us more oil/fuel get us to use less of it? That is what we need long term for polution issues (I know you don't care about that) and for national security and economic security reasons. Those alone should be enough for you to want to support decreased fuel use whether that be from increased general taxes on oil/gas, per mile tax or fuel economy targets like CAFE.

Back to the actual topic, I am glad to see the automakres doing well in high margin vehciles. I really hope this brings some much needed jobs to the Detroit area and helps manufacturing as a whole since these industries have a multiplier effect throughout the economy. (in Boise our economic council has figured manufacturing of durable goods provides a 4:1 mutliplier effect for every direct job )

Fuel prices are rising for two reasons, remember this isn't a US specific issue. Fuel is priced globally.

As more countries require crude and the cost are rising to drill and refine higher quality fuels to meet emissions, prices have to rise.

There is more of a disconnect nowadays with fuel prices in the US than in the past due to economic pressures.

There was a saying in the "olden days", if the US sneezes the world caught a cold. This is much less prevalent now. The US's infuence on commodity market pricing is less influential. It still has an effect, though.

Better car sales means an improving economy, this is good not just for the US, but the world overall.

But, car sales are still not at the numbers of 5 years ago. They are still down a few million not counting a population increase of 10-15 million.

Also, a slight dip will occur on previous numbers due to a slight standard of living decrease in the US.

Statistics, you have to love them. They can be fashioned to suit any argument.

@howam00 --You are precisely correct. In the past I have explained that the cost to produce oil has gone up because the large reserves of easy to get oil are gone. Deep offshore drilling requires more expense semi-submersible drill rigs that are more like ships. These deep drill rigs are expensive to build, expensive to lease, and expensive to operate. The guys that operate these rigs are paid well because it is dangerous work requiring living on these rigs and working for longer periods of time. You are correct as well that any oil we do not consume will readily be purchased in a global market. China and India are energy hungry and will buy any excess on the World market. This is true with US agricultural goods such as corn, wheat, and soybeans. Emerging countries with emerging middle classes have growing appetites for food and energy. India and China have agreements with coal producers in West Virginia and Eastern Kentucky to import millions of tons of coal.

As for fuel tax the US has some of the cheapest fuel taxes in the World even when you add in State excise taxes on fuel, ad valorem taxes on the oil and natural gas extracted, and any royalities on public land.

@Big Al from Oz--You are correct that the US is becoming less influential in the global market. It is becoming more of when
China and India sneeze the rest of the World gets a cold, except the global demand for food and energy is so great that someone else will buy anything that is left over.

Car and truck prices have gone up dramatically over the past 20 years due to more safety standards, higher cost of materials, and just higher costs in general. Yes the cars and trucks run longer but people are also keeping them longer and putting more miles on them. Also there is more competition in certain market segments of vehicles such as midsize and compact cars. In the past the standard sedan in the USA such as a full size Chevy would sell a million units a year and now the new standard size intermediate is successful if it sell a 100k or more units a year.

Some great points.

I wish I paid $3.39 a gallon for fuel. I'm at 1.319 per litre. That would translate to 4.99 a USA gallon. It takes a big bite out of my wallet when I'm filling my 135 litre tank. It cost me 145 dollars a few days ago.

Rising fuel costs will do more to curb consumption than higher mpg's. If the price of fuel increases 20% but our MPG increases 20%, it still costs us the same per mile/kilometer. Expensive fuel, depending on your current economic status, is here or is coming . Like it or not. A billion Chinese moved into the "middle class" last year. They have money we don't. Unless our governments default on the loans the Chinese gave us ;)

@Jeff S
That is the way of the motor vehicle. Lots of people are unaware of the price of coking coal, iron ore, bauxite etc nowadays.

The prices of these commodities has increased signifcantly over the past decade.

Even though the US/Euro/Japanese economies are not faring to well, the prices for them are still as high or higher than 2007-08. How much has electricity gone up?

Wages might be flat, but the cost of production has risen. Without factoring in technologies.

As the US economy rises, the strain on commodities will rise again. But all is not well in China.

Where I live with a shopper docket gives me 8c a litre for fuel discount, I paid $147.9 a litre. It cost me about 104 dollars to fill up from below a quarter of a tank.

But you are correct about the costs of fuel. People will buy what they can afford to run.

Don't get me wrong big V8s are great, but they will become more and more expensive to run. And as Jeff S pointed out the costs of production will rise substaintially for the forseeable future.

Vehicles will become more valuable assets to own in the future and people will hang onto them longer.

Could some please explain to me the correlation between worldwide economic depression = low fuel prices. Like the winter we had a few ago?

Also when the key stone pipe line comes in(I hope it will) why the price of oil should not fall? Yes I know (some )being the key word will exported, but the lions share should remain in North America . Shouldn't you expect a 1.00$ decrease in price per gallon ?

What the hell are we waiting for ????

there seems to be some confusion about commodities and pricing. It is pretty simple, really.

The US Dept of the Treasury owes trillions of dollars to bond holders around the world. If the value of the dollar is depressed by federal policy, the real cost of paying back the debt goes down. Result, Congress has more money to play with, and we pay more at the gas station and the grocery store. America's debt has gone through the roof during the last 11 years, under Bush and Obama. Fuel is higher at the retail pump today because of Treasury policy, not supply/demand issues.

An ounce of gold buys the same amount of crude oil today as it did 80 years ago, it's the value of the dollar (and other global currencies) that fell in relation to commodities like crude oil and precious metals.

We need Keystone XL but we really need responsible folks in Washington and other world capitals to stop playing games with our money. And we really need to stop sending our fuel dollars to prop up corrupt bastards in foreign lands who hate our fine country. Drill baby Drill!


I'll try and help clairfy world depresion and how it helps fuel prices. As papa Jim noted there are a couple of main factors at play:

1. oil is priced in US dollars. For the past 80 years when a world wide crisis hits people/companies/governemnts stockpile dollars since it is the world standard (for now). this pushes the value of the dollar relative to everything else up. If our dollar is worth more it can by more goods (ie makes them cost less)

2. With a world wide economic melt dow overall demand falls. Less transportation of people and goods means that the refining capacity for peak demand is now over supplying the market. Since it costs relatively the same to run at 80% of capacity as it does at 100% oil refiners typically just continue to pump to try and eek the most profit out of each barrel of oil, thus lowering prices.

To address the Keystone expansion a bit and why it won't really matter to us let my try and address a couple of issues:

1. the tar sands oil is already being produced and shipped, Keystone merely sends more of it to Texas refineries. While this will probably boost the port and refiners they are already running close to capacity so some will be shipped off as crude to other countries to refine and the rest will be refined into gasoline and then shipped.

Why won't it stay in the US and lower prices you ask? Well becuase oil/gas is a world commodity. It will merely go to the highest bidder and since we already produce more than is used and produce it cheaper than virtually anyone else it means places like India and China still end up with a lower cost for refined gas and oil companies make the going market rate. Since the US doesn't have any more demand capacity there is no reason to keep it here. It will have virtually no impact to US/North American fuel prices.

2. the other piece to consider is that the refined oil is already going somewhere else. It isn't just sitting around in barrels waiting for anything, Keystone merely directs more of it to Texas vs going through to other markets (Like Vancouver). Keystone will likley lower the transportation costs for the oil companies since it can flow a very large volume or a margianlly short route. Maybe a smidgen of this will lower some fuel costs but we are talking pennies at a maximum.

3. the only way to have Keystone make any meaningful impact to fuel prices is to nationalize the industry like the middle east, venezuela and a few others. To most in the "West" this is an unthinkable act.

Hopefully this provides a 60,000 ft view of the situation.

@Howam00 your reply does not address the fact that crude oil today is neither scarce or in surplus. Currency inflation is the most important reason for the higher price of crude oil today, measure in dollars. You are right to note that global investors often retreat to the dollar during periods of tension, but the dollar has been crashing ever since the early 1970s when it was taken off the gold standard.

There were some periods of dollar stability during Reagan and Clinton's terms, but the long term trend is to the toilet. Unfortunately, I get paid in dollars and during the last ten years, rain or shine the buck has been getting killed.

As a result today I'm paying about 4 times what gas cost in 1998 but my salary increases have been pretty flat. Ditto for most Americans.

Additional supply of oil will help, especially if it comes from domestic sources.

Stability in the supply chain always helps reduce the cost and complexity of product delivery. Drill baby Drill!

@Papa Jim--I worked for years in the oil industry in the production end, contract drilling end, and the refining end. Drill baby drill is not reality because just have more oil will not increase supply. Oil has to be refined and the number of refineries and total capacity has gone down over the past 20 years. The last major new refinery built in the US was in the mid 70s. There is only so much oil that can be refined at any given time. Years ago your major oil companies were fully intergrated from production, refining, and retail end. Major oil companies would take a loss on the refining end to make money off the retail end by selling lots of refined product. In today's business environment unprofitable operations have either been reduced by closure or selling off. Many out of date low margin refineries are either closed or sold off to independents. As for new refineries being built it is a high cost and high risk operation due to government regulations, length of time to build refineries, and longer period of time to recover costs from investment.

Most corporations are looking at short term profits and are more relunctant to tie capital up for longer term profit and higher risk. That is one reason why many corporations buy up their own stock and spend less on longer term investments. Another thing is as many of the multinational energy companies such as Exxon Mobil and Shell are building super refineries in such places as India where they can readily supply an emerging growing market of consumers. The over capacity of these refineries is exported.

I think overall we have at least some mutual ground (and I thank all for having a cordial discussion/dissagreement rather than a beligerent one) on what has caused prices to go up but to help clarify my positions on why it isn't just the devaluation of currency (which a good portion of it is) here is a direct link to a supply and demand chart over the past 30 years

It generally shows a 55% increase in demand but only 35% increase in supply. This alone should account for about half of the price increases. Devaluation of currency is a main contributor to the rest. Unfortunately the supply and demand constraints are only going to continue to compound with China, India and South America rapidly increasing the number of personal use vehciles on the road, the increased demand for goods (industrial/commercial transport) and increased use of fertilizers (derived from oil) to feed not only a growing world population but one that can afford higher cost foods.

There is sure to be some noise over the coming decades but prices are going to continue to climb while most of us in the "western economy" are going to be more stagnate when it comes to income growth. This will be one of the main "issues" our society has to contend with and I am not confident those in charge see it or even care that it is coming.

@howam00--Agree. Demand in the global market far exceeds available supply. The days of abundant cheap energy have gone the way of the ten cent cigar and the five and dime store.

Also, the devaluation of the US currency is due to the state of your economy.

Even though its doing better it is still not well.

Commodity currencies like the CAD, AUD and Norwegian Kroner are being bought as they are stable and not devaluing. That's why our currenices have risen significantly since the 2008 bust.

As the US economy grows more of your currency will be bought and its value will rise. This will help offset some, but not all of the increases in commodities. This is caused by the developing nations need for the same material.

Also, the US's influences in commodity prices will reduce for many decades to come, just like the British pound's did.

Commodities are very crucial to our OECD societies as it determines the end cost of products.

It is true there is lots of oil, but to capture and remove the oil will costs lots per barrel. This oil is also very contaminated and refining of the oil will cost more as well.

There is supposed to be billions of tons of gold in seawater, but how much will it cost to recover? Oil is getting that way as well.

@Big Al from Oz--Also not all crude is the same. The higher the sulfur content the harder it is to refine and the less product. North Sea Crude is one of the lowest sulfur content and that is why it is the highest price usually $100 or more a barrell. West Texas Intermediate is the next lowest which is now in the low 90s a barrel. Venezula crude has one of the highest sulfur content and is much cheaper because there are few refiners that can process heavy crude. The US has a few refiners that can process high sulfur crude and China has built some.

True US currency will flucuate and it will not be as much of an influence but it will still be a major currency. If China allowed their currency to be traded openly it would rise in value and they would lose much of their cost competitiveness.

Big Al the one thing that the US has in its favor is it has abundant natural resources and is a major agricultural producer. The US farmers grow a significant amount of the World's crops such as corn, soybeans, and wheat. The US is also becoming a large exporter of finished oil products and of coal. Scrap metals, paper, lumber are other products as well. The US no longer is the only major player but unlike Great Britian it is a huge country with abundant resources. South America countries such as Brazil and Argentina are also major agricultural producers and export much or their resources.

The emerging countries such as China and India and much of Asia will continue to demand more food and more natural resources. Increased demand and the flucuation of US currencies both contribute to the ever rising costs of food and resources. The dollar will still rein as the top currency for a little while longer, but it will eventually lose number 1 status. The dollar will stll be a major World currency.

Jeff S
Hopefully the US can benefit more from the developing economies, instead of being a net importer of their products the US can export and balance out the difference.

Your agriculture has to reduce subsidies to gain efficiencies and become more competitive.

Countries like ours and New Zealand (and developing economies) that have minimal assistance to farmers are always complaing about Euro/US/Japanese farm subsidies.

It will save your country money in the long term.

But changes will occur in the US/Euro/Japanese economies and have already started.

There is a massive amount of money to be made in the South and South East Asian markets for all commodities, mineral and agriculture.

Indonesia alone eats on average 4kg of beef per capita annually and they say within a decade it will increase to over 12kg of beef. That's a lot of cattle.

Jeff S and Big Al...this is a website for truck owners so I'm reluctant to keep going on about fiscal and monetary topics.

That said, both of you are repeating arguments about supply/demand that were started by a thoroughly debunked economist back in the 1950s William Phillips, from New Zealand. He basically told officials in places like the US and UK that they can have their cake and eat it too.

Result, the American and UK middle classes have seen their fortunes crash during the last fifty years. Please ignore all the Obama administration BS regarding concerns about surpluses being sold offshore. Bunk.

I could buy a gallon of gas for 25 cents forty years ago and today it's more than 10 times that price. God help you if your pay didn't go up by at least a factor of ten during that time.

During this same period, American companies have moved vast numbers of manufacturing and other high value jobs to the third world--great for the big banks but it sucks for every one else. Drilling and manufacturing jobs are great boosters of middle class prosperity, but the infrastructure that supports those engines of growth has been ignored and allowed to rust away.

Better quality goods, better prices, lower taxes were the hallmarks of the pre-Phillips Curve economies in the west 1955-1969. Since then the currencies have crashed and unemployment has been consistently higher, particularly in solid middle class jobs.

Today all of the US job growth is in state capitals and the Washington DC area. Just compare Austin TX and Detroit MI if you want to see what these bastards have done to the middle class. I'm retiring, thank God! I'm done.

@Papa Jim--I would also agree with what you said as well. Our infrastructure has been left to rot and we need to rebuild and replace our roads, bridges, electrical grids, water pipes, sewer systems, and etc. Infrastructure jobs would create a boom. There is more than enough to take care of in the US without going all over the World.

Big Al the farm subsidies are more for corporations like Monsanto. They are used to buy farmers votes but then much of the money goes back to Monsanto for chemicals and genetically engineered crop seeds.

Oh. Did I do that?

The comments to this entry are closed.