For the first time in eight months the automobile production rose in Japan. The Japanese Automobile Manufactures Association reported that rising compact car exports to the U.S. boosted production 1.7% in August, but expects U.S. sales to slump in the wake of terrorist attacks.
According to J.D. Powers, sales at U.S. dealerships were down 16% Saturday compared to four weeks ago. That's better than the 40% drop following the September 11th attacks, but the impact to auto manufactures is unknown.
Isuzu Motors announced that they would trim production by 20% in light of declining sales.
General Motors, which owns 49% of Isuzu, will discontinue production of its Camaro and Firebird sports cars after the 2002 model year. More than four million camaros have been sold since 1967, but sales have dropped to a paltry 42,131 due to the popularity of sport utilities and pickup trucks.
My first car was a 1977 Camaro, and granted I spent as much time working on it as I did driving it, but it was a muscle car, a piece of American culture. I can't imagine Bruce Springsteen singing, "I got a 2002 Yukon with a 4.0 liter engine, dvd player and a cup holder on the floor...I met her on the strip three years ago in an Yukon with this dude from L.A. I blew that Yukon off my back, and drove that little girl away." Just doesn't havethe same panache.
General Motors Weekly Chart
General Motors (GM) is up 35 cents today, but wary investors have pushed the stock down over $9. Now below support at $47, GM will have to deal with that resistance level on the way back up. Should GM continue decline, perhaps it can garner support at $38, 1995 lows. This stock could very well continue to trade between these two levels.
Ford Daily Chart
Shares of Ford (F) haven't faired much better, losing 14.8% since September 11th. A small effort is being made to recoup those losses, but Ford has yet to close the gap that formed last Monday. Climbing above resistance at $20 should be made more difficult thanks to a rapidly declining 50-day moving average.