Sunday, December 8, 2019

How’s Socialism Doing In Venezuela?

from Freedom Outpost:

Once there was a South American country with a promising future. It had a functioning democracy, a rapidly developing economy, and a growing middle class. All the important indicators, including education, health care, and foreign investment, were pointed in the right direction.

It was far from perfect, but the mood was hopeful – and with good reason.

But now all that promise is gone. The country is a failed state, a hollowed-out shell of its former self.

Services like power and water are sporadic. The most basic consumer goods, from bread to toilet paper, are in chronically short supply.

Crime has skyrocketed.

Freedom of the press is almost non-existent.

Democracy has been replaced by a virtual dictatorship.

The country is, I’m sorry to say, my beloved Venezuela, a place in which my family has deep roots.

I can tell you what happened to it in one word: socialism.

In 1999, then-candidate for President Hugo Chavez promised to lead the people of Venezuela to a socialist paradise. His theme was “Esperanza y Cambio” – “Hope and Change”.

“Venezuela is a nation of great wealth,” Chavez said, “but it’s being stolen from its citizens by the evil capitalists and the evil corporations.”

This wrong would be righted, he assured the voters, if they elected him. And they did, to their everlasting regret.

Chavez drew inspiration from his mentor, Fidel Castro.

Like his mentor, he enjoyed giving speeches – some which lasted as many as seven hours! He even gave himself his own weekly television show where he would spontaneously break into song.

Here’s a rule: When your nation’s leader starts singing on national television, you’re in trouble.

Under Chavez, the government of Venezuela took over industry after industry.

The government, he assured everyone, would run these businesses better than private enterprise, and the profits would be “shared” by the people.

With great fanfare, he tore up contracts with multinational oil and gas companies and demanded that they pay much higher royalties.

When they refused, he told them to leave. They did.

His image was burnished by Hollywood celebrities who flocked to see the great work he was doing – taking money from the rich and giving it to the poor.

Progressive politicians from the US and Europe also praised him lavishly.

Here’s another rule: When Hollywood celebrities visit your country to praise your leader you’re in trouble.

When the leader sings on national television and is praised by Hollywood celebrities, you’re doomed.

Socialism always works in the beginning, so people are fooled…in the beginning.

It’s easy for governments to confiscate money, but eventually, there’s no more money to confiscate.

In the case of Venezuela, I mean that literally: People who could get money out of the country, did.

Read More @ FreedomOutpost.com

Van Halen, M&Ms, And The Next Market Downturn

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by Adam Taggart, Peak Prosperity:

The planet-sized egos of rock & roll performers are legendary.

Few things symbolize this better than the outrageous requests they often make when on tour.

These requests are referred to as “riders”, and appear in the contract a tour venue receives in advance of the artist’s arrival. These contract riders specify the physical conditions that the singer/band requires to be in place before arriving to perform. Stage lighting settings, sound equipment, furnishings, etc — that kind of stuff.

And these rider requests can get pretty funky – often extremely so — when it comes to backstage perks the performers want.

For example: A wooden pond filled with koi carp (Eminem). A driver who will not speak or make eye contact (Katy Perry). 20 white kittens and 100 doves (Mariah Carey). Seven dwarves (Iggy Pop). 50,000 bees (Slayer). A sub-machine gun (Mötley Crüe). And, yes, even a great white shark (Hank III).

The practice of making these kind of outrageous demands stems from a rider Van Halen inserted into the contract for its 1982 world tour, which insisted on a bowl of M&Ms to be provided backstage, but with all of the brown M&Ms removed.

As this image below of the actual rider shows, the band was very explicit in its seriousness about this:

Once the media got whiff of this, it had a field day roasting the band’s narcissistic chutzpah. A new high-water mark of diva capriciousness had been established, which quickly became legend. A feat of prima donnapampering that subsequent performers have been trying to top ever since.

But as crazy as it sounds, Van Halen’s “no brown M&Ms” rider had nothing to do with caprice. There was a solid rationale behind it.

In fact, it was quite brilliant.

The Importance Of Effective Indicators

Van Halen’s 1982 world tour was a massive production, involving a tremendous amount of gear and technical complexity. The contract the band sent in advance to venues was so thick due to all the details within, it was referred to as the “Chinese Yellow Pages”.

Non-compliance with the requirements in the contract could have serious consequences that could ruin the show, or even jeopardize lives.

So when the band rolled up to its next venue, it needed a quick way to determine if the stage crew there had complied with all of the specifications within its contract.

And that’s why the “no brown M&Ms” rider was inserted. The band could simply hop off the bus and check the candy bowl. If they found brown M&Ms, they knew the contract hadn’t been carefully read. And then they’d immediately call for a full-line check of the entire set.

As lead singer David Lee Roth detailed in his autobiography:

Van Halen was the first band to take huge productions into tertiary, third-level markets. We’d pull up with nine eighteen-wheeler trucks, full of gear, where the standard was three trucks, max. And there were many, many technical errors — whether it was the girders couldn’t support the weight, or the flooring would sink in, or the doors weren’t big enough to move the gear through.

The contract rider read like a version of the Chinese Yellow Pages because there was so much equipment, and so many human beings to make it function. So just as a little test, in the technical aspect of the rider, it would say “Article 148: There will be fifteen amperage voltage sockets at twenty-foot spaces, evenly, providing nineteen amperes …” This kind of thing. And article number 126, in the middle of nowhere, was: “There will be no brown M&M’s in the backstage area, upon pain of forfeiture of the show, with full compensation.”

So, when I would walk backstage, if I saw a brown M&M in that bowl … well, line-check the entire production. Guaranteed you’re going to arrive at a technical error. They didn’t read the contract. Guaranteed you’d run into a problem. Sometimes it would threaten to just destroy the whole show. Something like, literally, life-threatening.

Genius.

Through its rider, the band had created a easy-to-monitor and trustworthy indicator. No brown M&Ms, and the show was likely set up to go smoothly. But if otherwise, don’t perform until the entire venue is scrutinized for other missed requirements.

The lesson to take from Van Halen’s wisdom is that having good indicators is key to achieving success.

This is also extremely true for the world of investing, where you are deploying capital based upon an expected future return. How do you determine when it’s a good time to enter into an investment? Once in it, how do you monitor the conditions supporting your rationale for holding it — are those changing? And if so, are they getting better or worse? When should you exit the position?

For all of these questions, the better the indicators you use, the more accurate and informed your decision-making will be. And the better your returns as an investor will be.

Read More @ PeakProsperity.com

China ready to crush the petrodollar and reserve currency with new oil contract backed by Yuan and gold

by Kenneth Schortgen, Daily Economist:

On Sept. 1, a new report out of Asia is signaling China is ready to make their next move against the Petrodollar, and the next step in their plans to bring about a return to gold backed finance.

According to sources, China is preparing to roll out a new oil contract that will be denominated in Yuan, and convertible with physical gold.  The collaboration will take place between the two markets of the Shanghai Gold Exchange and the Shanghai International Energy Exchange.

China is expected shortly to launch a crude oil futures contract priced in yuan and convertible into gold in what analysts say could be a game-changer for the industry. 

The contract could become the most important Asia-based crude oil benchmark, given that China is the world’s biggest oil importer. Crude oil is usually priced in relation to Brent or West Texas Intermediate futures, both denominated in U.S. dollars. 

China’s move will allow exporters such as Russia and Iran to circumvent U.S. sanctions by trading in yuan. To further entice trade, China says the yuan will be fully convertible into gold on exchanges in Shanghai and Hong Kong. 

“The rules of the global oil game may begin to change enormously,” said Luke Gromen, founder of U.S.-based macroeconomic research company FFTT. 

China has long wanted to reduce the dominance of the U.S. dollar in the commodities markets. Yuan-denominated gold futures have been traded on the Shanghai Gold Exchange since April 2016, and the exchange is planning to launch the product in Budapest later this year. 

Yuan-denominated gold contracts were also launched in Hong Kong in July — after two unsuccessful earlier attempts — as China seeks to internationalize its currency. The contracts have been moderately successful. 

The existence of yuan-backed oil and gold futures means that users will have the option of being paid in physical gold, said Alasdair Macleod, head of research at Goldmoney, a gold-based financial services company based in Toronto. “It is a mechanism which is likely to appeal to oil producers that prefer to avoid using dollars, and are not ready to accept that being paid in yuan for oil sales to China is a good idea either,” Macleod said. – Nikkei Asia

This plan to replace the Petrdollar has been at least four years in the making, and below is a transcript of an article I wrote back in 2013 regarding this scenario.

Read More @ DailyEconomist.com

Bitcoin Hits All-Time High and Smashes Through $5,000 As Gold Shows Continued Strength And The Rothschilds Get Out Of The Stock Market

by Jeff Berwick, The Dollar Vigilante:

It feels like I am having financial Déjà vu as I write yet another blog about bitcoin hitting another all-time high! This one is kind of special though!

Our favorite currency just hit $5000 USD!

And Bitcoin Cash continues to trade above $600.

Meaning, if you owned bitcoin on August 1st and haven’t sold it yet, you now have a total value of over $5,600 of bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash!

And, 82.8{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} of people who own Bitcoin Cash after the August 1st fork have yet to sell their BCH.

On August 28th we wrote an article entitled “Cryptocurrencies Hit All-Time Highs, Gold Spikes Higher As Investors Flee The Stock Market” and in it we mentioned how the last ten weeks of US equity capital outflows which equated to roughly $30 billion coincided with a $47 billion capital inflow into the cryptocurrency markets.

And the precious metals continue to show strength with gold currently sitting at $1324 USD per ounce and $17.73 for gold and silver respectively.

In light of that fact, we got to thinking, what kind of capital movement is going on outside of the US stock market? It turns out, quite a bit in fact.

From Bloomberg:

“European equity funds suffered their biggest outflows in 26 weeks as a continuing rally in the euro heightened investor concerns over the region’s exporters.

Investors pulled $1.4 billion from the region’s stock funds, Bank of America Merrill Lynch said in a research report, citing EPFR Global data. That was the second consecutive week of outflows.”

It was just as we had suspected, investors are moving out of international stocks as well, which makes us wonder what they are expecting to happen? Do they foresee a large correction?

That the total market cap of cryptocurrencies sits at all-time highs around $178,134,988,499 gives us a clue that people are likely losing confidence in the fiat system and at the same time recognizing the crypto space as a great opportunity to both profit and protect themselves in the event of a crisis in fiat paper.

Read More @ TheDollarVigilante.com

The Donald’s Seinfeld Tax Plan – A Big Show About Nothing

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by Davis Stockman, Daily Reckoning:

Someone should remind the Donald that he actually is President and that it’s high time he accomplished something. Anything.

Back on April 21st, for example, he promised that a core feature of his platform — a sweeping, pro-jobs tax reduction — would be soon unveiled.

Trump said the tax reform package will be introduced on “Wednesday or shortly thereafter,” just before his 100th day in office. While the president would not reveal details about the tax plan, he did say that the cuts will be “bigger I believe than any tax cut ever.”

Well, we’ve passed the eighteenth Wednesday since that promise. What was actually delivered back then, of course, was a one-page statement of vague principles, fond aspirations and apple pie.

So in Springfield, Missouri this week, the Donald is launched tax reform efforts again. And yet again the White House spin brigade has already made clear that it’s all about tone, not substance.

That is, he will orate about tax fairness and closing loopholes, but not name any. He will promise big rate reductions but not say how big and for whom. He will promise to liberate jobs by slashing the corporate tax rate without explaining exactly why that will result in more jobs rather than more stock buybacks. And there were no numbers about how the implied trillions of revenue lost over the next decade will be paid for.

Instead, Donald puckered himself up into a meld of Huey Long and Jack Kemp while preaching up a storm in favor of the “little guy”. A reference to the average worker who purportedly is being crushed by the Federal income tax and who gets tangled in the complexity of the IRS code without a high-priced tax lawyer alongside loophole-savvy financial advisors.

Accordingly, the Donald is going to “unrig” the tax code for these little guys, thereby keeping faith with the millions of dispossessed citizens of Flyover America who voted for him last November.

Except that narrative is essentially nonsense. This isn’t 1981. There is no raging inflation and bracket creep propelling the middle class into tax tyranny. In fact, owing to indexing and large increases in the standard deduction and personal exemption over the last 35 years, the income tax has essentially morphed into a Rich Man’s Levy.

The Donald’s song and dance about tax simplification and reduction comes right out of the well-thumbed GOP hymnal. It speaks little to the blue collar folks — in places like the western Pennsylvania steel country, industrial Ohio, the Michigan auto belt and the manufacturing towns of Wisconsin and Iowa — who on the margin accounted for his electoral college victory.

The Donald, Tax Plan Rhetoric and the Gong Show

Trump’s tax reform airball will promise to make filing with the IRS more palatable to tens of millions of citizens who, apparently, find it inconvenient to shell out $25 to file their Federal income tax return with TurboTax.

Among the 148 million income tax filers, the bottom 53 million owed zero taxes in the most recent year (2014), and the bottom half (74 million) paid an aggregate total of just $45 billion. That amounted to just $8 per week per filer.

If you take all filers with AGI (adjusted gross income) under $100,000 per year, you end up with 122 million taxpayers or 83{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} of the total. Upwards of 85{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} of this group uses the standard deduction. So they are not caught up at all in the puzzle palace of IRS code that the Donald denounces.

The 122 million taxpayers — who make ends meet on less than $100,000 of income — paid a total of just $278 billion in income taxes during 2014. That was just 6.5{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} of their $4.3 trillion of AGI.

To be very clear, there was still $4 trillion left in the collective pockets of these 122 million taxpayers — even after the IRS had its way with them!

Even if a Keynesian demand side tax cut was a good idea, which it isn’t, the fact is there is not much more that could be put “back in their pockets” by income tax cuts.

The truth is that the Laffer Curve has gone missing. At average tax rates of under 7{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528}, the bulk of US wage and salary workers (83{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528}) are not facing prohibitive disincentives to work or production.

By contrast, the top 4{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} or 6.2 million filers paid $802 billion in Federal income taxes. That amounted to nearly 58{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} of total Federal income tax payments, and resulted in an average tax rate of 24{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} on the group’s $3.3 trillion of AGI.

That’s not to object to putting some of that $802 billion back into the pockets of the top 4{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528}. Many of them are small businessmen and the proverbial” job-creators” who make the economy grow, and who also file sub-chapter S business taxes. But incentivizing the job creators in this manner should not be financed on the backs of future taxpayers via borrowing. It must be paid for with spending cuts as a first resort, and less onerous taxes — such as consumption taxes or VAT (if necessary).

The Fed vs Trump’s Tax Plan

The Fed has generated such gigantic financial bubbles and caused all financial assets to become so massively overvalued that incentives for the rich are not really in short supply.

Federal Reserve Chair, Janet Yellen and the other Keynesian economists on the Fed have generated more “trickle-down” wealth and rewards than the Gipper could ever have imagined back in 1981. The $45 trillion in household wealth gains since the 2009 bottom vastly overshadows any possible benefits from lower tax rates, even at the top of the income ladder.

Even Trump’s Goldman duo of Gary Cohn and Steven Mnuchin are saying that there will be no “net cut” for the top tier of households.

If the bottom 83{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} don’t pay much tax in the first place, and if the top 4{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} who pay most of the taxes are not to be indulged for social policy/equity purposes, what’s the point of the whole income tax cut charade?

The Goldman geniuses are chasing themselves in a circle trying to cut the rates and broaden the base. But what it actually amounts to is amateurish stumbling around the K-Street corridor where every single “loophole” they propose to close is shot down.

Read More @ DailyReckoning.com

A2A with Chris Powell of GATA

by Turd Ferguson, TF Metals:

Chris Powell and Bill Murphy formed the Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee in 1998 and they’ve been stalwart allies in the fight against gold price suppression and manipulation ever since. What a pleasure it was today to get caught up with Chris and get his thoughts on the current state of the global market for gold.

As you listen, you’ll quickly be reminded that Chris is still one of the most informed and well-spoken advocates for our cause. Over the course of this webinar, he addresses a number of current issues including:

  • the most important lesson he’s learned in the 20 years he’s followed the gold market
  • the strange occurrence of SecTreas Mnuchin visiting Ft Knox and the equally strange television interview of Terry Duffy, the CEO of the CME Group
  • whether the US government would financially benefit from revaluing the price of gold
  • how physical demand will paly a role in finally ending the tyranny of the central banks and bullion banks
  • and much, much more!

Please be sure to give this discussion a thorough listen as you are almost certainly going to learn a few things that you didn’t previously know. And then, when you’re finished, please click over to the GATA site and send them some financial support. Their efforts are tireless and we need to ensure that they remain on our side in this fight. http://www.gata.org/node/16

Click HERE to listen.

Read More @ TFMetals.com

Harvey and Carmageddon: GM, Toyota, Subaru Kick Butt. FCA, Nissan, Hyundai Get Crushed

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by Wolf Richter, Wolf Street:

It gets complicated. But there’s a curious tidbit about prices.

On August 24, as hurricane Harvey was barreling into one of the largest urban areas in the US, Kelley Blue Book forecast unperturbed that new-vehicle sales would rise 1.5{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} year-over-year in the US to a total of 1.53 million units, based largely on the fact that August had one more selling day than a year ago.

“August should be the first year-over-year increase of 2017,” it said bravely.

It wasn’t rose-colored optimism though. The Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate (SAAR), which accounts for that extra selling day, would fall 3{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} year-over-year to 16.6 million units, it said.

But it was the eighth month in a row that forecasters were woeful unprepared for reality – though there was finally some good news from GM.

What we got…

  • Total new vehicle sales declined 1.9{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} year-over-year to 1.483 million light vehicles, according to Autodata. This is the number of vehicles sold and delivered by dealers to their customers, or delivered by automakers directly to large fleet customers.
  • Despite that extra selling day, it was the eighth month in a row of year-over-year declines.
  • Year-to-date, total new vehicle sales are down 2.7{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528}.
  • Car sales dropped 8.5{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} to 549,749 vehicles. They’re down 11.3{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} year-to-date.
  • Truck sales – which include pickups, SUVs, compact SUVs, and vans – had been booming as Americans are shifting from cars to trucks, particularly to compact SUVs (“crossovers”). Trucks accounted for 63{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} of total retail sales. But that boom too has slowed down this year. In August truck sales inched up 2.4{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} — not even enough to account for that extra selling day — to 933,581.
  • SAAR, which takes that extra selling day into account, dropped 6.4{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} year-over-year to 16.1 million.

General Motors digs out of its hole.

Car sales still plunged in August, but truck sales roared back to life, thanks to a slew of new SUV and compact SUV models that started taking off. Total sales jumped 7.4{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} year-over-year to 275,326. Year-to-date, total sales are still down 2.4{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528}.

  • Trucks sales soared 16.5{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} year-over-year to 206,698 units, and are up 4.7{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} year-do-date.
  • Car sales, which had been in collapse mode (down 19.3{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} year-to-date) dropped 13.2{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} in August, to 68,628 vehicles.
  • By brand: Chevrolet sales soared +11.4{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} (196,007 units); GMC +12{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} to 47,718; Buick sales plunged 23{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} (16,811 units); and Cadillac sales dropped 8{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} (15,016 units).
  • Inventory on dealer lots dropped to 88 days’ supply, from 104 days at the end of July. That’s still well above 60 days’ supply that is considered the upper limit of healthy, but it’s a huge move in the right direction.

Ford got hit by plunging SUV sales.

Total sales fell 2.1{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} to 209,029 vehicles and are down 4.0{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} year to date. By brand: Ford -2.2{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} (201,189 units) and Lincoln -5.8{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} (8,708 units).

  • Car sales dropped 8.6{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} to 47,652 vehicles and are down 18.9{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} this year.
  • Truck sales edged up 0.1{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} to 161,377 units and are up 1.9{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} for the year. F-series are doing well, up 9{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} to 96,619 units. But the hot segment of SUV is cratering, which should be a nerve-wrecking experience for Ford. SUV sales fell 11{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} to 65,626 units!
  • Ford ended the month with 67 days’ supply on dealer lots, up from 66 days in July.

Fiat-Chrysler loses it.

FCA US total sales dropped 10.6{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} to 176,033 and are down 7.7{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} for the year so far – going from bad to worse.

  • Car sales plunged 15.9{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} to 23,723 and are down 22.4{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} year-to-date. At this pace, FCA will soon give up on selling cars. None of its cars are made in the US anymore. And not even the Chinese automakers are interested in acquiring the car lines. All they want, if anything, is Jeep. Of FCA’s total sales in the US, cars account for only 13.4{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528}.
  • But even truck sales plunged 9.7{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} to 152,310 and are down 4.9{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} for the year.

3 winners, 5 losers among other major automakers.

Toyota total sales rose 6.8{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} to 227,625 units, but remained down 1.3{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} for the year. It was once again the second largest auto seller in the US overall, behind GM and ahead of Ford.

  • Car sales dropped 7.2{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} to 92,912. But that’s nearly twice as many cars as Ford sold and 35{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} more than GM sold.
  • Truck sales soared 19.2{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} to 134,713 and are a up 9.3{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} for the year. At this pace, they may soon catch up with Ford truck sales.

Honda total sales declined 2.4{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} for the month to 146,015 and are down -0.5{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} for the year.

  • Car sales rose 2.6{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} to 75,354 but are down 4.3{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} for the year. Honda is the second largest car seller in the US, behind only Toyota.
  • Truck sales dropped 7.2{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} for the month to 70,661 but are up 3.5{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} for the year.

Nissan total sales plunged 13.1{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} for the month to 108,326, but are still up 0.1{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} for the year.

  • Car sales collapsed 18.8{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} to 46,900 and are down 12.3{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} year-to-date.
  • Truck sales dropped 8.1{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} to 61,462 but are up 14.7{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} year-to-date. This is a dizzying turn from July, when truck sales had been up 18.3{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528}.

Subaru total sales rose 4.6{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} to 63,215, up 8.1{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} year-to-date. Car sales rose 9.0{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} to 34,864 and truck sales edged down 28,351. Note that Subaru car sales are up 11{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} for the year: not every automaker suffers from plunging car sales!

Hyundai Motor Group, oh dearie! The conglomerate includes Hyundai and Kia. Kia was barely hanging on, with a sales decline of less than industry average. But Hyundai sales are still in collapse mode.

  • Hyundai total sales plummeted 24.6{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} to 54,310, by far the steepest crash of the major automakers. Year-to-date, sales are down 12.7{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528}. Car sales collapsed 32.8{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} to just 33,079. Truck sales fell 6.8{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} to 21,231 units.
  • Kia total sales edged down 1.7{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} to 53,323 units, and are down 8.4{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} so far this year. Car sales rose 9.2{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} to 36,762, but truck sales plunged 19.5{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} to 16,561 and are down 18.9{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} year-to-date, in truck-focused America.

Volkswagen Group sales rose 6.1{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} to 52,112. This includes Audi, Volkswagen, Bentley, and Lamborghini. Year-to-date, sales are up 6{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528}.

Daimler sales dropped 8.5{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} to 29,183 and are down 3.1{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} year-to-date.

BMW sales dropped 8.0{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} to 28,115 and were down 5.7{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} year-to-date. This includes BMW, Mini, and Rolls Royce. Rolls sales were up 73{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} to 114 cars. BMW was down 7.7{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} and Mini plunged 10.5{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528}.

Here’s a curious tidbit about prices.

According to KBB’s estimates, incentives by automakers averaged over 10{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} of transaction prices and, as it said, “are helping support retail growth” – though the word “growth” may be the wrong term. But they do keep retail sales from falling faster.

Here’s the curious tidbit: despite those huge incentives, the estimatedaverage transaction price for light vehicles ($34,648) in August was up $243 or 0.7{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} from a year ago! This is the result of two factors: buyers shifting from cheaper cars to more expensive SUVs, and automakers slapping higher sticker prices on their vehicles.

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