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Monday, July 09, 2012 11:26 AM

Global Collapse In Auto Sales Coming Up

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In response to my post Plunging New Orders Suggest Global Recession Has Arrived I received a couple of interesting emails from readers, one from the US, the other from an employee of the world's largest automotive parts manufacturer.

Small US Distributor Responds

Dear Mish,

I am a small distributor and sell mostly to online stores. In the past 3 weeks, our business has dropped off a cliff.

Our retail store that usually has 5 orders a day, has had 1 in the past week. I also have a customer with an Amazon store and he has gone from 10 orders a day to a total of 1 order all this week.

Moreover, I have spoken with a number of other distributors and they are all begging for business. There is a dead silence in the buyers right now.

Something is definitely happening and it isn’t good. The numbers are not showing the real depth of this. I think we may see them fall off hard in the next 90 days.

Employee of German Manufacturer Robert Bosch Responds
Hi Mish,

Love your blog. I've written before.

I work for Robert Bosch in Germany. We make diesel injectors for common rail systems (truck and passenger car).

Our sales forecasts are again down and there is a huge crunch now to save money to try to squeeze out a profit at the end of the year. Sales are down 10% to business plan so they are looking for every dime right now.

The retiring CEO (Franz Fehrenbach...a good man) wishes for a "black 0" at the end of the year. However, I doubt that will happen.

Numerous older people have been given incentives to leave the company before official retirement age.

There are numerous closure days still planned. I would guess we can expect more.

So what you are seeing in the PMI is reality. I do not see or hear similar hints in the rest of the German economy yet......


Name Withheld by Mish
Notes About Bosch

Wikipedia has these details about Robert Bosch.
Robert Bosch GmbH (commonly known as Bosch) is a German multinational engineering and electronics company headquartered in Gerlingen, near Stuttgart. It is the world's largest supplier of automotive components.

Bosch's core products are automotive components (including brakes, controls, electrical drives, electronics, fuel systems, generators, starter motors and steering systems), industrial products (including drives and controls, packaging technology and solar panels) and consumer goods and building products (including household appliances, power tools, security systems and thermotechnology).

Bosch has more than 350 subsidiaries across over 60 countries and its products are sold in around 150 countries. Bosch employs around 303,000 people and had revenues of approximately €51.4 billion in 2011. In 2010 it invested around €3.8 billion in research and development and applied for over 3,800 patents worldwide. In 2009 Bosch was the leader in terms of numbers of patents at the German Patent and Trade Mark Office (GPTO) with 3,213 patents.
Global Auto Sales Collapse On The Way

Anecdotes are personal by definition, and thus cannot tell the full story.

However, anecdotal evidence is in sync with a collapse in new manufacturing orders globally as noted in Plunging New Orders Suggest Global Recession Has Arrived (same as link at top, repeated for convenience).

For more details on the US specifically, please see US Manufacturing ISM Contracts for First Time in Three Years; New Orders and Prices Plunge; Perfect Miss: 0 of 70 Economists Polled By Bloomberg Expected Contraction

Given the nature of Bosch's business, the reported slowdown in that business, and a plunging collapse in new manufacturing orders virtually everywhere, a collapse in global automobile sales is coming.

Perhaps there is one more channel-stuffing rise in sales coming up in the US (sales are reported when cars are delivered to dealers, not when consumers buy them), but if so, it will be the last big hurrah. 

Mike "Mish" Shedlock
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