US auto makers today told Congress their “rescue plan” now needs $34bn in support, whilst GM and Chrysler said they need an $11bn loan “just to survive the year”. US sales were down 37% in November, and are at their lowest annual rate since 1982:
• GM were down 41% versus 2008
• Ford were the best performer, but still down 30%
• Toyota were down 34%
• Chrysler were down 47%
In terms of overall demand, GM noted that “the annual volume of 2 production plants had simply evaporated in a single month”. Whilst Ford said they plan to produce only 62% of Q1 2008 volume in Q1 2009 – 430k vehicles compared to 692k – in order to align supply with demand.
European volumes are also continuing to decline, with October data showing a 15% fall versus last year. ACEA, the industry association, notes that “new car registrations have now decreased for 6 consecutive months”. New figures from the German association show that November sales were down 18%, double October’s fall.