UPDATE: Yesterday Wards Auto published a report that suggested Superstorm Sandy would have a dramatic impact on new car sales in the country. October registrations could be 200,000 to 300,000 units less than expectations. Wards Auto was forecasting a 15 million light-vehicle seasonally adjusted annual rate prior to the hurricane, but revised their SAAR to 14.5 million or lower in the wake of the storm.
Manhattan, Tuesday 30 October 2012. Picture by TheAustralian.com.au
As far as whether the replacement of damaged vehicles will offset this decline, Wards Auto says: “There will be an offset. How much will depend on how many vehicles need to be replaced vs. lost sales. Also, working through the damage could mean replacement sales extend into next year.”
Atlantic City, Monday 29 October 2012. Picture via Instagram.com
As deadly superstorm Sandy hits the East coast of the United States, the first images and videos of Manhattan and Brooklyn show streets, subway stations and tunnels filling with water and already extensive damage. Sandy is shaping up to be one of the worst natural disasters to hit the US in recent times and we all hope physical and material losses will be kept to a minimum.
Looking at it from a (somewhat trivial I admit) car sales angle, given how populated the struck area is at 60 million inhabitants, Sandy could impact the 2nd biggest new car market in the world, in two ways. By significantly slowing down sales during the period as most car dealerships close or get damaged, and/or by accelerating the sales rate in the coming months as car owners replace their damaged vehicles. This is exactly what happened – albeit at a much lower scale – when historical floods hit Queensland, Australia in 2011.