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USA: Superstorm Sandy will have dramatic impact on sales

Manhattan, Tuesday 30 October 2012. Picture by ECA

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

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

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.

Brooklyn, Monday 29 October 2012. Picture by Bebeto Matthews, AP.

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.

Manhattan, Monday 29 October 2012. Picture by Andrew Burton/Getty Images/AFP.

This Post Has 4 Comments
  1. Might knock an immediate hole in sales, but there’ll be a lot of stock rebuilding to come, as that shot of the taxis suggests. Pity there’s no credit left in America.

  2. Just returning from a weekend in Paris, one of my favourite cities.
    I noticed that the French car market seem to have about 9 to 11 years old.
    A large variaty of marques and models… obviously the majority of them are Renault, Peugeot or Citroen. I also noticed the quantity of Fords, Bmw´s, Mercedes, Nissan, Toyota , mainly Yaris, vw´s aroud the city of ligth. Some old cars such as the Citroen CX, Renault Supercinque, Renault R4, Peugeot 504 or Citroen 2cv!
    Lots of porsches, some maseratis and ferraris in Champs Elysés…
    Next weekend Rome and then London.

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