The car industry crash, by the numbers

A close look at what used to be known as the Big Three

by selley

The car industry crash, by the numbers

As a rule, recent years have not been kind to automakers. But amidst the general chaos, the North American car manufacturers—formerly the “Big Three,” now more accurately known as the “Detroit Three”—have sunk well below the rest. As the CEOs of Ford, General Motors and Chrysler plead for mercy from Washington, Macleans.ca presents a statistical snapshot of their nightmare.

Highest stock price of the five largest publicly traded automakers as of the Nov. 20 close on the New York Stock Exchange: $59.79 (Toyota)

Toyota’s stock price on Nov. 20, 2007: $110.07

Best performance of those five stocks over the past year: -43.9% (Honda)

Poorest performance: -89% (GM)

GM’s projected average labour costs for 2008: $69 per hour

Percentage change from 2006: -5.8%

Toyota’s projected average labour costs for 2008: $48 per hour

Toyota’s labour cost advantage: 43.8%

Average hours of labour needed to produce a Toyota automobile in 2007: 30

Average hours needed to produce a Chrysler automobile: 30

Estimated pre-tax, per-automobile profit earned by Toyota: $922

Estimated profit earned by Chrysler: -$412

Total amount the Ontario and Canadian governments, combined, boast of investing in GM’s two Canadian assembly plants: $435 million

Number of compact, subcompact or hybrid models manufactured at those plants: 0

Average rating, out of 100, Consumer Reports awards the Chrysler, GM and Ford products manufactured in Canada: 58

Average rating for the Toyota and Honda products manufactured in Canada: 77

Rating awarded to the Ontario-built Mercury Grand Marquis, the poorest-scoring large sedan: 43

Number of “highs,” or positive points, Consumer Reports ascribes to the Grand Marquis: 1 (its “large trunk”)

City fuel consumption of the 2009 Cadillac Escalade, according to GM specifications: 17.7 litres per 100 km

Average fuel consumption of the 2009 Cadillac Escalade Hybrid, as tested by Wheels.ca: 16.2 litres per 100 km

Change in number of cars and light trucks sold in the U.S. thus far in 2008, compared to 2007: -14.6%

Change in sales of Ford, GM and Chrysler products, combined: -21.2%

Change in number of cars and light trucks sold in Canada thus far in 2008, compared to 2007: +1.4%

Change in sales of Ford, GM and Chrysler products, combined: -6.3%

Greatest increase in Canadian sales over that period: +57.1% (smart), +34.7% (MINI)

Greatest decrease: -28.6% (Saab), -28.1% (Volvo)

Years since GM bought Saab and Ford bought Volvo, respectively: 18, 9




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The car industry crash, by the numbers

  1. Rank of the name “Grand Marquis” among nostalgic, turning-their-back-on-the-21st-century car names: 1

  2. A few more numbers:

    - GM and Ford burned through $14.6 billion during third quarter of ’08.

    - JOBS Bank – UAW members laid off buy Detroit 3 get 95% of their salaries after EI payments run out.

    - Chrysler has $6.1 billion in bank but is burning $3 billion per quarter.

    - GM has been described as a health company that sells cars on the side because for every employee it has currently, it is responsible for 4.61 retirees or their surviving spouses.

    - As of 2005, GM had legacy costs of $1,600 per vehicle sold and it has increased a bit since then.

  3. Yeah, I cannot quite get why the Detroit automakers were not lobbying for the past 15 years for universal health care in the US. It could have saved them a bundle. That $20/hr difference in labour costs is almost entirely health care for retirees that the Detroit Three owe.

    And you cannot blame the UAW for asking for it – otherwise the pensions devalue by $1000/month minimu as a result of the retirees having to buy health coverage out of their own pocket.

  4. “Rating awarded to the Ontario-built Mercury Grand Marquis, the poorest-scoring large sedan: 43

    Number of “highs,” or positive points, Consumer Reports ascribes to the Grand Marquis: 1 (its “large trunk”)”

    This is getting ridiculous. The Grand Marquis isnt even sold in Canada as Mercury was taken out of Canada more than a decade ago.

    The negative propaganda in media is maddening. What about the Edge, or Lincoln MKX, or Flex. All built in Canada and all with fantastic reliability scores?

    How about Ford’s reliability scores on par with Toyota and Honda…The highest amount of vehicles with top safety picks. What about those numbers??

    Its easy to bully when the kid is already down.

  5. And you cannot blame the UAW for asking for it – otherwise the pensions devalue by $1000/month minimu as a result of the retirees having to buy health coverage out of their own pocket.

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