Friday, June 20, 2008

Auto Sales

China is on track to sell 10 million cars to its population this year. Anyone doubting that we're in recession should look at this:

China is trying to keep their oil subsidies in the ~$26Billion/year range. That means that as their consumption increases, they will approach world prices. The recent price hike is but the first step (they still are about $1/gallon under world prices).

Also, do not forget that India's consumption is increasing too.

Now India auto sales are a fraction of the US and China. They're about 100k per month (not quite). But with Tata passing Hyundai to become the #2 auto seller in India... with the upcoming Nano they could break away and push India into the big leagues. That is, assuming India Highway construction can catch up to China's construction.

Why does this matter? Oil is impacting the economy. A huge fraction of jobs are tied to cars. Are car sales down due to the economy or gasoline sales? I believe both. Fewer car commuters is a good thing long term if they can be accommodated by efficient and effective mass transit. Short term that's an issue. Unwanted rapid changes in the economy are a destabilizing influence.

Can I hope that LA can reclaim some of the huge amount of land dedicated to cars and re-allocate it to better uses? (Start with rail and later put in some trees!)

Got Popcorn?

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