Pick-up trucks sell to men and so the Big 3 automakers make sure to pre-buy a lot of commercial time in the NBA Finals to sell the trucks.They obviously didn’t figure that gas would be selling at $4 a gallon when they bought the $millions worth of commercials. You’d think they might use the time to sell their small high mileage cars, but noooo. There is not enough margin in a Ford Focus, so here they are trying to sell the $50,000 F-250 Pick-up when nobody wants them.
Ford Motor and Chrysler expected to find themselves in a hard-fought showdown when they rolled out bigger, brasher pickup trucks this fall, hoping to enlarge their shares of a segment that has brought them huge profits.
Instead, Ford, Chrysler and General Motors have discovered $4-a-gallon gasoline and a housing slump to be more formidable foes. This year’s battle will be for pieces of a much smaller pie than they ever imagined.
A couple of months ago, I did a piece about how Shell Oil’s scenario planning unit, helped them get ready for a world of peak oil. With all the layers of management at Ford, GM and Chrysler, wasn’t there anyone doing strategic planning for a world of $4 gasoline?
It’s obvious to me that the $600 checks sent out by the government this month are not going to turn around a coming recession. Wal-Mart’s same store sales rose 3.9% in May ,a good bit better than expected. They cashed $350 million of rebate checks during the month. Over 20% of WMT’s regular customers don’t have checking accounts. On the other hand, Gap’s sales were off 14%. It says to me this is a one month push and it’s only going to help the bargain basement retailer.