June Car Sales Reporting by Major Media Continues to Be Mean

Situation: Generally, and even specifically, the way that the Wall Street Journal and LA Times reported the June sales of new vehicles is almost as if they got real pleasure out of portraying the results as negatively as possible.

What do I mean?  Here are the “heads” from the stories in each; WSJ = “June Auto Sales Gains Disappoint;” LA Times = “Auto Sales Remain Lackluster as Carmakers Skimp on Incentives.”

The Journal had to acknowledge in the lead sentence that “U.S. car sales rose 71% in June” — then could not get to the part about sales being sluggish for the second straight month fast enough. The Times’ Jerry Hirsch said consumers had fewer choices (meaning fewer of two Japanese manufacturers) and higher prices then rushed to use the clever car terms “throttled back” and “dampened” sales to describe June sales volume.

What shoulda been the headline for both these stories?  Wall Street Journal= “June New Car Sales Up 71%;” LA Times “Automakers Sold 1M Vehicles in June, Up 7% From 2010.” Or they could have printed another “head” like “U.S. Auto Makers Gain 50% New Car Market Share in June.”

The Great News was: GM, Ford, Chrysler all were UP in June and YTD; Kia up 41% and even VW, who has a great opportunity in the U.S., was up nearly 30% in June.

What did these two leading print newspapers do right: Took the new vehicle sales data from Autodata and create some very visual and well-laid- out charts and graphics to create a picture of the sales results for those that are not prone to read their depressing content.

Another Obvious Conclusion: The so-called “decline” in Toyota and Honda sales is a “duh.” Everybody knew this would happen and everyone knows that both Japanese manufacturers will be back with asunder in the last quarter of 2011. The auto writers at these major national media need to look at reporting sales and manufacturers actions in a positive way as if they really want the U.S, economy to do well and the automotive sector to be successful.

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