Willie Brown, Meet Willie Voegeli: From "Willie's World," a column written by former California Assembly Speaker Willie Brown :
Bailout II Watch, Accountability Edition: Back in October, Big Money 's Matthew DeBord saw hope for General Motors, and trouble for Toyota ("the competition"), in the year end sales trends:
At the moment, signs are actually good for the Big Three. All are seeing their U.S. market share increase, while Toyota and Honda are seeing theirs trend down. ...
For GM in particular, this is an important trend. In 2008, it saw a market-share spike at the end of the year (currently, its market share is about 20 percent). [E.A.]
DeBord didn't back down when challenged ("a trend is a trend")--even citing, as evidence of this "trend," the prediction from Edmunds.com that GM's share would "rise to just over 22 percent in October, comparable with its share from a year ago." Truth About Cars and kf scoffed. The results are now in. So who was right?
By my calculations, GM's market share in October was 21%, a point under the Edmunds' prediction. (A point is a big deal in the auto market.) It then fell back to a little over 20%. Over the three months since DeBord's trend-sighting--the last three months of 2009--GM's share has
held steady at about 20.45%. Mighty blunt spike (though a small improvement over the previous lousy quarter).
Meanwhile, Toyota's share didn't trend "down," despite a legitimately damaging can't-turn-off-the-engine scandal . Toyota got 18.1% of the last three month's sales, also a small improvement over the previous quarter (17.5%).
I would say DeBord, grasping at phantom trends, was close to 70% wrong. Your mileage may vary.
P.S.: Grim spikeless long term GM charts available here and here . According to a GM director, the corporation's recovery plans are based on maintaining at least a 19 percent share . So far, that minimal goal has been achieved. (With enough incentives .... ) But there's no promising year-end consumer shift in GM's favor. And Toyota is not in trouble. ... 9:54 P.M.
Proof that, given freedom from heavy-handed regulation and the right human capital infrastructure, the profit-driven hipsters of Silicon Valley can create new bureaucracies just as inane as the government's in a matter of months. ... 9:47 P.M.