While discussing the financial impacts of Sandy might not be the most compassionate subject given the loss of life and overall devastation it caused, it is a subject that needs to be considered as everyone tries to pick up the pieces and move on, trying to get to a sense of normalcy. The auto industry was not immune to the impacts of Sandy. The final days of October brought with it a storm that would impact auto sales by an estimated 30,000 units.
Final sales figures for October are in, and the number was 1,092,205. This was lighter that the 1.13 to 1.15 million that analysts were looking for. This number will not impact SiriusXM greatly, but there are issues beginning to formulate that could. SiriusXM automotive partner Chrysler has now seen unsold inventory grow to an 84 day supply, higher than the 60 day supply the industry has moved to in recent years. While the company has not announced a slow-down in production, that will soon be the case if the unsold supply continues to grow. Such events impact SiriusXM in that the subscriptions are counted from Chrysler when a car is produced. Essentially SiriusXM has seen a boost from the overproduction, and will see a dip if production slows.
Final sales figures for October by make will be published here on SiriusBuzz this evening. As yet, there is no real way to estimate the other impacts Sandy will have on auto sales. There were thousands of cars damaged in the storm, many beyond repair. This could actually provide a sales boost going into November and December, a positive impact for SiriusXM. It could also mean that consumers, faced with substantial costs to recover from the storm give up luxury items a potential negative impact. Only time will tell.
While the sales figures may have been slightly off, the overall recovery of the auto sector is carrying on. SiriusXM has guided to 1.8 million subscriber additions in 2012, and that guidance seems low by any standard. The company only needs to report some 300,000 subs in Q4 to reach the goal. The actual tally for the year could approach 2 million.