East Coast auto dealers assess damage from Hurricane Irene
While Hurricane Irene marched up the East Coast over the weekend and tornados spun off, killing as many as 22 people and leaving millions without power, the massive storm will be known more for its deluge of rain which triggered huge floods with reports of billions of dollar in property damage.
Obviously, this will affect the next quarter sales for most automakers, as it will affect the commisssions on sales at dealerships, not to mention the stocks themselves. For the record, stocks like General Motors (NYSE: GM), Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F) and even Toyota Motors (NYSE: TM) have been in a trading trough for the past two months already.
The fact that auto dealers keep most of their inventories out of doors does not bode well for profits let alone auto sales on the East Coast. Aside from the water intrusion from driving rain, think high wind damage from flying debris and, for sure, flooding; not to mention other possible damages that can come with a massive hurricane like Irene.
Then there are the buildings. For sure the cars can be easily replaced, but not so fast with the dealership buildings. This will affect sales for a longer term.