wolfstreet.com / by Wolf Richter / November 18, 2016
When the oil bust started in July 2014, it was just a blip. By 2015, bankruptcies were cascading through the oil patch. In early 2016, with WTI down over 70% from its pre-bust levels, it got even worse. But the price has recovered some, and new money is flowing back into the sector, and so it would seem that there’d be some kind of recovery in Houston.
But the opposite is the case: it’s now getting really tough.
Sales of new cars and trucks fell 17% in October year-over-year, according to TexAuto Facts, published by InfoNation via Greater Houston Partnership. It was the tenth month in a row of year-over-year declines. So far this year, sales, at 253,000 vehicles, have plunged 22.1% compared to the same period last year.
New car sales plunged 19% in October and 30% year-to-date. Texas is truck country. About three-quarters of all passenger vehicles sold are trucks or SUVs. So you’d think trucks would be the last thing people delayed or stopped buying. But no. Sales of new trucks, SUVs, and vehicles with commercial tags plunged 16% in October and 17% year-to-date.