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2008: One of the Worst Years in Fleet History

I can’t recall a year as tumultuous as 2008. The year started with the Jan. 1 termination of the $1.8 billion merger between GE and PHH and ended with the near bankruptcy of GM and Chrysler. In between, we witnessed record fuel prices, then a spectacular freefall in fuel prices, a dismal used-vehicle market, unprecedented credit gridlock, the inability of some fleets to order new-vehicles, and fleet delivery disruptions due to a UAW strike and an epic Midwest flood that submerged rail lines.

Mixed 2008 OTD Performance: Some Models Up, Some Down

The 2008 model-year produced mixed results in order-to-delivery (OTD) perfromance. A protracted UAW strike and flooding in the Midwest delayed some models, while other models posted improved OTD due to reduced retail sales, which expedited fleet production. In addition, there was sufficient rail car availability due to soft retail sales and a decrease in quality holds.

Ed Bobit's Publisher's Page

What in the world is going on? Maryann Keller of the Paine Webber brokerage house and auto research oracle J. D. Power and Associates both predict that import registrations will rise from the current 27 percent to 35 percent by 1985.

Editor's Page

Every three years this thing happens. It's like a salesman storing his car for a couple of months when he desperately needs it for calls; or like being hospitalized for an equal period and finding out you are all right later. ... This thing is called an auto strike.

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