Planet Gore

Big Three Sales: So Much For the Tsunami Excuse

The Obama Administration blames this year’s stalled recovery in part on the Japanese tsunami. But Detroit’s Big Three today report that sales were up double-digits in August thanks to . . . the Japanese tsunami.

The Detroit News reports that Washington-subsidized Chrysler led the way with sale gains of 31 percent, GM was up 18, and Ford gained 11 percent as Toyota sales “tumbled 12.7 percent in August to 129,483 vehicles…. The carmaker, among the hardest hit by the earthquake in Japan last March, is still trying to regain momentum after it had to shutdown production at many plants due to supply shortages. Honda Motor Co.’s sales dropped even further, down 24.3 percent.”

In other words, the tsunami has actually benefited the U.S. auto manufacturing sector — the one sector that the Obama Administration continually touts as a beneficiary of Obamanomics. Obama will spend Labor Day in Detroit (Motown is one of the few business towns that will actually cheer him), but it seems like the president has overstated the government’s impact and understated the benefits of “global-warming induced” Japanese earthquakes.

Room for more irony?

While the White House claims its “investments” are creating the green jobs of the future, Chrysler’s success is built on the jobs of the past. Sales of its Jeep SUVs continue to fuel the company’s rebound. The 2011 Jeep Compass for example, saw sales jump 130 percent

Were it not for tsunamis and SUVs, the Obama record would look a lot worse.

Henry Payne — Henry Payne is the auto critic for the Detroit News.

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