November 2010

Gloriously and Completely Wrong

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In our August, 2010 issue, I went out on an automotive limb and predicted that the aggregate total of the sales from the 2010 Monterey weekend would rebound from last year’s paltry $120m and reach the lofty, record-breaking plateau of $140m. The reaction on the web was immediate, with various chat rooms and blogs using that number as a way of pointing out just how out of touch I was with the market. Further, there was a certain delight evident in comments that decried SCM as just “being a cheerleader for the auction companies.”

In our weekly newsletter survey of June 29th, 2010 (in the odd world of magazine scheduling, this poll came out after the August SCM was shipped to the printer), we asked our readers what they thought the overall totals would be for Monterey. The highest total we offered as a choice was $160m, which 29% of the readers chose, making it the winner. However, 28% thought that $120m was likely to be the amount, and 21% voted for $140m. In other words, the results were more or less evenly divided in a range from $120m to $160m.

The last tent was down months ago, and the final car hauler carrying newly-acquired, four-wheeled booty has shown its taillights to Monterey, Carmel and Pebble Beach. And by now it’s no secret that the total for this year’s five sales was an astounding $172m. That’s a 43% increase from the previous year’s total of $120m, and a thumping $34m gain from the previous high, which was $138m in 2008. This issue is devoted to the Monterey results, and you’ll find the play-by-play dissection of the sales in the pages that follow.