Ford Motor (F) stock posted a 4% gain in August U.S. auto sales, soundly beating estimates on robust demand for its trucks, while Fiat Chrysler (FCAU), Honda Motor (HMC), Toyota Motor (TM) and Nissan Motor (NSANY) missed views. General Motors (GM) also reportedly missed.
Industrywide, U.S. sales were estimated at a 16.8 million seasonally adjusted annual rate, car platform Cox Automotive said. That compares with a SAAR of 16.6 million auto sales in August 2017 and 16.8 million in July 2018.
“There are a lot of things working against the automotive market right now: Incentive spending is maxed out, interest rates are rising, and vehicle prices are reaching record highs,” said Jeremy Acevedo, Edmunds’ manager of industry analysis. “Add to that the uncertainty that comes with renegotiating NAFTA and tariff talks and it amounts to what could be a challenging back half of the year for automakers.”
Tesla (TSLA) and GM do not report auto sales on a monthly basis, opting for quarterly reports instead. But sources told Bloomberg that GM’s August sales fell 13% amid a pullback on incentives, worse than analysts’ estimates for an 8% drop. Shares fell 1.25%.
Here are the results and estimates for automakers, with sales volume as well as sales growth or decline vs. August 2017:
Edmunds.com sales estimate: 205,305; down 1.8%
Results: Sales climbed 4.1% to 218,504 in August, powered by a 20.1% increase for SUVs. Trucks rose 5.7%, while cars sank 21.3%. Retail sales ticked up 1.1%, and fleet sales surged 15%.
F-series trucks hit 16 straight months of gains, with sales of 81,839 pickups rising 6.3% year over year for the best August since 2005, the automaker said. High-trim Super Duty pricing reached a record of $58,700 per truck.
Shares fell 0.2% to 9.48 on the stock market today. Ford stock sits at its lowest level in more than two years as proposed Trump tariffs on autos and China force Ford and other automakers to recraft strategies.
Edmunds.com sales estimate: 202,363; up 15.0%
Results: Sales grew 10% to 193,718 vehicles, led by SUV and truck truck demand. Jeep brand sales rose 20%, Ram brand sales vaulted 27%. Chrysler brand sales slipped 3%, Dodge brand lost 18% and Fiat brand cratered 35%. Sales of the luxury Alfa Romeo brand soared 96% vs. a year ago. Retail sales rose 17%, while fleet account for 15% of total sales.
Fiat Chrysler stock rose 1%.
Edmunds.com sales estimate: 228,757; up 0.5%
Results: Sales lost 2% to 223,055 units, despite strong light-truck sales. Toyota division sales slipped 1.2%; Lexus division sales tumbled 7.1%.
Shares of Toyota Motor lost 1.7%.
Edmunds.com sales estimate: 149,647; up 2.5%
Results: Sales gained 1.3% to 147,903 vehicles. Trucks jumped 18.9%; cars plunged 15.3%.
Honda Motor shares fell 2.2%.
Edmunds.com sales estimate: 120,379; up 11.1%
Results: Sales rose 3.7% to 112,376.
Nissan shares dipped 0.7%.
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