The ‘big 4’ carmakers miss estimates in July


Four major automakers in the U.S. market on Tuesday reported July vehicle sales slightly below expectations as the pent-up demand that has helped drive sales since 2009 plays itself out.

In a continuing trend, consumers shunned passenger cars in favor of SUVs and pickup trucks. General Motors Co sales fell 2 percent to 267,258 vehicles, at the low end of analysts’ expectations. GM is No. 1 in U.S. auto sales.

Ford Motor Co.  Number 2 in U.S. auto sales, said its sales fell 3 percent in July at 216,479 vehicles, which was less than analysts had expected. Ford last week became the first major auto manufacturer to predict an end to increasing annual sales since 2009, a forecast that many Wall Street analysts had been making for months.

GM and U.S.-traded shares of Fiat Chrysler dropped about 4 percent while Ford fell 3.4 percent. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV said its sales rose 0.3 percent.

Analysts estimates of July sales, on an annualized basis ranged from 17.5 million to 18.1 million vehicles. Total sales for the month were seen at just below 1.5 million to 1.54 million vehicles among the 10 analysts polled by Reuters.

Ford said retail sales demand which are tied directly to individual consumers was weak. Retail sales are more lucrative to auto companies than fleet sales to businesses, government agencies and rental firms.

GM continued its strategy of concentrating on the more lucrative retail sales. GM’s retail sales for July rose 5 percent from a year earlier, while sales to rental agencies fell 42 percent as planned from a year ago.

FCA last week restated its monthly sales going back to 2011. It is under investigation by the U.S. Justice Department for its sales reporting practices.

Source : Reuters


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