The US auto industry
In the first seven months of 2017, US auto sales have fallen YoY (year-over-year). These dismal US auto sales figures have hurt mainstream US automakers’ stocks in 3Q17.
On the bright side, low oil prices are still boosting US truck sales, which has reduced the impact of a sharp fall in small car sales in the country. Let’s take a quick look how auto stocks have traded in 2017 so far.
Auto stocks’ performance this year
The year began on a mixed note for most auto stocks. As of August 28, 2017, General Motors (GM), the largest US automaker, has gained about 1.9% YTD (year-to-date). This gain was much lower than the 9.2% YTD rise by the S&P 500 (SPY). Weakening US auto sales and investors’ worries about extended weakness in auto demand could be some of the key reasons for GM’s underperformance.
Meanwhile, Ford Motor (F) has fallen about 11.0% YTD. In contrast, Fiat Chrysler (FCAU) has risen ~64.2% YTD. Fiat Chrysler has consistently improved its profitability in the last few quarters, which could be driving its stock higher.
In this series, we’ll look at Wall Street analysts’ recommendations for auto stocks in August. We’ll also discuss some recent developments for auto companies over the last few months.