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What Should You Expect from US Auto Sales in February 2018?

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Auto stocks in February 2018

In February 2018, the stocks of all mainstream US auto companies (IYK) are trading on a mixed note. As of February 26, General Motors (GM), Ford (F), and Fiat Chrysler (FCAU) have lost about 2.1%, 0.7%, and 10.0%, respectively. Meanwhile, Japanese automakers Toyota (TM) and Honda (HMC) have risen 0.4% and 4.1%, respectively, in this month so far. 

In comparison, the S&P 500 benchmark has fallen 1.6% on a month-to-date basis. Investors’ low expectations for February US auto sales and the broader market weakness could be the key reasons for this pessimism in the majority of auto stocks.

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February US auto sales estimates

According to Autodata, US auto sales were ~1.2 million vehicle units in January 2018. This suggested an increase of ~1.0% from ~1.1 million units sold in January 2017. In 2017, US auto sales fell 1.8% YoY (year-over-year).

According to Edmunds.com estimates, US auto sales in February 2018 could be 1.27 million units, down 4.1% compared to 1.33 million units sold in February 2017. The estimate also highlighted that the February 2018 US sales could be about 10.8% higher than the previous month.

In 2016, US auto sales volumes were at their highest point, with ~17.6 million vehicle units sold.

Series preview

In this series, we’ll explore the January 2018 Chinese sales figures of the two largest US automakers: GM and Ford. We’ll understand what these sales figures could mean for these auto companies’ future growth. In the next part, we’ll look at Ford’s China sales data for January 2018.

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