Three leading automakers released their third-quarter US auto sales numbers yesterday. Ford Motor’s (F) sales fell 4.9% YoY (year-over-year), while General Motors’ (GM) sales rose 6.3% YoY. Fiat Chrysler’s (FCAU) sales were almost flat.
Auto sales beats and misses impact stocks
All three auto stocks fell yesterday. GM stock fell the most, by 4.0%. Despite its sales rising, GM missed analysts’ sales estimate by 1.3%. Ford and Fiat, which beat analysts’ sales targets by 1.8% and 1.2%, respectively, saw their stocks fall 3.3% and 2.0% yesterday.
Peers Tesla (TSLA) and Ferrari (RACE) also fell yesterday, by 0.6% and 3.2%. While analysts expect Tesla to deliver 98,000 units in the third quarter, a leaked email from CEO Elon Musk suggests it could reach 100,000 deliveries.
A broader market sell-off also hit auto stocks. The Dow Jones collapsed as Institute for Supply Management PMI data showed the US economy had contracted. To learn more, read Dow Jones Index Loses over 400 Points, Panic Grips Wall Street.
Ford’s auto sales fall amid restructuring
Ford’s sales fell 4.9% to 580,251 vehicles in the third quarter, with its car sales falling 29.5% to 77,231, and its SUV sales falling 10.5% to 193,100. However, sales of trucks, which account for most of Ford’s sales, rose 8.8% to 309,920 vehicles. Ford is planning to alter about 75% of its product portfolio in North America over the next two years as part of its global restructuring.
In a press release, Ford US marketing, sales, and service vice president Mark LaNeve said, “As planned, this year is a transitional one for Ford as we move from our sedan lineup to an all-new winning portfolio of trucks and SUVs. Ranger sales continue to accelerate and the all-new Explorer and Escape are hitting dealer showrooms now.”
GM’s sales rise across brand portfolios
In the third quarter, GM’s sales rose 6.3% to 738,638 vehicles. Chevrolet sales, which accounted for most of the company’s sales, rose 4.6% to 507,273 units. Chevrolet brands’ performance was mixed. Sales of the top-selling Silverado LD and the Equinox rose 18.0% and 2.3%, respectively.
Meanwhile, Buick, Cadillac, and GMC sales rose 10.2%, 7.2%, and 11.4%, respectively. For GMC, the second-biggest contributor to GM’s auto sales, sales of its best-selling vehicle Sierra LD rose 38.2%.
Fiat sees mixed results across brands
Fiat sales rose 0.1% to 565,034 vehicles in the third quarter, with Jeep sales falling 2% and Ram sales rising 15%. These two brands accounted for almost 75% of Fiat’s auto sales in the quarter.
Lower Compass, Cherokee, and Renegade sales dragged down Jeep sales, while higher Wrangler, Grand Cherokee, and all-new Gladiator sales supported them. Ram sales were boosted by the bestselling Ram pickup and ProMaster van. Fiat’s Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat brand, and Alfa Romeo sales slumped in the third quarter.