US Auto Sector Indicator Points to Slowdown

US Auto Sector Indicator Points to Slowdown

US Auto Sector Indicator fell in May as consumers curbed spending ahead of the summer driving season.

General Motors Company (NYSE:GM) sold 240,450 vehicles in May, down a whopping 18 percent from a year ago. Industry researcher had forecast 254,643 deliveries.

General Motors Company (NYSE:GM) sales fell across brands, including Buick, down 22.1 percent, and Chevrolet, 18.6 percent.

Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) sales fell 5.9 percent year-over year to 235,997 vehicles, missing’s estimate of 242,771 units. Ford brand sales fell but luxury brand Lincoln posted a 5.9 percent rise.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles reported a one percent rise in US sales in May, better than the market expected. Leading the gain was a 14 percent jump in Jeep brand vehicles; Chrysler brand sales fell 19 percent. FCA shares dropped 1.8 percent.

Toyota, said its US sales fell 9.6 percent but noted that the month of May this year has two fewer selling days than in 2015.

Toyota brand sales dropped 9.5 percent and sales of the Japanese company’s luxury brand Lexus were down 10.1 percent.

Sales of Toyota’s fuel-economy hybrid Prius plunged 36 percent from a year ago and were down about 25 percent since the beginning of 2016.

Volkswagen reported US vehicle sales fell 17.2 percent in May, bringing the total decline over the first five months of the year to 13 percent.

Audi, one of VW’s brands, separately reported a 1.6 percent rise in sales.

Analysts had expected softer May sales following a blockbuster April as a seven-year boom in the auto industry shows signs of moderating. Though job growth has been solid and wages are inching up, consumers have recently turned a bit less optimistic about the health of the US economy.

According to Autodata Corporation, May’s sales pace was at an annual rate of 17.45 million units, up two percent from April, but down six percent from a year ago.

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Shayne Heffernan Funds Manager at HEFFX holds a Ph.D. in Economics and brings with him over 25 years of trading experience in Asia and hands on experience in Venture Capital, he has been involved in several start ups that have seen market capitalization over $500m and 1 that reach a peak market cap of $15b. He has managed and overseen start ups in Mining, Shipping, Technology and Financial Services.