US Auto Sales Are Looking Good, Not Great (F, GM, TM)

Sam Ro

The world's big automakers are announcing their July U.S. sales stats. And while the numbers mostly reflect growth, they're falling short of analysts' expectations.

Chrysler sales increased by 20% year-over-year in July. But, it was a bit lighter than the 22.5% jump expected.

Also disappointing was GM. Sales climbed 9.4%, but fell short of expectations for an 11.0% gain.

Ford, however, said its U.S. auto sales grew by 9.5% in July, beating expectations for 9.2% growth.

Analysts estimate the annualized pace of sales slipped to 16.7 million units in July from 16.9 million in June.

"Mid-month industry surveys indicate that overall sales only pulled back slightly in July after rising to an eight-year high of 16.9 million in June, and our AlphaWise team is seeing similar trends," Morgan Stanley's Ted Wieseman said. "Retail sales appear to have moved higher, but fleet demand pulled back after strong upside last month."

Some analysts warn that we could be doomed for a reversal in the auto market.

“We have little doubt that we’re in bubble territory,” said Morgan Stanley auto analyst Adam Jonas to Reuters. “We’ve blown through prior (sales) peaks in terms of value, the amount of money people are spending on automobiles. We’re in uncharted territory right now.”

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Here's our running tally:

  • Chrysler: +20% (Est. 22.5%)
  • Ford: +9.5% (Est. 9.2%)
  • GM: +9.4% (Est. 11.0%)
  • Toyota: +11.6% (Est. 10.6%)
  • Nissan: +11.4% (Est. 14.0%)

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