by Mish

Nearly every company performed worse than expected, and expectations were down across the board.

Boom Over

Reuters reports Automakers’ April U.S. Sales Drop; Wall St. Fears Boom is Over.

  • GM, the No. 1 U.S. automaker, reported a 6% decline in April sales to 244,406 vehicles.
  • Ford, the No. 2 U.S. automaker, reported a 7.2% decline in April. Ford car sales dropped 21% and trucks declined 4.2%, while SUV sales rose 1.2%.
  • Toyota reported a drop of 4.4%. Lexus sales slid 11.1%. U.S. car sales at the Japanese automaker were down 10.4%, while truck sales were up 2.1%.
  • Fiat-Chrysler reported sales were off 7%

“GM said its consumer discounts were equivalent to 11.7 percent of the transaction price. The automaker also said its inventory level rose to 100 days of supply at the end of April versus around 70 days at the end of 2016. Recent levels have worried analysts, and GM has promised inventories will be down by the end of 2017.”

Missed Estimates

Bloomberg reports Auto Sales Fall for Fourth Straight Month

Quote of the Day

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The U.S. market is plateauing, Mark LaNeve, Ford’s vice president of U.S. marketing, sales and service, said on a call with analysts and reporters.

I’m not discouraged by the number,” he said. “In this kind of industry, there’s going to be these kinds of months.”

Plateauing? Really?

I discussed complacency yesterday in Three Big Red Flags for Auto Sales.

The three red flags according to Automotive News are leasing, incentives, and inventory.  I added a fourth: complacency in the face of falling demand and rising incentives.

Effect on GDP

Auto sales make up about 20% of consumer spending. The big second quarter GDP bounce economists expect is highly unlikely, to say the least.

Mike “Mish” Shedlock

Auto Inventories Highest Since July 2009:Concerns Mount, Ford Vehicle Sales Decline 7.2%, GM Up 1.6%

More auto numbers will come in later in the day, but the initial reports show Mixed Sales Results in March.

Three Big Red Flags for Auto Sales

In March, auto sales unexpectedly declined 5.7%. Forecasts now suggest April will mark the fourth straight monthly decline in U.S. vehicle sales.

Auto Sales Weak Again, Average Loan Hits Record 5.75 Years: Don’t Worry “Plateau Expected”

With about 3/4 of the totals in, vehicle sales in June are running no better than even compared to May’s 16.7 million annualized rate according to Econoday.

Collision Course: Motor Vehicle Production +0.5%, Motor Vehicle Sales -4.4% Year-Over-Year

In the third poor economic report today, we learned industrial production declined 0.4% vs. an Econoday Consensus of -0.2%.

J.D Power and LMC Estimate July Auto Sales Down Five Percent, Time in Inventory Highest Since 2009

July auto sales based on mid-month totals look grim despite record incentives. Industry analysts J.D Power and LMC estimate U.S. July auto sales down 5 percent.

Auto Sales Jump as Hurricane Replacement Continues: Ford Sees "Plateau"

Ford, Toyota, Honda, and Nissan reported monthly gains in the U.S., setting the stage for a strong industry finish in 2017. Economists misinterpret this hurricane-related impact with actual, ongoing strength.

Auto Sales Final Numbers: Down 5.7%, Two-Year Low; Don’t Worry, It’s Just a Plateau!

The final motor vehicles numbers for March are now in. First Quarter GDP estimates will dive as sales were far below the lowest estimate.

Auto Sales Jump Following Hurricanes

Auto sales are running substantially above estimates according to Econoday.

GM Says “Market is Definitely Slowing” Lowers Outlook for Vehicle Sales

Reuters reports GM Lowers Outlook for U.S. 2017 New Vehicle Sales, but not by enough in my estimation.