Canadian auto sales post record gains through March

Apr 05, 2017, 01:31
Canadian auto sales post record gains through March

In February, auto sales remained flat amid incentive-splurge and the bump up provided by the President's Day holiday weekend. Also, insider Ziad S. Ojakli sold 50,309 shares of the firm's stock in a transaction on Thursday, March 16th. Sequentially, sales were up 12 percent.

The automotive industry is trying to start the second quarter with its best foot forward on Monday, but sales reports look weak initially. Fiat Chrysler (FCAU) and Toyota Motor (TM) reported year-over-year declines. "But there are several areas of concern this year lurking just below the surface".

Long story made short, with the mostly meaningless exception of Nissan Motor Co Ltd (ADR) (OTCMKTS:NSANY), all the major vehicle brands in the U.S.

Major U.S. automakers' sales figures for March came in below market expectations and gave early evidence that America's long, robust boom cycle for vehicle sales may finally be losing steam. Norges Bank bought a new stake in shares of Ford Motor Company during the fourth quarter valued at about $277,396,000. Sales of sport-utility vehicles, crossovers and pickup trucks increased 5.5% to 117,521, reflecting a record March.

Automakers also are raising incentives a bit to keep sales moving, he said.

GM, Fiat Chrysler and Ford weren't the only automakers posting sizeable gains - Honda sales jumped 18.7 per cent to 17,392 vehicles, while Nissan enjoyed a 26.7 per cent jump to 14,523 vehicles.

Meanwhile, commercial deliveries rose 3 percent, helped by a 67 percent increase in Malibu deliveries and strong pick up and large van sales.

In related news, Chairman William Clay Ford, Jr. acquired 171,379 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Friday, March 24th.

The Dearborn-based automaker did report 10 percent growth for sales of its F-Series in March, though sales for all other Ford trucks fell by at least 17 percent. Sales of the Edge's upscale sibling, the Lincoln MKX, fell 3%. It sold 30,115 total vehicles in March, an increase of 22.9 percent from a year ago when it sold 24,498 cars and trucks.

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Ford said its average transaction price rose $1,800 last month, compared with the industry average of $190. Through the first three months of the year, sales of the F-Series are up more than 10% compared to last year's first quarter, and topped 205,000 units.

In the first-quarter, GM's retail sales were 546,838 units, up 1.9 percent, and retail market share was up 0.2 percentage points to an estimated 16.8 percent.

Toyota sales slid 2.1% vs. views for a 1.2% gain. With March 2017 having the same selling days as 2016, sales fell 2.1 percent on a daily selling rate basis.

Nissan's overall sales rose 3.2 percent with trucks and SUVs rising 29 percent for the Nissan and Infiniti brands combined.

At Honda, auto sales fell 8.7 per cent, while truck and SUV sales rose 8.4 per cent. Fiat Chrysler's vehicle sales dropped 14 per cent and SUV sales were down 4 per cent.

Dealers concede their inventories are on the rise, but Mark Scarpelli, owner of Chevrolet, Kia and Fiat Chrysler dealers north of Chicago, said he considers it a normal part of the business cycle.

Analysts' mean recommendation for Ford Motor Company (F) stands at 2.80. Barclays PLC reiterated a neutral rating and issued a $36.00 target price on shares of General Motors Company in a research report on Tuesday, December 13th.

Nissan shares were down 0.26 percent at $19.21.

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