Auto Sales Mixed In October, Auto Stocks Trade Lower – Forbes

Posted: Monday, November 03, 2014

Shares of major automakers traded in the red Monday morning as Chrysler, Ford Motor and General Motors reported mixed October sales figures.

Chrysler, which is now a part of Italy’s Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, reported a 22% increase in October U.S. sales compared to the same month last year. The company sold 170,480 vehicles making this its best October since 2001. The company’s Jeep brand drove much of the growth with 52% increase in sales. Ram Trucks sales gained 36%. Chrysler and Fiat brands all posted year-over-year gains, though Fiat’s grew just 1%. Dodge sales declined 8%.  

“Chrysler Group is the industry’s fastest-growing automaker driven in part by sales of our all-new Jeep Cherokee and Chrysler 200 mid-size sedan, and by the strong consumer demand for our award-winning Ram pickup trucks,” said Chrysler’s Head of U.S. Sales Reid Bigland, noting that October was the company’s eight month of double digit growth in 2014.

Despite the gains Fiat Chrysler shares were down about 2% at $11.22 in early trading Monday.

General Motors also reported sales growth, albeit very slow growth. The company sold 226,819 vehicles in October 2014, just 417 more vehicles than it sold in October 2013. “The U.S. economy has steadily improved all year and now we are poised for a stronger expansion backed by an improved job market, higher consumer confidence and lower fuel prices,” said Kurt McNeil, U.S. vice president of Sales Operations at GM. “We have a strong hand to play, with the industry’s newest and most complete line-up of pickups and SUVs, class-leading crossovers like the Buick Encore and a wealth of new products in the pipeline.”

GM shares were down 1.3% to $31 in morning trading.

Ford, on the other hand, reported a 2% drop in sales year-over-year. Last month the company sold 188,654 vehicles.  The company’s namesake Ford brand which makes up most of its sales saw sales decline 2.7% to $179,771. Even a 24.6% gain in the tiny Lincoln brand couldn’t make up that loss. Company wide sales of cars and trucks declined while utility vehicle sales picked up.

In a statement Ford noted “sales declines were expected” and executive comments focused on Ford Fusion growth. Yet the positivity was not enough to keep Ford shares from declining 0.5% to $14.02 in morning trading.

 

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