Big automakers posted higher U.S. sales than in previous months, but high unemployment and concerns about economic recovery, kept consumer confidence low.
Here’s what analysts think of July auto-sales:
- Seasonally adjusted annual sales for July, were weaker than the first quarter, another macro-indicator suggesting that the economy is slowing or stalling, according to Barclays analysts, but not to the degree that the sell-off in auto stocks suggests.
- The recent increase in sales of large pickups, was attributed to declining small and mid car sales because of slowdown in production in Japan. Barclays analysts did however expect overall sales to pick up in Q4.
- Pent-up demand for new vehicles in the U.S. started to come through in July though supply issues remained. Trucks accounted for 52.1% of sales, the highest since January.
- Ford and GM reiterated their 13 – 13.5 million full year sales targets, and both had a strong final week in July, despite the uncertainty over the debt ceiling.
- While small car supply at Ford remained tight, UBS analyst Colin Langan said he expected it to improve in the second half of the year. He said this also showed that GM and Hyundai had benefited more from Japanese supply disruptions than Ford.
- Ford struggled with high demand and tight supply of its Ford Focus.
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