US auto sales crush expectations

Throughout Tuesday, the big carmakers are reporting their US sales numbers for February.

So far, they are crushing expectations. Everyone except GM and, once again, Volkswagen.

Ford shares jumped 4% in early trading — the most on the S&P 500 — after reporting a big beat.

GM reported an unexpected fall, while Volkswagen is still being impacted by its emissions scandal.

Analysts forecast that auto sales rose at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 17.70 million, up from 17.46 million in January, according to Bloomberg.

The year kicked off with sales growing at the fastest pace since 2000. And so this forecast increase would maintain a solid couple of months for car sales, following the post-recession high that was recorded last year.

In a note to clients previewing the data, Deutsche Bank economists described this report as among their top five indicators. That’s because vehicles are big-ticket items, so they are typically bought when households are confident about their income prospects. Also, they’re a good gauge of consumer spending.

Here’s the scoreboard:

  • Fiat Chrysler: +11.8% (+9.2% expected)
  • Nissan: +10.5% (+7.2% expected)
  • Ford: +20.2% (+12.6% expected)
  • GM: -1.5% (+5.1% expected)
  • Honda: +12.8% (8.8% expected)
  • Mazda: -16%
  • Volkswagen: (-13%)
  • Toyota: +4.1% (+4.9% expected)
  • BMW: -12.4%
  • Porsche: +11.2%
  • Hyundai: +1%
  • Kia: +13%

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