Tags: GM | Ford | Top | Analysts | Sales | Estimates

GM, Ford Top Analysts Sales Estimates in Best Month of 2010

Wednesday, 03 Nov 2010 02:00 PM

General Motors Co. and Ford Motor Co. reported U.S. sales increases that topped analysts’ estimates and said October was the best month this year as consumers returned to showrooms.

GM’s deliveries in the month climbed 3.5 percent to 183,759, the Detroit-based automaker said today in a statement. Sales at Ford increased 15 percent to 157,935, the Dearborn- Michigan based company said in a statement. All of the six top automakers by U.S. sales except Toyota Motor Corp. reported gains in deliveries.

Industrywide light-vehicle sales last month may have topped a 12 million annual pace without a government incentive program for the first time since September 2008, executives for the two largest U.S. automakers said today and yesterday. The average of nine analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg was for the rate to reach 11.9 million.

“Consumers who have a job are feeling a little bit better and not fearing every Friday anymore,” said Rebecca Lindland, an analyst at researcher IHS Automotive in Lexington, Massachusetts. “They feel like the worst is over and they’re starting to trickle back into showrooms.”

GM, the largest U.S. automaker, exceeded expectations for a decline of 6.3 percent, the average of three analysts’ estimates, as customers bought more Buick and GMC brand vehicles.

Buick sales climbed 39 percent to 12,569 vehicles, led by a 53 percent increase in deliveries of the Enclave sport-utility vehicle, GM said today. GMC sales gained 30 percent to 33,136.

Ford Sales

Ford’s gain topped the 14 percent average estimate of six analysts on record sales of Fusion sedans. Fusion sales gained 29 percent, while F-Series deliveries rose 24 percent. Ford sold 3,846 of its new Fiesta subcompact.

“The new products like Fiesta are doing well for Ford,” said Michelle Krebs, an analyst with automotive researcher Edmunds.com. “Ford is finally overcoming the perception gap and proving that their products are every bit as good as the Asian brands.”

Ford rose 29 cents, or 2 percent, to $14.72 at 12:34 p.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading. The shares earlier climbed to $14.85, the highest intraday price since Dec. 30, 2004.

Chrysler Group LLC’s sales rose 37 percent from a year earlier to 90,137 vehicles. The automaker, based in Auburn Hills, Michigan, posted a 29 percent gain in deliveries of its namesake brand and said sales of its Jeep line more than doubled on higher demand for its redesigned Grand Cherokee SUV. Deliveries of the Ram pickup rose 41 percent to 17,316.

Chrysler was expected to report a 41 percent sales increase, the average estimate of six analysts.

‘Strongest’ Month

“We feel pretty good about October for the industry overall and for GM in particular,” Don Johnson, GM’s vice president of U.S. sales, said today on a conference call. The company expects the industry’s sales rate in October to have been the “strongest of the year,” he said.

The U.S. auto selling rate has stayed above 11 million since March, according to Autodata Corp. in Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey. A rate above 12 million would be “a good sign and an indication the fourth quarter will be higher,” George Pipas, Ford’s sales analyst, said yesterday in an interview.

Honda Motor Co., Japan’s second-largest automaker, reported U.S. sales that climbed 16 percent to 98,811 vehicles. The gain matched the average estimate of four analysts.

Nissan Motor Co. sold 69,773 Nissan and Infiniti brand vehicles, up 16 percent, said Al Castignetti, vice president of U.S. sales for the third-largest Japanese automaker. The company was expected to post a 13 percent increase, the average estimate of four analysts.

Toyota Estimates

Toyota’s U.S. deliveries fell 4.4 percent, the only drop among the top six automakers. The decline was smaller than the 5.6 percent drop estimated by four analysts, on average. Sales of the Corolla decreased 25 percent and the Camry slipped 14 percent.

The world’s largest automaker had smaller discounts on 2010 model year vehicles compared to its competitors, said Ivan Drury, an Edmunds analyst.

The U.S. economy expanded at a 2 percent annual rate in the third quarter, the Commerce Department reported Oct. 29. Confidence among consumers fell last month to the lowest level in almost a year, according to the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan final index of consumer sentiment, as the jobless rate is projected to stay above 9 percent through next year.

Hyundai Motor Co., Volkswagen AG and Bayerische Motoren Werke AG reported sales increases yesterday.

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General Motors Co. and Ford Motor Co. reported U.S. sales increases that topped analysts estimates and said October was the best month this year as consumers returned to showrooms.GM s deliveries in the month climbed 3.5 percent to 183,759, the Detroit-based automaker said...
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2010-00-03
Wednesday, 03 Nov 2010 02:00 PM
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