Tags: car sales | auto | Ford | Fiat Chrysler

Cars Sales Plunge in March, Getting No Boost From Big Discounts

Cars Sales Plunge in March, Getting No Boost From Big Discounts
(Dreamstime)

Monday, 03 April 2017 10:50 AM

U.S. car sales last month were below analyst estimates, as heavy incentive spending failed to keep struggling sedan and compact models from plunging.

Deliveries slumped 7.2 percent at Ford and 4.6 percent at Fiat Chrysler last month. General Motors Co. sales climbed 1.6 percent, a smaller gain than analysts projected, while Honda Motor Co. reported a surprise drop.

The early results cast doubt on estimates that industrywide U.S. auto sales would rise in March compared with 2016’s weakest month, when results were depressed by the early Easter holiday. Automakers are using heavy discounts to try to trim inventory that’s swelled to the highest level in more than a decade.

“Sales are under forecast and there were a lot of incentives during the month,” Michelle Krebs, an analyst with Autotrader.com, said by phone. “Before long, we will see more production cuts.”

GM sees the the industry’s annualized sales pace, adjusted for seasonal trends, accelerating to 17 million for the month, trailing analysts’ estimates for a rate of 17.2 million. The rate was 16.7 million a year earlier.

Deliveries of GM’s Chevrolet Malibu and Ford’s Fusion family cars each plunged by more than 35 percent last month. GM shares fell 3.7 percent to $34.06 as of 10:12 a.m. New York time. Ford was down 2.9 percent to $11.30.

“Many automakers are looking for signs of market stability as consumers continue to head towards trucks and SUVs,” Jeff Conrad, senior vice president of Honda’s U.S. sales unit, said in a statement.

Nissan Motor Co. sales rose 3.2 percent, beating analysts’ estimates for a 2.8 percent gain. Rogue crossover deliveries surged 43 percent in March, as the model continues to outsell the longtime leader within the segment, Honda’s CR-V.

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U.S. car sales last month were below analyst estimates, as heavy incentive spending failed to keep struggling sedan and compact models from plunging.Deliveries slumped 7.2 percent at Ford and 4.6 percent at Fiat Chrysler last month. General Motors Co. sales climbed 1.6...
car sales, auto, Ford, Fiat Chrysler
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2017-50-03
Monday, 03 April 2017 10:50 AM
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