Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) Continues Its Losing Streak In March

Posted April 05, 2017

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Ford sold 236,250 vehicles last month, lower than analysts projections, which forecasted Ford sales dropping around 5 percent. Deliveries of the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord, longtime leaders in the mid-size sedan segment, dropped 3.6 percent and 12 percent, respectively.

The concern over falling sales, though, perhaps also draws yet more attention to market concern over inventory levels and consumer discounts, which have forced automakers to push harder and harder to sell their products.

Combined sales of Volkswagen's namesake brand and Audi premium brand rose less than projected as Audi reported a 1.7 percent increase, its smallest gain of the year.

Shares of the Big Three American auto companies fell Monday after the automakers' March sales reports showed declining passenger vehicle sales.

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Auto sales fell 25.6 percent, to 53,780. Ford Expedition grew 43 percent, with 5,472 SUVs sold.

Sales were led by SUVs and trucks. Driving the numbers were a reduction in fleet sales of almost 44,000 units. Daily rental sales down 18%, or over 5,100 units.

Better news came from FCA's truck brands, with four Dodge trucks seeing a sales increase over March of 2016. But truck sales rose 6 per cent. Lincoln sales are up nearly 9%, putting it on pace to record a fourth consecutive year of annual gains - something Lincoln hasn't done in at least two decades. That's a 7% decline from the year-ago period. Ford, now worth less than Tesla market capitalization, was down as much as 3.1 percent, while Fiat Chrysler dropped as much as 6 percent.

US -listed shares of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (Milan Stock Exchange: FCA-IT) fared worse, closing over 4 percent lower on Monday after the company reported its sales figures. Ford's decline was mostly because of a 17% reduction in fleet sales and a tough comparison to last year when it had the highest amount of fleet sales for the year.

GM reported its sales were up thanks to stronger SUV sales, but its totals were not as good as experts expected.

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Forecasted sales growth in March could help the industry overtake the pace set at the same time previous year, according to Deirdre Borrego, senior vice president of automotive data and analytics at J.D. Power.

A number of other equities research analysts also recently commented on GM. Analysts were expecting a 7% increase in unit sales for the month. No. 1 U.s. automaker General Motors Co reported a 2 percent increase in sales to just over 256,000 vehicles, with sales of its Tahoe and Suburban SUV models seeing their best sales month since 2008.But sales at Ford Motor Co fell more than 7 percent to 236,000 vehicles, with fleet sales to rental agencies, businesses and government entities down almost 17 percent on the year. Nissan was once again led by the Rogue small SUV, which set a March sales record of almost 40,000 vehicles for a 20 percent increase.

Honda's CR-V topped the company's truck sales, rising 23 percent over March 2016 on the strength of 82,872 sold.

The Ford logo is displayed on a new Ford vehicle on the sales lot at a Ford dealership on March 29, 2017 in Colma, California.

The automaker sold just over 137,000 vehicles, with the Honda brand up 2 percent, and Acura sales down more than 21 percent. One leading indicator investors can watch is consumer confidence, which continues to trend higher, since auto sales and other big-ticket purchases typically remain strong when confidence is high.

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Sales for the month fell 1.6 percent to just over 1.55 million vehicles, surprising analysts who expected a small increase.