August Auto Sales Beat Views With Promo Prices; Low Rates
The U.S. auto industry's August sales of 17.3 million vehicles was well ahead of the 16.6 million expected on Wall Street, according to the market research firm Autodata.
Low interest rates and promotional pricing along with near zero-percent financing and a wave of new models drove improvements. Sales incentives averaged $300 more per vehicle than a year earlier but the average price was up 2.7 percent to $31.644.
• General Motors Co (NYSE: GM) decline of 1.2 percent missed the consensus that GM sales would fall 0.1 percent. But its volume kept it comfortably on top of U.S. automakers, and truck and SUV sales grew 18 percent. GM traded recently down 0.9 percent at 34.49.
• Fiat's (OTC: FIATY) Chrysler Group August sales growth of 19.8 percent was far ahead of expectations for 12 percent sales increase. The gain stemmed from a 48.7 percent increase of Jeep SUV sales. Fiat's American Depository Receipts were up more than 2 percent recently at $9.97 each.
• Ford Motor Co.'s (NYSE: F) sales grew 0.4, easily beating Wall Street's forecast of a decline of 1.2 percent. Sales of its Fusion mid-size sedan gained 19.5 percent; the Focus compact was up 8.4 percent. Ford shares were off recently by nearly 1 percent at $17.47.
• Toyota Motor Corp. (NYSE: TM) U.S. sales gained 6.3 percent, including a 5.7 percent increase for Toyota and 1. percent for its Lexus brand. Toyota ADRS were nearly unchanged at $116.02.
• Honda Motor Co. (NYSE: HMC) U.S. sales grew 0.5 percent in August, including a 1.5 percent gain for Honda brands and a decline of 9.5 percent at Acura. Honda ADRs were up 0.5 percent at $33.97.
• Nissan (OTC: NSANY) August U.S. sales grew 11.5 percent, including a 15 percent gain for Nissan brands and a 23 percent decline for the Infiniti luxury line. Nissan was nearly unchanged at $19.34.
• Hyundai's U.S. sales gained 6 percent for the recent month, including a 30 percent increase in sales of its Tucson SUV. Hyundai was off 1.5 percent on the Korean Exchange.
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