Ford Motor Company March Auto Sales Plunge 7%

Special Edition Fiat 500 To Get Hellcat Engine — Available In Limited Numbers

The "double-I" concerns, namely incentives and inventories, did not bode well for the companies either.

And why not? Auto sales have been suspiciously tepid of late, and although the "peak auto" chatter has faded, it has never really gone away. Also, insider Stefan Jacoby sold 2,435 shares of the business's stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, March 8th. Sequentially, sales were up 12 percent.

In the United States, March figures came in below market expectations, adding to concerns that the boom in USA auto sales may be waning.

Analysts see some warning signs in the figures and some cautioned that sales could slow later this year. "We're also seeing an increase in loan terms and indications of a rise in subprime lending, which demonstrate sales aren't coming as easily as they used to".

Sales for the month fell 1.6 percent to just over 1.55 million vehicles, surprising analysts who expected a small increase. Now it may finally be time to add a new member to that club, one with no connections to the Motor City.

In 1Q17, the stocks of the two largest USA automakers underperformed the broader market.

March "was a tough, tough, tough market", said Judy Wheeler, vice president of US sales at Nissan Motor Co Ltd (7201.T), which reported a 3.2 percent increase in sales for the month.

Looking at the bright side of GM's March sales, Chevrolet had its best quarter since 2008 in its trucks segment, with sales increasing 6% (with Suburban and Tahoe leading the group). Commercial deliveries were up 3 percent driven by a 67 percent increase in Malibu deliveries and strong pickup and large van sales. Inventories have been bloated since the end of 2016. The company expressed hopes of seeing moderate incentive spending environment going forward due to launches of new crossovers and adjustments to passenger auto inventories.

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Steven Ricchiuto, chief United States economist for Mizuho, said auto sales have been a major part of the USA economy recently, and if vehicle sales fall, consumer spending would also weaken. Sales of the Edge's upscale sibling, the Lincoln MKX, fell 3%.

Detroit's "Big 3" enjoyed mixed results from its March sales, as truck and SUV sales continued to soar in the year's second month.

LaNeve says if F-Series strength continues through the year as projected, the truck will surpass last year's 800,000 deliveries. Ford, now worth less than Tesla Inc.by market capitalization, was down as much as 3.1 percent, while Fiat Chrysler dropped as much as 6 percent. Fleet sales, which accounted for 23 percent of the total sales, fell 15 percent, and retail sales slid 1 percent and contributed 77 percent to total sales.

Nissan trucks, SUVs and crossovers were up 26 percent and had hit record highs, especially its high-selling Rogue crossover.

At Honda, auto sales fell 8.7 per cent, while truck and SUV sales rose 8.4 per cent. Fiat Chrysler's vehicle sales dropped 14 per cent and SUV sales were down 4 per cent. Honda brand sales were up 2 percent, and Acura sales down more than 21 percent.

Ford shares sank 2.2% in morning trade.

Several other equities analysts have also recently commented on F. TheStreet raised shares of Ford Motor Company from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note on Thursday, January 5th. Investors of record on Friday, March 10th were paid a $0.38 dividend.

In addition, GM's market share was up an estimated 0.3% to 16.7%.

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