Automakers Are Raking In Cash Even as U.S. Market Slows
(Bloomberg) -- It remains to be seen whether U.S. auto sales ended October up or down through the first 10 months of the year. But this much is clear: Carmakers are raking in the dough even as deliveries for most are in decline.
- Most major automakers beat estimates, with Fiat Chrysler posting an even bigger jump than expected and Toyota reporting a surprise gain. Both did so on the strength of trucks and sport utility vehicles such as the Ram and Tacoma pickups and Compass and Highlander SUVs.
- Strong light truck and crummy sedan demand has been an ongoing theme for months. This phenomenon has led total sales to more or less tread water, but has been a boon for revenue and profitability -- just ask top U.S. automaker General Motors.
- Ford’s industry-leading F-Series line was an exception, with sales falling 7.3 percent from a year ago. But the automaker blamed this mostly on lower deliveries to fleet customers and noted customers are paying top dollar -- more than $47,300 per pickup.
- Fiat Chrysler climbed as much as 2.9 percent. Perhaps troubled by the F-Series slip up, Ford fell as much as 2.5 percent in New York trading.
- Ford ascended to at least No. 2 in the market in October, outselling both Toyota and Fiat Chrysler. GM no longer reports sales on a monthly basis. This was a nice bounce back for the Blue Oval after suffering the indignity of slipping to fourth place in the month of September.
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