The July auto sales results were disappointing given the fact that it is usually a good month for automotive sales, but they should be taken in context. Better yet: The F-Series family's average transaction price rose about $2,500 from a year ago, to about $45,000. The automaker had 104 days of supply at the end of July, down from 105 days at the end of June. It was the seventh straight month of lower sales, and the biggest percentage drop so far this year.
Several major automakers, including GM, Ford, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Nissan Motor Co. and Hyundai Motor Co. said they sharply reduced rental vehicle sales in July, and they portrayed the decisions as putting profit ahead of sales volume. Barclays said in a Monday note that overall industry sales into rental fleets were down almost 20% year-over-year in the second quarter, suggesting a trend that could continue into the third quarter.
Net income in the quarter fell 2.8% to $276 million from $284 million and diluted earnings per share were flat at or 48 cents in the same quarter previous year.
Analysts expect auto sales to hit a new record high of 2 million units in 2017, according to analysts at Scotia Bank.
Pfizer Inc (PFE) fell 19 cents to $32.99 after the healthcare products maker reported revenues in the second-quarter ending in June fell 2% from a year ago to $12.9 billion.
Among the top Japanese companies, only Toyota Motor Corp reported a year-to-year gain, with sales up 4 percent. Sales of the Ford Fusion midsize sedan dropped 42 percent, while sales of the Chevrolet Spark subcompact fell a whopping 82 percent.
Automakers continue to see healthy profits thanks to consumers' preference for SUVs.
Sales at Ford's luxury Lincoln brand fell 2.5% in what LaNeve described as a soft month for luxury brands overall.
Mustang sales were down 35.1%, but again, there's a story: Dealers are selling down stocks in anticipation of a revamped 2018 model, set to begin arriving soon.
- Subaru brand sales gained 6.9 percent to 55,703.