U.S. Auto Sales Hit High Mark

In the midst of the tough times for the markets, we get yet another reminder that while the Chinese turmoil may be sending shock waves around the globe, the underlying US economy continues to show strength and improvement. Today, Autodata released sales figures for August, and they were quite impressive.

US auto and truck sales last month exceeded expectations and put the nation on an annualized pace of 17.81 million vehicles. That's quite a bit more than the expected 17.31 million figure. While some of these numbers for major manufacturers were of the "decline less than expected" variety rather than overall increases, overall the numbers represent the best figures for the US since before the financial crisis.

Ford posted great numbers, with sales increasing overall by more than 5% for August. Fiat/Chrysler posted an increase of 1.7%. GM posted a decline of less than 1%, which considered good news in this context. Japanese companies did not fair as well in the domestic US market, with Toyota, Honda, and Nissan all posting declines.

Low oil prices are probably playing a role here, as US manufacturers saw gains in bigger vehicles like pick up trucks, SUVs, and "crossover" vehicles.

These numbers are considered even more impressive because of a calendar anomaly which excludes the hot Labor Day sales period.

Of course, we have a global market for autos and trucks now, and many of these firms do business in China. It remains to be seen how sales declines there will effect the overall bottom line for the big manufacturers.

When we query our systems for the auto industry today, we find the following data on the firms discussed above and a few other top companies.

Ticker

Company Name

Market Price

Valuation

Last 12-M Retrn

P/E Ratio

Country Code

DDAIF

DAIMLER AG

80.45

0.45%

-1.43%

9.07

DEU

F

FORD MOTOR CO

13.87

-19.58%

-20.33%

10.89

USA

FCAU

FIAT CHRYSLER

14.13

N/A

N/A

14.72

ITA

GM

GENERAL MOTORS

29.44

-16.26%

-15.40%

6.71

USA

HMC

HONDA MOTOR

31.48

-10.71%

-7.55%

12.02

JPN

ISUZY

ISUZU MOTORS

11.34

N/A

-17.84%

8.49

JPN

NSANY

NISSAN ADR

18.005

-7.98%

-6.27%

8.85

JPN

TM

TOYOTA MOTOR CP

118.38

-8.86%

3.55%

9.91

JPN

VLKAY

VOLKSWAGEN-ADR

37.24

-23.77%

-17.19%

7.62

DEU

VOLVY

VOLVO AB ADR  B

10.915

-19.79%

-8.81%

16.71

SWE

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Disclosure: None.

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