- Summary: Following its earlier warning that June sales would be weak, General Motors announced that its vehicle sales were down 26% year over year. Ford's June sales were down 6.9%, and Chrysler's were down 15%. (Mercedes-Benz, the other half of the DaimlerChrysler Group, reported that its US car sales rose 14%.) In contrast, Toyota's sales rose 14%, Honda's rose 5.5%, and Hyundai's rose 3.4%. Nissan, suffering from stale models, saw sales fall 19%. The common theme? Fuel efficiency. The details make prove this: GM's light trucks sales fell 37%, Ford's light trucks were down 14%, with F-Series sales down 9.7% and Explorer SUV sales down a whopping 36%. In contrast, Ford's car sales were up 7.1%.
- Comment on related stocks/ETFs: The impact on profitability and the stocks is larger than the sales numbers suggest, because GM (NYSE:GM) and Ford (NYSE:F) make more money on light trucks and SUVs than on passenger cars. Honda (NYSE:HMC), Toyota (NYSE:TM) and Nissan (OTCPK:NSANY), in contrast, have less exposure to the light truck and SUV market, so they are less threatened by a switch to more fuel efficient vehicles as fuel prices stay high. In fact, the Japanese manufacturers seem to have competitive advantage in more fuel efficient cars.
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