- 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 (GM) and Ford (F) make more money on light trucks and SUVs than on passenger cars. Honda (HMC), Toyota (TM) and Nissan (OTC: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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