Auto roundup: Letdown in Detroit, new high out of Palo Alto

|By:, SA News Editor

All three Detroit automakers are down sharply after the trio posted weak U.S. sales for April. FCA (FCAU -5.1%), Ford (F -3.9%) and General Motors (GM -3%) now face some tricky inventory management, according to industry watchers.

Ward's notes that the industry will have four straight months of inventory of over 4M units for the first time since 2004. "With flat retail demand and inventory at record levels, manufacturers will continue to face a difficult choice between maintaining elevated incentives or making production cuts," observes J.D. Power's Deirdre Borrego.

Auto parts and auto retailer stocks are lower in reaction to the slower-than-anticipated pace of U.S. sales. Notable decliners include American Axle & Manufacturing (AXL -7.2%), BorgWarner (BWA -4.7%), Lear Corporation (LEA -4.6%), Visteon (VC -2.7%), Tenneco (TEN -1.8%), Superior Industries (SUP -3.2%), Delphi Automotive (DLPH -2.3%), Gentex (GNTX -2.8%), Tower International (TOWR -0.7%), Gentherm (THRM -1.6%), Cooper-Standard (CPS -1.9%), Motorcar Parts of America (MPAA -2.2%), Sonic Automotive (SAH -4.8%), Group 1 Automotive (GPI -4.4%), AutoNation (AN -3.3%), Lithia Motors (LAD -3.4%), Asbury Automotive (ABG -3.7%), CarMax (KMX -0.9%) and Magna International (MGA -2%).

Toyota (TM +0.9%) and Nissan (OTCPK:NSANY +0.6%) are modestly higher on the day.

Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA), which trades like a tech stock apart from industry news in the opinion of some, is down 0.84% on the day - but did crank out a new all-time high of $327.66 earlier. Tomorrow is earnings day for the Palo Alto-based company.

Related ETF: CARZ.