These 3 automakers lead third-quarter U.S. auto sales

These 3 automakers lead third-quarter U.S. auto sales

U.S. auto sales are expected to hold up in the third quarter as vehicle inventories slowly improve but new headwinds emerge.


General Motors (GM), Ford (F), Stellantide (STLA), Toyota engines (MC) and Honda engine (HMC) are among those set to disclose September and third-quarter sales. They must present themselves on Monday, October 3.

The annualized pace of new vehicle sales in the United States in September is expected to reach 13.3 million units, roughly matching that of August, according to Cox Automotive estimates. In volume terms, third-quarter sales are expected to reach nearly 3.4 million units, down slightly year-over-year and quarter-over-quarter, after a sharp decline in the second quarter.

Cox expects GM, Ford and Tesla to be among the biggest winners in a third-quarter market “still stuck in low gear” as inventories slowly improve.

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Auto stocks sold off sharply on September 29. Used car dealership CarMax (KMX) missed out on earnings views, citing “affordability challenges.” Moody’s downgraded the global auto industry from stable to negative, also citing affordability issues for customers due to higher prices and weaker economies. He also noted higher costs for automakers.

At the beginning of October, You’re here (TSLA) will also release third quarter global production and delivery figures.

Here’s how automakers should fare in the third quarter, according to Cox Automotive. The results show the volume of sales, as well as the growth or decline in sales compared to a year ago.

General Motors

Estimated Q3 sales: 539,028 vehicles, up 21.6%.

Results: Come back on Monday.

GM stock fell 5.65% in Thursday’s trading action, following a six-day losing streak on Wednesday. Stocks recently broke above the 50-day moving average and remain below the 200-day line.

In early September, GM CEO Mary Barra reportedly said in a TV interview that she expected a shortage of chips “until next year, maybe a little beyond.”

Traditional automakers continue to accelerate on electric vehicles, which need more chips.

Recently, GM began initial deliveries of two major new electric vehicles, the Lyriq SUV and the Hummer pickup. Investors will be on the lookout for any signs that production has resumed or will resume soon. An Ultium battery factory finally started production recently.

Toyota engine

Estimated Q3 sales: 513,846, down 9.2%.

Results: Come back on Monday.

Toyota Motor shares fell 2.3% on Thursday, hitting a 23-month low.

Ford engine

Estimated Q3 sales: 473,595, up 19.1%.

Results: Come back later.

Ford stock slipped 5.8% on Thursday, after ending a six-day losing streak on Wednesday. Stocks remain below the 50 and 200 day lines.


Estimated Q3 sales: 388,481, down 5.5%.

Results: Come back on Monday.

Stellantis stock fell 4.8% on Thursday.

Honda engine

Estimated Q3 sales: 211,326, down 38.9%.

Results: Come back on Monday.

Honda stock fell 3.2% on Thursday to hit a two-year low.

You’re here

Estimated Q3 sales: 126,844 premium and luxury electric vehicles in the United States, up 38.3%.

Results: Tesla will soon announce its global deliveries in the third quarter, but will not break out its sales in the United States.

Tesla stock fell 6.8% on Thursday, falling sharply from its 50- and 200-day lines.

Outlook for fourth quarter auto sales

Analysts at JD Power and LMC Automotive expect production constraints to continue into October and lead to a “somewhat bumpy” fourth quarter. On Wednesday, Cox Automotive analysts again lowered their forecast for 2022, now forecasting 13.7 million units, down more than 9% from 2021 and the lowest level in a decade.

The warnings come after Ford warned Sept. 20 that it could have between 40,000 and 45,000 partially built vehicles in inventory at the end of the current third quarter, pending parts needed for completion. It still expects to complete and deliver these vehicles in the fourth quarter.

Find Aparna Narayanan on Twitter at @IBD_Aparna.


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