Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Toyota Motor, General Motors, Ford Motor, Honda Motor and Nissan Motor

CHICAGO--()--Zacks.com Analyst Blog features: Toyota Motor Corp. (NYSE: TM), General Motors (NYSE: GM), Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F), Honda Motor Co. (NYSE: HMC) and Nissan Motor (Nasdaq: NSANY).

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Here are highlights from Thursday’s Analyst Blog:

Auto Sales Revive Strongly in November

The light vehicle sales in the U.S. during November rose 17% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 12.3 million units, signaling a strong recovery in the industry. All the major automakers, except Toyota Motor Corp. (NYSE: TM), posted double-digit gain in sales. The industry witnessed a rebound in demand for sports utility vehicles (SUVs) and pickups during the month, which had been stunted as the global crisis set in.

U.S. Automakers

Sales at General Motors (NYSE: GM) grew 11.4% to 168,739 vehicles, driven by an impressive 60% rise in sales of its SUVs – Chevrolet Equinox and GMC Terrain. The combined sales of GM’s four brands – Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac – went up 21% during the month.

Sales at Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F), comprising the namesake, Lincoln and Mercury brands, soared 24.3% to 147,338 units. The automaker’s sales were strongly driven by new Ford Edge SUV (55.2%), F-Series trucks (26.4%) and Lincoln MKZ crossover (48.1%).

Sales at Chrysler (including the namesake, Jeep, Dodge and Ram brands) rose 16.7% to 74,152 units. All the brands performed exceptionally well, especially Jeep and Ram trucks with 58% and 67% rise in sales.

Japanese Automakers

Sales at Toyota slid 3% to 129,317 vehicles. Toyota division reported a 4% drop in sales, while Lexus division saw a 1.4% dip in sales during the month under study. The decline in sales was attributable to lower fleet sales and negative impact from the recent spate of automotive safety recalls globally.

Sales at Honda Motor Co. (NYSE: HMC) appreciated 21.1% to 89,617 vehicles, led by a 10.4% rise in sales of Accord brand to 19,025 units and a 21% sales gain in Civic to 16,562 units. Overall sales in Honda division went up 21% to 78,899 vehicles while that in Acura division shot up 22% to 10,718 vehicles.

Sales at Nissan Motor (Nasdaq: NSANY) escalated 26.8% to 71,366 vehicles, driven by strong sales of Versa car (24.8%), Armada (82.6%) and Rogue (67.1%) trucks, as well as Infiniti M (167.3%) and QX56 (148.3%) cars. Nissan Division sales went up 24.8% while sales of Infiniti vehicles gained 45% during the month.

Other Automakers

Sales at Daimler AG, including Mercedes-Benz (cars, light trucks and Sprinter) and smart vehicles, improved 10.3% to 19,248 units. Sales of Mercedes-Benz cars and trucks rose 13.3% to 19,037 units, driven mainly by strong sales of 9th generation E-class, C-Class and M-Class SUV. Sales of the Smart fortwo minicars declined 67.5% to 211 units.

Sales at Volkswagen AG, including Volkswagen, Audi, Bentley and Lamborghini vehicles, increased 24% to 20,189 units on the back of a strong demand for its redesigned Jetta compact car.

Sales at South Korea's Hyundai Motor Co. shot up 45% to 40,723 units, led by impressive sales of Sonata and Genesis sedans as well as Tucson crossovers. Hyundai's sister company, Kia Motors America, posted a 48% percent rise in sales to 26,601 vehicles due to higher sales of Soul wagons and Sorento SUVs.

The sales trend in November has clearly indicated a rebound in consumer confidence. The consumers are inclined to make big ticket purchases, given a better-than-earlier employment scenario. For full year 2010, industry sales are projected to be within 11.5 million–12 million units, an improvement from the historic low of 10.4 million units last year.

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Contacts

Zacks.com
Mark Vickery, Web Content Editor, 312-265-9380
Visit: www.zacks.com