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Auto Stock Roundup: Sneak Peek Into Q1 US Deliveries of F, GM, HMC, TM & STLA

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Last week, auto biggies released U.S. vehicle sales data for the first quarter of 2024. U.S. vehicle sales grew 5.1% to 3.75 million units, per GlobalData. March's seasonally adjusted annual rate is anticipated to reach 15.5 million units, compared with 15.02 million in March 2023. Per J.D. Power and GlobalData, in March, light-vehicle retail inventory reached 1.7 million, up 4.2% from February 2024 and 39% from March 2023. Total inventory surpassed 2.5 million for the first time since 2021. Per J.D. Power, average transaction prices of vehicles in March declined 3.6% year over year to $44,186. Buoyed by improved inventory and better pricing, demand witnessed an upward trajectory.

Most global auto giants reported impressive U.S. sales in the first quarter of 2024. Japan-based automakers like Honda (HMC - Free Report) , Toyota (TM - Free Report) , Nissan and Mazda witnessed an increase in sales on a yearly basis. Germany-based Volkswagen and BMW also saw their sales rise in the quarter. U.S. auto biggie Ford’s (F - Free Report) vehicle sales rose 7% year over year. Its crosstown rival, General Motors’ (GM - Free Report) deliveries dropped 1.5%. Italian-American automaker Stellantis (STLA - Free Report) saw a 10% decline in its first-quarter U.S. deliveries.

Inside the Headlines

General Motors delivered 594,233 vehicles in the United States in the first quarter of 2024, representing a 1.5% year-over-year decline due to lower fleet deliveries. The phase-out of Chevrolet Bolt EV is also expected to have adversely impacted GM’s sales. However, the legendary automaker reported a 6% year-over-year rise in retail sales. Year-over-year retail sales of GM brands Buick, Chevrolet, Cadillac and GMC rose 10%, 6%, 9% and 3%, respectively, while that of GM envolve declined 23%. In China, General Motors delivered more than 441,000 vehicles in the first quarter of 2024. Sales of new energy vehicles in the country surged 42.6% year over year to more than 128,000 units.

Ford’s U.S. vehicle sales in the first quarter of 2024 totaled 508,803 units, up 7% year over year. Increasing demand for hybrid trucks and SUVs positioned the automaker to deliver its record quarterly hybrid sales. It sold 38,421 units of hybrid vehicles in the first quarter, up 42% year over year. EV sales started the year on a high note, with sales of 20,223 units in the first quarter, up 86.1% year over year. Ford’s ICE vehicle sales totaled 449,439 units, up 2.6% year over year.Meanwhile, the auto giant is postponing the launch of its three-row electric SUV until 2027. It will start working on its next-generation electric truck in 2026 and offer hybrid options for its entire internal combustion engine lineup in North America by 2030.

Ford currently sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Toyota delivered 565,098 vehicles in the first quarter of 2024, rising 20.3% from the year-ago period. The deliveries comprised 486,627 units (up 21.3%) from the namesake division and 68,252 units from the Lexus division (15%). The automaker sold 206,850 units of electric vehicles (EVs) in the same period. EV sales rose 74% year over year and contributed 36.6% to the company’s total sales volume. TM’s portfolio of electrified vehicles has grown to encompass 27 models spanning both Toyota and Lexus divisions. The company plans to introduce more than 20 new, refreshed, or special edition vehicles this year, which will include the 2024 Tacoma, featuring an available hybrid powertrain and the all-new 2024 Land Cruiser and 2025 Camry, both exclusively equipped with hybrid powertrains.

Honda sold 333,824 units, up 17.3% year over year. Sales of the namesake division rose 20.9% to 303,451 units, while that of the Acura division declined 9.2% to 30,373 units. This was the fourth consecutive quarter that sales from the Honda division crossed 300,000 units. The CR-V and Accord achieved record-breaking hybrid-electric sales in the quarter under discussion. CR-V sales reached more than 36,500 units last month, with around 50% of volumes from CR-V hybrids. The Pilot also demonstrated robust growth, with March sales soaring 21% year over year, totaling 12,680 units. The automaker sold 61,915 electrified vehicles, representing an uptick of 25.5% from the corresponding quarter of 2023.

Stellantis sold 332,540 units in the United States in the first quarter of 2024, down 10% on a yearly basis. Sales from Jeep, Fiat and Chrysler brands rose 2%, 12% and 9% to 157,039, 154 and 34,806 units, respectively. Meanwhile, sales from RAM, Dodge and Alpha Romeo brands declined 26%, 16% and 4%, respectively, on a year-over-year basis. During the quarter, sales of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles surged 82% year over year. Notably, the Jeep Wrangler 4xe, Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe, Dodge Hornet R/T, and Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid claimed four out of the top five positions for best-selling hybrids in the U.S. market. STLA plans to introduce eight EVs in the U.S. market by 2024 end. The lineup will include models such as the Jeep Recon, Ram 1500 REV, Wagoneer S, Dodge Charger Daytona, and the newly designed Fiat 500e.

Price Performance

The following table shows the price movement of some of the major auto players over the last week and six-month period.

Zacks Investment Research
Image Source: Zacks Investment Research

What’s Next in the Auto Space?

Industry watchers will keep a tab on vehicle sales in China for the month of March and the first quarter of 2024.

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