China auto sales data for 2019 was released this week. According to CAAM, a total of 25.8 million vehicles were sold in 2019, marking a decline of 8.2% from a year ago. Waning consumer demand in the wake of tariff woes and economic slowdown along with tighter emission standards dragged down the country’s vehicle sales. (Read more: China Auto Market Slump Persists: Is a Revival in the Cards?)
The other major highlight of the past week was Takata recalling 10 million potentially deadly air bag inflators sold to 14 different automakers.Markedly, this is set to be the final phase in the series of recalls that the now-bankrupt auto supplier had agreed to undertake in a 2015 settlement with U.S. safety regulators. (Read more: Is the Takata Airbag Recall Saga Finally Coming to an End?)
(Read the Last Auto Stock Roundup here).
Recap of the Week’s Most Important Stories
General Motors (GM - Free Report) intends to revive its 2010-failed model — Hummer Name — as an all-electric pickup truck, which will be sold as an individual model under the GMC brand. The latest Hummer, likely to be on sale by 2022, will be delivered in small volumes as a rugged, jeep-like pickup truck for off-road pursuits. Reportedly, the Hummer and other electric trucks will be produced at the company’s Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant. NBA player LeBron James has been hired by the company to support Hummer's return, including a deal to air a commercial during the Super Bowl this February. (Read more: General Motors' Hummer Name to Run Again as EV Truck)
Ford’s (F - Free Report) vehicle sales in China fell for the third consecutive year. Sales declined 26.1%due to a lackluster China economy and the long-standing U.S.-Sino trade tiff. The company expects these challenges to prevail this year as well.The leading U.S. automaker has a strong presence in China, which happens to be its second biggest market. Ford delivered 146,473 vehicles in the nation in fourth-quarter 2019, reflecting a decline of 14.7% year over year. For full-year 2019, the company sold a total of 567,854 vehicles.The automaker plans to launch more than 30 models in China over the next three years, of which more than a third will be electric vehicles. Ford also has plans to produce self-driving cars by 2021. (Read more: Ford's 2019 China Sales Plunge 26%, 3rd Year in a Row).
Toyota Motor (TM - Free Report) recently recalled 700,000 vehicles, including its namesake and Lexus brands in the United States, in order to fix fuel-pump issues. These vehicles have fuel pumps that could stop operating, causing the cars to stall, in turn escalating the risk of a crash.The recalled Toyota vehicles are certain models from 2018 and 2019, including 4Runner, Camry, Highlander, Land Cruiserand Tundra, along with 2019 Avalon and Corolla sedans.The recalled Lexus vehicles include certain 2018 and 2019 models, namely LS 500, LC 500, LX 570, GX 460 and RX 350. A few Lexus NX 300, RX 350L and GS 300 models from 2019 have also been affected. (Read more: Toyota Recalls 700K Vehicles to Fix Faulty Fuel Pump).
Harley-Davidson, Inc. (HOG - Free Report) is set to launch the latest Harley-Davidson edition GMC pickup, GMC Sierra 1500, in Arizona in collaboration with Tuscany Motor Co. This is the first time a Harley-Davidson–licensed truck will be rolled out on a General Motors platform. Prior to this, Ford had offered its own Harley-Davidson model from 2000 through 2012.GMC Sierra features 22-inch milled aluminum wheels, taking cue from the Harley-Davidson Fatboy series, two-tone diamond stitched custom leather seating surfaces, and the Harley-Davidson center console badge. (Read more: Harley-Davidson & Tuscany Motor Team Up for GMC Sierra 1500)
PACCAR Inc. (PCAR - Free Report) will exhibit three autonomous and alternative powertrain commercial vehicles, namely a level 4 autonomous Kenworth T680, a battery-electric Peterbilt model 520EV and a battery-electric Kenworth K270E, at the 2020 Consumer Electronics Show. Peterbilt and Kenworth, subsidiaries of PACCAR, have designed these trucks for a range of customer applications, including over-the-road goods transportation, refuse collection and urban distribution. (Read more: PACCAR to Showcase 3 Next-Gen Vehicles at CES 2020)
Last 6 Months
The following table shows the price movement of some of the major auto players over the past week and six-month period.
In the past week, Harley Davidson has declined the most, while Tesla (TSLA - Free Report) was the maximum gainer. Tesla carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
Tesla has been the best performer over the past six months as well, having rallied a whopping 103.5%, while General Motors and Ford have been the worst-performing stocks.
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