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North American Car Sales Show Signs Of Recovery In Q3

Third-quarter automobile sales declined 10% year-over-year in the United States. Here is a look at how some of the larger automotive companies performed.

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Ford: Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F) hit total U.S. sales of 551,796 in the third quarter. This was broken down as 311,751 trucks, 191,803 SUVs and 48,42 cars. 


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Third-quarter sales were down 4.9% year-over-year. Truck sales were up 0.6%, SUV sales down 0.7% and car sales were down 37.5%. When removing discontinued cars from the equation, retail sales gained 1.3% year-over-year.

The F-Series pickup saw a 3.5% increase to 221,647 trucks sold, which was the best third quarter for the pickup in 15 years.

General Motors: Sales hit 665,192 vehicles for General Motors Company (NYSE: GM) in the third quarter, down 10% year-over-year. 

The Chevrolet Blazer had its best quarter ever, with units sold up 45%.

Sales for the company improved sequentially every month, with September numbers coming in higher than the previous year.

Honda: The American division of Honda Motor Co (NYSE: HMC) reported sales of 388,433 in the third quarter, a 9.5% year-over-year decline.

Truck sales declined 3.1% to 232,167 and car sales declined 17.6% to 156,266. The company’s Acura brand saw sales increase 1.6% to 39,664 units.

Honda reported September sales up 11.5% to 127,058 units sold. Truck sales were up 19.9% in the month of September. The Honda CR-V set a September record of 33,572 units, up 29.6% year-over-year. The CR-V Hybrid saw its best sales month ever in September, with 3,200 units sold.

Fiat Chrysler: The U.S. division of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (NYSE: FCAU) saw sales of 507,351 units. This was a 10% decline year-over-year, but represented a 38% increase from the second quarter.

The company saw a strong performance from its Jeep Gladiator, with sales up 37% to 22,163 units. The Ram brand also performed well, with retail sales up 15% year-over-year.

The Tesla Problem: Tesla Inc (NASDAQ: TSLA) reported third-quarter deliveries of 139,300. This was the company’s best quarter ever and represented year-over-year growth of 43%.

Tesla does not break out its sales by region.

The gap between Tesla and traditional automakers is widening, according to Loup Ventures. The tech venture capital firm says traditional automakers can either release an EV with similar features as a Tesla —but at a higher cost — or sell EVs at a loss to gain market share.

“We believe car companies that have been around 50+ years will eventually (10 years from now) be forced to restructure or go out of business,” Loup Ventures’ Gene Munster and David Stokman said in a Friday blog post. 

Price Action In Auto Stocks: Year-to-date, Tesla shares are up 436%. Ford shares are down 27% year-to-date. General Motors, Fiat Chrysler and Honda Motor have all seen their shares fall 17% year-to-date.

A Ford F-150. Courtesy photo. 

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