Market Insider

Shares of US auto companies fall as car sales decline

Analyst: Last year marked the top of the auto sector
Analyst: Last year marked the top of the auto sector

Shares of the Big Three American car companies fell Monday after the automakers' March sales reports showed declining passenger car sales.

Shares of Ford finished the day over 1 percent lower after the company reported a year-over-year sales decline of 7.2 percent. Despite market trends shifting toward SUVs, Ford crossover deliveries fell 2 percent for March. Car sales, in the face of steep market headwinds, took a 24.2 percent dive. Ford, though, got a boost by 10 percent growth in the F-Series line of pickups, one of its most profitable products.

"Our high-series Super Duty trucks and all-new F-150 Raptor drove double-digit F-Series sales gains in March, along with the strongest year-over-year increase in transaction prices of any truck manufacturer in the industry," Mark LaNeve, Ford vice president, U.S. marketing, sales and service, said in a release.

Five-day performance of Ford

U.S.-listed shares of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles fared worse, closing over 4 percent lower on Monday after the company reported its sales figures. The Italian-American conglomerate sold 5 percent fewer vehicles in March than last year, with a 33 percent decline in Chrysler sales. Chrysler invested millions into the new Pacifica minivan, yet so far the van isn't outselling the Town & Country it replaced.

Jeep, typically Fiat Chrysler's most profitable and valuable division, reported sales that dropped 11 percent. This was despite strong market favorability toward SUVs, which make up the entire Jeep lineup.

Five-day performance of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles

Shares of General Motors closed 3 percent lower on Monday, despite growing sales and market share. While vehicle sales overall were up 1.9 percent, GM didn't indicate growth in the passenger car sector.

While the Silverado's chief competitor saw a 10 percent sales increase, Chevrolet's flagship pickup truck reported sales that "were essentially equal to a year ago," according to the release.

Five-day performance of General Motors

Honda, Toyota and Nissan didn't see significant changes in their U.S.-listed stocks, despite similar declines in passenger car sales.

The automakers weren't the only auto stocks to take a hit. Shares of dealership conglomerate AutoNation closed over 3 percent lower.