Ford shares gain on upbeat December sales

Ford shares are trading in the green Wednesday, as are GM shares, as both car makers announced upbeat sales in the final month of 2017. Both auto manufacturers’ December sales beat analyst’s forecasts and ended a disappointing year on a brighter note.

Ford shares gain on upbeat December sales

Ford shares are trading in the green Wednesday, as are GM shares, as both car makers announced upbeat sales in the final month of 2017. Both auto manufacturers’ December sales beat analyst’s forecasts and ended a disappointing year on a brighter note.

By 1550 BST, Ford shares were 0.43% higher at $12.72 while GM shares were up 2.08% at $42.67.

December sales impress

The year 2017 had proved a generally disappointing one for US auto makers, being the first year since 2009 that car sales had fallen from the previous year. However, Ford and GM both managed to buck that trend in December.

Ford Motors published sales figures Wednesday showing it achieved total vehicle sales of 242,049 in December, a 0.9% increase from the same month a year earlier.

Full-year vehicle sales at Ford, meanwhile, totalled 2,586,715. While that included a 15.2% decline in car sales from 2016, it also included a record year for sales of SUVS at the US carmaker.

“December capped off a record year for Ford brand SUVs,” said Mark LaNeve, vice president of Ford US marketing, sales and service.

“F-Series had an unbelievable year as we sold nearly 900,000 pickups, with strong high-end truck demand as customers continue to opt for our latest technology and equipment packages,” LaNeve added.

GM performance follows suit

GM also published its December sales figures Wednesday, which showed total sales were 2% up on the same month in 2016. And, while GM’s total sales across 2017 were 1% lower than 2016, that is likely to be a better end result than the industry average which is currently forecast to be a 2% drop in 2017 from 2016.

“In 2017, we had solid GDP growth and good news on employment, wages and consumer sentiment, which helped deliver very strong retail sales for the auto industry,” said Mustafa Mohatarem, GM’s chief economist.

“This year, many consumers will see their take-home pay rise because of tax reform. That will keep the broad economy growing, and help keep sales at very healthy levels even as the Fed increases interest rates,” Mohatarem added.

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