Ford, GM feel Europe's economic pain
The automakers are experiencing tough times at home and abroad, but there may be some light at the end of the tunnel.
Just as Europe undoubtedly felt the backlash from America's economic crisis, American companies are now feeling pain as a result of Europe's troubles.
According to Reuters, Ford will likely lose between $500 million and $600 million in Europe alone this year. The company came to this realization when updating its internal five-year plan. Meanwhile, GM is striving to bump up sales elsewhere, particularly in China, in an effort to offset its losses in Europe.
In addition to buying fewer cars, Europeans are replacing fewer car parts as well, as they tighten their belts in uncertain times. As the debts of countries such as Greece and Spain continue to deplete investor confidence, customers of both automakers will likely remain strapped for cash.
Neither Ford nor GM can afford to deal with any more disappointment. According to Jefferies, May was not a particularly glamorous quarter for automakers in the U.S.
"May's U.S. light vehicle SAAR of 13.7mn missed consensus by 5% and was the first month below 14.0mn this year. That sales missed so widely is concerning given a handful of auto-centric tailwinds in May. Strong auto sales had previously been a key macro highlight. Unfortunately, May's results were befitting of Friday's weak jobs report and followed weaker Chicago PMI, China PMI, and int'l airfreight data, making it a 'weak week' overall," Jefferies said on Monday.
However, there is light at the end of the seemingly endless tunnel. Morgan Stanley believes GM's management is on the right track in terms of execution and strategy, with small wins building up confidence and credibility.
Ford's fate is not yet sealed either. Despite a rocky month, May sales were still up 13% over this time last year.
GM is currently trading at $22, up about 7% year-to-date, while Ford is at $10.60, down around 2.5% year-to-date.
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