GM Stock: U.S. Auto Sales To Show Big Q4 Drop As This Milestone Looms


General Motors (GM), Ford Motor (F) and Stellantis (STLA) will tee up to report U.S. auto sales for December and the fourth quarter, with chip headwinds seen modestly easing in the new year. GM stock rose early Tuesday, a day after flashing a buy signal while Ford hit a long-term high.




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Toyota Motor (TM) and Honda Motor (HMC) also report Q4 and December sales.

In 2021, Toyota is expected to surpass GM as the top U.S. automaker for the first time. The milestone for the Japanese automaker comes after it managed tight supplies from the chip shortage better than most rivals, with solid sales for both its Toyota and Lexus brands.

Pace of U.S. Auto Sales To Sharply Slow

The annualized pace of new vehicle sales in December is expected to reach 13 million, according to J.D. Power and LMC Automotive. That would be down 3.5 million units from a year ago and up a modest 200 million units from November.

Cox Automotive pegs the December pace of auto sales, or seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR), even lower, near 11.4 million.

Chip Shortages, Vehicle Inventories

Heading into 2022, analysts see the hit to auto production and sales from the global chip shortage improving.

“But it will take time to restock the shelves at dealerships,” said Cox Automotive Senior Economist Charlie Chesbrough.

In the current first quarter, Chesbrough expects “modest gains” in new vehicle sales. By the second half of 2022, “a much more robust market should emerge,” he said.

Thomas King, president of data and analytics at J.D. Power, said slight improvements in vehicle shipments will be offset by pent-up consumer demand, keeping inventories near historic lows. For car stocks, “2022 is likely to be another year of record-setting pricing and profitability,” King said.

Here is how automakers performed in Q4 2021 vs. expectations. The results show sales volume, as well as volume growth or decline.

Toyota Motor

Q4 2021 sales estimate: 459,329, down 30.5% vs. Q4 2020 and down 24% vs. Q4 2019.
Results: Check back later.
Toyota stock rose 3.6% to 192.98 early Tuesday. If the gains hold in the regular session, Toyota would be out of range from a 182.94 buy point. On Tuesday, the Japanese automaker said it aims to develop and license its own software platform for next-gen vehicles by 2025. The move could put it in the same league as Tesla (TSLA).

General Motors

Q4 2021 sales estimate: 414,544, down 46% vs. Q4 2020 and down 43% vs. Q4 2019.
Results: Check back later.
GM stock rose 1.1% to 61.86 in premarket action on the stock market today. On Monday, GM shares robunded above the 50-day line and came up to a trendline break. Analysts at Goldman Sachs named GM an EV stock to buy into 2022, along with Tesla (TSLA). On Wednesday, GM is set to reveal its Silverado pickup electric truck, a likely rival to Ford’s F-150 Lightning.

Ford Motor

Q4 2021 sales estimate: 507,695, down 6% vs. Q4 2020 and down 15% vs. Q4 2019.
Results: Check back later.
Ford stock rose 3.1% early. On Monday, Ford stock popped 4.8% to 21.77, hitting a 20-year high. Early Tuesday, Ford said it will build nearly twice as many F-150 Lightning all-electric trucks, amid hot demand.

Stellantis, formerly Fiat Chrysler

Q4 2021 sales estimate: 395,605, down 21% vs. Q4 2020 and down 27% vs. Q4 2019.
Results: Check back later.
Stellantis stock added 1.7% in Tuesday’s premarket. On Monday, shares rose 4.2% to 19.54, moving above its 50-day line.

Honda Motor

Q4 2021 sales estimate: 278,625, down 24% vs. Q4 2020 and down 31% vs. Q4 2019.
Results: Check back later.
Honda Motor stock edged up 0.1% early. On Monday, shares advanced 1.3% to 28.82, back above its 50-day line but well below its 200-day.

Find Aparna Narayanan on Twitter at @IBD_Aparna.

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