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MarketScreener Homepage  >  Equities  >  Tokyo  >  Nissan Motor Co Ltd    7201   JP3672400003

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Nissan Motor : US auto sales likely dropped in 2017, but remain strong

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01/03/2018 | 09:05pm CEST

DETROIT (AP) — The U.S. auto industry's historic growth streak may be ending, but demand for new vehicles — especially SUVs — remains healthy as the new year begins.

U.S. auto sales are expected to fall 2 percent to 17.1 million in 2017, according to Kelley Blue Book. That would be the first year-over-year decline since 2009, ending an unprecedented seven-year expansion.

General Motors, Toyota and Ford all reported a 1 percent declines in sales last year compared to 2016. Fiat Chrysler's sales fell 8 percent. Honda's sales were flat, while Nissan's rose 2 percent. Volkswagen brand sales rose 5 percent.

While sales are likely to fall short of 2016's record of 17.55 million, 2017 is still expected to be the fourth-best sales year in U.S. history.

Analysts think sales will fall a bit further this year. While low unemployment and rising consumer confidence are expected to boost demand, rising interest rates could make it more expensive for people to finance new vehicles.

"That's real money to consumers," said Charlie Chesbrough, a senior economist with Cox Automotive, which owns AutoTrader.com and other car-buying sites.

Vehicles are also becoming more durable so many consumers aren't buying new ones, which further puts a drag on sales. The average age of vehicles on the road has climbed to 11.6 years, up from 8.8 years in 1998.

The growing popularity of leasing will have a big impact on 2018 sales. Almost one-third of new vehicle sales were leases in 2015, and many of those 4 million lessees will be trading in their vehicles for new ones, according to the car buying site Edmunds.com. (Edmunds regularly provides content, including automotive tips and reviews, for distribution by The Associated Press.)

But leasing also has a downside for automakers, since the influx of late-model used cars returning to the market will cut into sales of new vehicles.

Tax cuts also could be a mixed blessing. They will likely stimulate demand, particularly for commercial trucks and vans. But the more the economy grows, the more likely it is that the government will raise interest rates, Chesbrough said.

Here are more details of December and 2017 sales:

—WINNERS AND LOSERS: Ford's F-Series pickup truck remained the best-selling vehicle in the U.S. in 2017, a title it has now held for 36 years. Ford sold 896,764 F-Series trucks in the U.S. last year, or nearly two trucks every minute, partly because of post-hurricane demand in Texas and Florida. Low gas prices and other factors had buyers ditching cars for SUVs at a fast clip; sales of the GMC Acadia SUV jumped 26 percent, while sales of the Nissan Rogue SUV jumped 22 percent to more than 400,000. Car-heavy brands like Chrysler, Dodge and Fiat all saw their sales drop by double-digit percentages. Toyota Prius hybrid sales plummeted 20.5 percent.

— LUXURY CROWN: Mercedes-Benz's sales fell 1 percent to 337,246, but that was still enough to make it the top-selling luxury brand in the U.S. for the second straight year. BMW eked out a second-place finish just ahead of Lexus. But some luxury brands struggled. Cadillac and Lexus both saw their sales drop 8 percent last year; Lincoln sales plummeted 17 percent in December. Mark LaNeve, Ford'sU.S. sales chief, said mainstream brands are getting so luxurious that many buyers don't feel the need to step up to a luxury label.

— PILING ON THE DEALS: New vehicle prices hit a record last year, averaging $36,113 as buyers bought bigger SUVs and added more safety and infotainment features, Kelley Blue Book said. At the same time, automakers piled on deals in order to juice sales and hang on to their market share. Chevrolet was offering $11,000 off a 2017 Silverado pickup as part of an employee-pricing promotion in December. Automakers spent an average of $4,302 per vehicle in incentives last month, passing the previous record set in November, according to the consulting firm J.D. Power. Analysts expect a pullback in incentive spending this year as automakers cut inventory. But there will still be good deals, especially on slow-selling vehicles like midsize sedans.

— DECEMBER DIP: No one was expecting U.S. auto sales to top December 2016, which was the best single month in 15 years. Ford's sales were up 1 percent last month as its new large SUVs hit the market, but most automakers saw declines. Fiat Chrysler's sales fell 11 percent for the month, while Toyota's sales dropped 8 percent and Nissan's sales were down 9.5 percent. GM's sales fell 3 percent. Volkswagen's dropped 19 percent.

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed., source Associated Press News

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Financials (JPY)
Sales 2019 11 882 B
EBIT 2019 -
Net income 2019 540 B
Debt 2019 6 811 B
Yield 2019 5,65%
P/E ratio 2019 7,31
P/E ratio 2020 6,64
EV / Sales 2019 0,93x
EV / Sales 2020 0,93x
Capitalization 4 250 B
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Mean consensus HOLD
Number of Analysts 20
Average target price 1 177  JPY
Spread / Average Target 17%
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Hiroto Saikawa Vice Chairman, President & Chief Executive Officer
Carlos Ghosn Bichara Chairman
Hiroshi Karube Chief Financial Officer
Takao Asami Senior Managing Executive Officer & Head-Research
Anthony Thomas Chief Information Officer & Corporate VP
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