Yesterday we noted that auto investors celebrated the fact that, while auto sales were down massively year-over-year (to the tune of nearly 6% for the Detroit 3), June figures were ‘less bad’ than expected, so ‘good’. All of which sparked even more ‘irrational exuberance’ among OEM equity owners and sent Ford/GM shares soaring.
But, rather than focus on the headline numbers, perhaps those equity owners should spend a little more time analyzing the record incentives and deteriorating underwriting standards that have been required to generate those ‘less bad’ results.
Take, for example, incentive spending for the month of June. As Automotive News points out, overall industry incentive spending soared nearly 10% YoY with brands like Hyundai and Honda slashing 42% and 20%, respectively, to move their bloated dealer inventories.
ALG reports automakers spent an average of $3,550 per new vehicle sold in June, up 9.7 percent from a year ago. The average discount is expected to account for 10.8 percent of the average transaction price of vehicles sold last month — marking the 11th time in the past year that incentive spending has accounted for 10 percent or more of the sale price, according to industry forecasters.
Autodata Corp. says average incentive spending heading into June was up 15 percent to $3,516 per vehicle sold. Despite weakening demand for cars, incentive spending for light-duty truck increased 16 percent compared to 13 percent for light-duty passenger cars during the first five months of the year.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jul 4, 2017.