What’s Shaking in the American Auto Industry?
It’s going to be a big year for Chevrolet in 2013. At least, so says communications chief Mike Albano and the 13 new or updated models slated for release. The General Motors (NYSE:GM) brand has sold over 1.4 million vehicles so far this year, up 4.9 percent from last year. Brand loyalists, or those looking to trade, can expect to see a new iterations of the Silverado pickup, Tahoe SUV, Impala Sedan, Spark battery-electric, Cruze diesel, and Sonic RS, among others.
“When we look at our Chevy car consideration and we go back to 2010 to now, what we’re seeing is a 63 percent increase in people saying, ‘I would definitely consider a Chevrolet,'” said Chevy small car marketing director Cristi Landy to The Detroit News. Chevy has led 2012 growth for GM.
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The company attracted a lot of negative PR since it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2009. Although the reborn GM has lost over 28 percent share value since its IPO, it has posted 16 percent growth this year to date, and looks well positioned in the market.
Ford (NYSE:F), GM’s domestic rival, declared fourth-quarter dividends of $0.05 per share on October 11. This is in line with the previous three quarters.
Meanwhile, the kid cousin of public American auto companies, Tesla Motors (NASDAQ:TSLA) continues to soldier through difficulties. The company, which only manufactures electric cars, recently landed a $10 million grant from California to build a rechargeable sport-utility vehicle. Just before that, the company raised $200 million in a secondary stock offering. Tesla has attracted some controversy centered around a $465 million government loan, but has managed to consistently make payments.
Investors raised their eyebrows at the end of September when the company posted third-quarter revenue projections that were almost half of what analysts expected — $44 million projected out of $86 million expected. According to the Associated Press, Elaine Kwei, an analyst at Jefferies, wrote: “We believe Tesla could become a longer-term story as the electric vehicle market develops; the next catalyst hinges upon volume shipments of the Model S.”
Unfortunately, production for the Model S is behind schedule. According to the company’s SEC filing: “As our main focus is on quality, we have methodically increased our Model S production at a rate slower than we had earlier anticipated.” The company is expecting to make 20,000 Model S vehicles in 2013.
Not to be forgotten, Winnebago (NYSE:WGO) is seeing remarkable year to date gains in share value of over 65 percent. Sales crashed after the crisis on 2006 and 2007, and the company missed fourth-quarter adjusted earnings by 3 cents per share, but the company is seeing increased demand.
“The dramatic increase in our sales order backlog reflects the positive dealer response to our new 2013 model year products,” said CEO Randy Pots, according to Reuters. The company saw its best August in five years, with sales over 24,000.
Competitor Thor Industries (NYSE:THO) posted a 27.3 percent increase in earnings per share in its fiscal fourth quarter, beating analyst expectations. The company also suffered after the crisis and is benefiting from the same general increase in demand for big-ticket purchases.
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