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GM, Ford Woes Continue As Sales Weaken In Europe

GM, Ford Woes Continue As Sales Weaken In Europe

By JAMES DETAR
INVESTOR’S BUSINESS DAILY

Sales of Ford and General Motors cars in Europe weakened in November despite a rise in overall number of vehicles sold there, losing market share to Volkswagen.

The European Automobile Manufacturers Association said new car registrations for GM’s Opel Group, including the Vauxhall brand, totaled 62,908 vehicles in November, down 11.9% from a year earlier. Market share fell to 6.6% from 7.6% a year ago. For the year to date, GM has sold 4.2% fewer cars.

Ford registrations slid 5.3% to 64,029 for November, slicing its market share to 6.7% from 7.2%. However, year-to-date unit sales are up 5.9%.

Total EU passenger car registrations for November rose a moderate 1.4% to 953,886 units. Meanwhile, Volkswagen saw its share increase to 26.5% from 26.3%.

Toyota saw its share edge up to 4.5% from 4.4% as it sold 42,630 cars in Europe in November, a 4.2% increase.

RBC Capital Markets also cut its rating on GM to sector perform from outperform Tuesday and lowered its price target to 35 from 41, citing headwinds for automakers in general like slower demand, higher car prices and higher costs due to government regulations.

Deutsche Bank had lowered its rating on Ford from buy to hold on Monday, also citing a shift to an unfavorable global environment for automakers.

GM shares fell as much as 2% early, but had recovered and were up 0.2% in the stock market today.

The top U.S. carmaker’s stock was trading above its 50-day average as recently as Friday, but fell below it Monday. GM’s 50-day average is also below its 200-day, another sign of weakness.

Ford shares dropped 2% early, but reversed and were up 0.9% midday.

Its stock has traded in a narrow range of 13 to 18 since July. It dropped to a 15-month intraday low 13.26 on Oct. 15, then rallied until early December, climbing as high as 16.13 on Dec. 3 before consolidating.