Investor's Corner

Automotive stocks plunge going into October

Credit: Carlos Delgado; CC-BY-SA"

As inflation and supply chain issues continue to rattle the world economy, automotive stocks have plunged going into October.

Despite numerous brands expected to deliver record numbers of vehicles and some reporting successful Q3 production and delivery numbers, automotive stocks have plunged as global issues continue to hamper automotive stocks in particular. Tesla, in particular, is down in pre-market trading by nearly 5%.

Over the past five days, numerous big names in automotive stocks have taken hits in share prices. Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA) is down 4.4% in pre-market and down 2.4% over the past five days, Ford (NYSE: F) down 8.2%, GM (NYSE: GM) down 8.5%, Stelantis (NYSE: STLA) down 3.6%, Volkswagen Group (OTCMKTS: VWAPY) down 8.7%, Toyota (NYSE: TM) down 4.2%, and even Porsche (XETRA: P911) has dipped below their IPO price only days after release.

Reuters chalks up the downturn to inflationary pressure more than supply chain issues. Specifically, they site an announcement from used car seller CarMax, saying that customers are decreasing spending on large purchases, including vehicles. TrueCar analysts told Reuters that automakers might need to lower pricing and/or lengthen financing terms to incentivize customers to purchase vehicles in this inflationary time.

Porsche’s IPO is a surprise considering the stock only became available recently and quickly became the most valuable IPO in over a decade. It should be noted that the new public brand has faired particularly well compared to older stocks, only down 1.5% over the past five days.

With the expected release of Q3 earnings, production numbers, and more expected in the coming week/s, it remains unclear how investors will react to the news. While many online personalities have rejoiced at the news of Tesla’s continued production growth in Q3, the stock followed the industry trend and lost significant value. The same could happen to other brands.

Inflationary issues are ironic as the US dollar has become stronger than ever as the Pound, Euro, Yen, and many others have fallen in value. This could mean that many US automakers will face issues selling abroad as their products are more expensive due to currency conversions.

All of this is to say is that, while automotive stocks were able to weather the COVID storm better than most, they are now facing a new set of challenges that are making future predictions next to impossible. The future, in short, remains unclear.

William is an owner of Ford and Tesla Stock and numerous ETFs and index funds, including many of the stocks listed above.

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Automotive stocks plunge going into October
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