Automotive MMI: Toyota, Fiat Chrysler Sales Rise; Overall May U.S. Sales Fall

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Steven Husk/Adobe Stock

The Automotive Monthly Metals Index (MMI) dropped five points, down to a June MMI value of 86.

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U.S. Sales

Fiat Chrysler’s May sales increased 2% year over year, reaching 218,702 vehicles for the month.

“On a year-over-year basis we have increased our average transaction prices by more than $3,000 a vehicle and still managed some notable sales increases,” said Reid Bigland, Fiat Chrysler’s U.S. head of sales. “In its first full month on sale, our all new Jeep Gladiator pickup truck delivered more than 2,500 vehicle sales, our Ram pickup truck sales soared 33 percent and the Jeep Grand Cherokee delivered its best May sales ever.”

Meanwhile, Honda’s U.S. sales fell 4.9% year over year, down to 145,532 vehicles, with Honda sales down 5.9% and Acura sales up 5.7%.

Nissan sales reached 131,983 vehicles in May, up 0.1% year over year.

Toyota sales jumped 3.2% year over year to 222,174 vehicles in May. Toyota hybrid sales jumped 44.7%, while Lexus hybrid sales were up 40.1%.

Ford Motor Co., which announces sales on a quarterly basis, last month announced it would cut 7,000 jobs, amounting to 10% of its salaried workforce, CNN reported.

General Motors, meanwhile, which also reports on a quarterly basis, announced last month it is in talks with Workhorse Group Inc. to sell the automaker’s plant in Lordstown, Ohio.

“We remain committed to growing manufacturing jobs in the U.S., including in Ohio, and we see this development as a potential win-win for everyone,” GM CEO and Chairman Mary Barra said in a release. “Workhorse has innovative technologies that could help preserve Lordstown’s more than 50-year tradition of vehicle assembly work.”

According to a forecast by J.D. Power and LMC Automotive, May new-vehicle retail sales were projected to fall 3.1% from May 2018.

“May is one of the highest volume months of the year and its performance typically indicates how the year will play out,” said Thomas King, senior vice president of the data and analytics division at J.D. Power. “The expected sales decline in May, coupled with weak sales year-to-date has left the industry with rising inventories of unsold vehicles. Manufacturers are responding with larger discounts to take advantage of the Memorial Day weekend which is one of the busiest car-buying periods of the year.”

Xinhua: China Auto Sales Projected to be Flat in 2019

Meanwhile, state-run news agency Xinhua reported auto sales in China are expected to finish approximately level with last year.

According to Xinhua, auto sales in China are forecast to hit 28.1 million units in 2019. Citing a report jointly released by the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers and other parties, passenger vehicles sales are forecast to reach 23.7 million units, similar to last year.

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Actual Metal Prices and Trends

U.S. HDG fell 5.0% month over month to $837/st as of June 1. U.S. platinum bars fell 7.4% to $820/ounce, while U.S. palladium bars fell 4.1% to $1,309/ounce.

U.S. shredded scrap steel fell 8.1% to $295/st.

LME copper fell 9.6% to $5,820/mt.

Chinese primary lead fell 6.5% to $2,320.48/mt.

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