The Automotive Monthly Metals Index (MMI) held flat this month, posting a reading of 86 for the December MMI.
U.S. auto sales
As noted previously, General Motors, Ford and Fiat Chrysler all report sales on a quarterly basis.
As for the monthly reporters, Honda’s U.S. sales surged 11.1% on a year-over-year basis, with Honda brand truck sales surging 21.3%.
“With one month to go in 2019, robust sales of light trucks are leading the Honda and Acura brands to a strong finish, with record November auto sales for American Honda,” said Henio Arcangeli Jr., senior vice president of Automobile Sales at American Honda Motor Co. “Based on the strength of our products and disciplined approach to sales, American Honda is bucking industry trends, with record sales in three of the last four months.”
Toyota Motor North America also posted a strong November in the U.S. market. Toyota’s sales increased 9.2% year over year on a volume basis and 5.0% on a daily selling rate basis.
Nissan sales, however, were down 15.9% year over year.
Hyundai reported November sales increased 6% year over year.
A forecast released jointly by LMC Automotive and J.D. Power indicated November new-vehicle retail sales would be up from a year ago, increasing 1.2% on a selling day adjusted basis.
“The industry is expected to show growth in November with the benefit of an additional weekend, but the gains are being accompanied by rising incentives,” said Thomas King, senior vice president of J.D. Power’s data and analytics division. “Strong promotional activity over the holiday weekend is expected to drive spending to the highest level ever.”
GM-Isuzu JV to develop new diesel engine plant
As we noted last week, DMAX — a joint venture of General Motors and Isuzu — plans to invest toward construction of a new diesel engine plant in Ohio.
“Due to the growing strength of GM’s all-new 2020 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra heavy-duty pickups, General Motors and Isuzu announced today a $175 million investment through its DMAX joint venture to build an all-new, diesel engine components plant in Brookville, Ohio,” General Motors said. “The new 251,000 square-foot facility would expand the production of critical engine components for the company’s current DMAX diesel engine manufacturing operation in Moraine, Ohio.”
According to GM, the JV will invest approximately $175 million toward the new plant.
Ford’s Mach-E, Tesla’s Cybertruck join the fray
In product developments, both Ford and Tesla recently unveiled additions to their electric lineups.
At the recent L.A. Auto Show, Ford showcased its Mach-E Mustang, the first addition to its Mustang lineup in over half a century.
The automaker touted the all-electric SUV’s aesthetics and power, which will be available in standard- and extended-range battery options.
Meanwhile, Tesla unveiled its new Cybertruck, which features a stainless steel body. The base single-motor, rear-wheel drive model will come in at a price tag of $39,000, according to the automaker.
Actual metal prices and trends
U.S. HDG rose 6.8% month over month to $797/st as of Dec. 1.
LME three-month copper rose 0.5% to $5,877/mt. U.S. shredded scrap steel rose 4.4% to $235/st.
The Korean 5052 coil premium fell 3.1% to $3.11/kg.