Automakers’ Stocks Are Still Climbing Even As Sales Fall. Confused?



Car sales have tumbled around the world as the global shortage of computer chips forces carmakers to reduce production, and in some cases stop it altogether.

So you might expect that kind of bleak picture to send the stock prices of automakers plunging in response. But that’s not what’s happening. In fact, the opposite is true: stock prices have actually risen. GM’s shares rose almost 8 percent in September and Ford’s climbed by nearly 9 percent.

It turns out that investors on Wall Street aren’t quite as loopy as they might appear. CNN Business explained in a recent article that despite falling car sales, investors are instilled with confidence by a couple of factors that are persuading them to play the long game.

One is that carmakers insist people still want to buy cars. “Underlying demand conditions remain strong, thanks to ample job openings, growing pent-up vehicle demand and excess savings accumulated by many households during the pandemic,” Elaine Buckberg, GM’s chief economist, stated.

Related: Volvo Confirms Initial Public Offering On Nasdaq Stockholm

We’ve all heard of stories about dealers selling cars for way over MSRP as customers battle to buy from a smaller pool of available product. CNN cites figures from Kelley Blue Book that calculate the average new vehicle in the U.S. sold for $43,355 in August, representing a 10 percent rise on the same period last year.

But the other, even bigger driver of stock price rises is investors’ confidence in the car industry’s move to electrification. Ford’s recent decision to invest billions of dollars in two brand new manufacturing facilities for electric vehicles in Kentucky and Tennessee, GM’s upcoming announcement about its future electric plans, plus news that Tesla delivered a record 241,300 cars in the third quarter of 2021 have helped persuade Wall Street that the auto industry will soon be in a good place, even it it isn’t in one right now.

The public has already embraced the idea of electric cars as something no longer on the fringe, and if the U.S. government continues to promote adoption of the technology, that pent up demand for cars we mentioned earlier will become demand for electric cars specifically tomorrow. And that could result in a tidy payout for investors buying stock today.

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