The major car manufacturers saw growth in the double-digits last month and preliminary estimates peg August auto sales at between 15.8 million and 16 million, all of which is good news for the transportation industry, according to BB&T Capital Markets.
In a note to investors, BB&T pointed out that August sales of 16 million vehicles, which has been predicted by J.D. Power & Associates, would represent the largest sales volume in a single month since November 2007. Demand for large pickups and smaller passenger cars fueled the growth, BB&T wrote. Chrysler saw its best August in six years, and Toyota’s August sales increased by 23 percent, year over year. General Motors and Ford experienced growth of 15 percent and 12 percent in August, respectively, when compared to the same period in 2012.
“Analysts are expecting U.S. auto sales to finish 2013 on a strong note, potentially reaching pre-recession levels not seen since 2007,” BB&T said. “Furthermore, sales could be above forecasts if automakers can keep supply up with demand, as some dealers noted shortages of certain models.”
BB&T highlighted Pacer International — which, it said, derives 40 percent of its revenue from the auto industry and has strong ties to the Mexican auto market — and XPO Logistics as beneficiaries of a robust auto market. The company also noted that Atlas Air Worldwide has seen an uptick in auto-part air freight out of Asia to the United States. - Jon Ross