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投资理财

特朗普政策未见效果,汽车业正经历着惨痛一年

2017年08月07日

特朗普认为,放宽管制会增加在美国生产汽车的吸引力,实施关税也会促进投资,但当下如此做不会有什么效果。

这是对美国经济的糟糕信号:就在联邦政府取消“旧车换现金”项目促进汽车销量后的一年,汽车销量跌幅达到了2010年8月以来的最大值。

通用汽车7月的销量下跌了15%,创一年多来的最大跌幅。他们在底特律的竞争对手也好不了多少:福特汽车的销量下滑幅度乃是去年10月以来最大,而菲亚特-克莱斯勒今年的下跌之势也是公司史上第二糟糕的境况。

这些令人失望的数据,凸显了底特律在实现特朗普总统对其“再次成为全球汽车之都”的期许过程中的挣扎。这些本土汽车厂商开始解雇美国工人,尤其是那些生产轿车的工人,这些汽车已经不再受到美国消费者的青睐。人们对汽车需求的减少,导致了在该领域的支出降低,这也给美国经济的增长拖了后腿,而多年来,汽车业本为美国经济的发展立下过汗马功劳。

芝加哥DS Economics的首席执行官和创始人黛安·史万克表示:“你不可能给经济赊账。汽车业比其他行业表现更加强劲,这种情况持续了好一阵子,原因在于他们给那些付不起贷款的人借贷了。销量会很快提升,但现在他们要付出代价了。”

传统美国汽车厂商的销量下滑幅度都超出了分析师在彭博新闻调查中给出的预期。日产汽车和本田汽车比预期的情况稍好,但出现销量增长的只有丰田汽车。

整个行业的出货量下滑了7%,也是“旧车换现金”项目终止一年以来的最大跌幅。后者是2009年8月起实施的一个项目,由于消费者借此更换了更加节能的车型,也促进了美国汽车的销量。

Autodata Corp.的数据显示,轻型车辆的销量经过季节性变化的修正,在7月下滑到了1,680万辆,而去年同期则是1,780万辆。分析师普遍估计的销量是1,700万辆。

存货过多

通用汽车的汽车库存可以支持104天,远超年终目标的约70天。高管表示,他们计划今年下半年削减在北美的汽车产量,与上半年相比会减少15万辆。

尽管通用汽车计划的工厂停工,其部分原因在于更换设备用于升级车型,如非常重要的全尺寸皮卡,但公司也减少了四个轿车装配工厂的当班人员,预计有五分之一将在9月被解职。

福特计划第三季度在北美减少3.4万辆汽车产量。公司表示产能要匹配需求,并宣布增加肯塔基州卡车工厂的产量,用于生产新款的福特征服者和林肯领航员SUV。

今年,大部分大型汽车厂商的股价都落后于美国股市指数的基准值。菲亚特-克莱斯勒是个例外,消费者从轿车转向皮卡和SUV的品味变化让他们从中受益。此外还有特斯拉,由于公众对更加平价的Model 3车型表示期待,公司的股价也在飙升。

上周二,通用汽车的股价下跌3.4%,创今年2月以来的最大跌幅,福特股价下跌2.4%,也是三个月以来最糟糕的一次。

随着普通消费者和汽车租赁公司都开始削减汽车购买量,汽车厂商需要努力追赶去年下半年的优异表现。上个月,雪佛兰Impala和福特Fusion的出货量跳水了约40%。

特朗普的失败

这些数据彰显了特朗普的失败。他曾在今年3月对汽车厂商表示,他会在环境标准上给厂商们松绑,希望能够带回更多工作岗位。

野村证券国际公司在纽约的首席经济学家刘易斯·亚历山大表示:“特朗普认为,放宽管制会增加在美国生产汽车的吸引力,实施关税也会促进投资,但当下如此做不会有什么效果。”

底特律的传统汽车厂商还要与日本和其他提供SUV车型的奢侈品牌竞争,并要以前所未有的销量卖出汽车。

IHS Markit的高级汽车经济师彼得·内格尔表示:“市场份额如今已经被更多具有竞争力的厂商瓜分,因此,底特律的汽车三巨头也受此影响。”

不过,内格尔补充道,北美工厂已经把制造重点转向了皮卡和SUV,所以消费者更青睐大型汽车对美国经济是有益的。

他说:“我们在制造这类汽车上确实拥有特长。”(财富中文网)

译者:严匡正

Here’s a bad sign for the U.S. economy: Auto sales just fell the most since August 2010, a year after the federal government’s “Cash for Clunkers” program to stimulate demand came to an end.

Sales at General Motors Co. plunged 15 percent in its home market in July, the biggest drop in more than a year. Its Detroit rivals didn’t fare much better: Ford Motor Co. reported its biggest sales decline since October and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV had its second worst tumble this year.

The disappointing showing underscores how Detroit has been struggling to live up to President Donald Trump’s prediction that it would become “the car capital of the world again.” The hometown automakers are instead laying off U.S. workers, particularly those who build passenger cars that have fallen out of favor with American consumers. A demand slump has rendered spending on vehicles and parts a drag on U.S. economic growth, after years of contributing to expansion.

“You can’t jawbone the economy,” said Diane Swonk, chief executive officer and founder of DS Economics in Chicago. “The auto industry was stronger than the rest of the economy for a while because they were giving credit to people who couldn’t pay loans. Sales crested sooner and now they are paying the price.”

The traditional U.S. automakers each missed projections for declines that analysts gave in a Bloomberg News survey. While Nissan Motor Co. and Honda Motor Co. both beat projections, only Toyota Motor Corp. posted a gain.

Industrywide deliveries fell 7 percent, the steepest drop since the anniversary of “Cash for Clunkers,” a program that inflated U.S. sales in August 2009 as buyers traded in for more fuel-efficient wheels.

The annualized pace of light-vehicle sales, adjusted for seasonal trends, slowed to 16.8 million in July, according to Autodata Corp., from 17.8 million a year earlier. The average analyst estimate was for a 17 million rate.

Inventory Glut

With GM’s vehicle inventory at 104 days’ supply, well above a year-end target of about 70 days, executives have said they plan to build 150,000 fewer vehicles in North America in the second half of the year compared with the first six months.

While part of GM’s planned factory downtime relates to plants being retooled for updated models, including all-important full-size pickups, the company also has cut shifts at four passenger-car assembly plants, and a fifth is scheduled to be dropped in September.

Ford plans to reduce North American production in the third quarter by 34,000 vehicles compared with a year earlier. The company last week cited the need to match output with demand and a Kentucky truck plant gearing up to make new Expedition and Lincoln Navigator sport utility vehicles.

Shares of most major automakers have trailed benchmark U.S. stock indexes this year. The exceptions have been Fiat Chrysler, which is poised to benefit from the shift in consumer tastes away from cars toward pickups and sport utility vehicles, and Tesla Inc., which has soared in anticipation of the more affordable Model 3 sedan.

GM shares dropped 3.4 percent last Tuesday, the biggest drop since February, while Ford fell 2.4 percent, the most in almost three months.

Automakers are poised to struggle measuring up to strong second-half results from a year ago as both regular consumers and rental companies have been cutting back on car purchases. Deliveries plunged about 40 percent for both the Chevrolet Impala and Ford Fusion last month.

Trump Setback

Those sorts of numbers are a setback for Trump, who told automakers in March he’d cut them a break on environmental standards and wanted more hiring in return.

“The idea was that some kind of deregulation would make it more attractive to build cars here and that implementing a tariff would create investment, that won’t be relevant at this point,” said Lewis Alexander, chief economist at Nomura Securities International Inc. in New York.

The traditional Detroit automakers are also competing with Japanese and luxury brands offering more SUV models -- and selling them at larger volumes -- than ever before.

“That market share now is being spread amongst a greater competitive set, and the D3 are suffering as a result of that,” said Peter Nagle, senior automotive economist with IHS Markit.

Still, North American factories have honed their focus on pickups and SUVs, so shifting consumer preferences toward bigger autos should be good for U.S. economy, Nagle added.

“We do have a particular expertise in building these vehicles,” he said.

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