Autos Skid To A Halt

Image source:

What's going on?

Slam the brakes on! Shares of Fiat Chrysler, the Italian-American owner of Jeep and Maserati, fell by 16% on Wednesday and General Motors stock reversed by 5% too, thanks to their disappointing outlooks.

What does this mean?

Fiats second-quarter profits fell short of investor expectations, with China failing to drive growth as hoped. Jeeps revamp in the country didnt accelerate as hoped, as competition swerved into its lane. And Chinese customers of Fiats luxury sports cars put their purchases on hold, instead waiting for lower tariffs on imports from July. As a result Fiat said it expects annual profits to be about 10% less than planned.

General Motors of Chevy fame saw its better-than-expected second quarter tailgated by higher steel and aluminum costs, which crashed into future profit expectations and spun the companys targets for this year off the road.

Why should I care?

The bigger picture: A baptism of fire for Fiats new CEO.

Fiats new CEOs only been in the driving seat for a few days stepping in after illness beset the previous leader (leading to his death, announced just minutes before Wednesdays earnings report). He intends to keep the company on the straight and narrow for the time being, but will also have to contest with guiding the company into the age of electric vehicles and trade tensions in key markets the US and China. Some investors may be optimistic as hes got a strong track record at the company jump-starting the Jeep brand in recent years.

For markets: Investors are trading in their autos.

Stocks of both European and US automakers fell by as much as 3% on average. In June, Mercedes-Benz manufacturer Daimler said Chinas tariffs on cars from the US will hit its bottom line and reduced its profit expectations for the year. Investors sold off its stock along with its competitors but may have been somewhat taken aback by higher costs of metals weighing on profits it surprised Americas biggest aluminum producer, Alcoa, too. Some relief may be in sight however late on Wednesday, the US and EU said that they would work to resolve their nascent trade war.

Originally posted as part of the Finimize daily email.

The top 2 financial news stories in 3 minutes. Join over one million Finimizers

Read next

Moment Of DAUt

Sign up to Finimize

Get the two most important global financial news stories each day. Sent at midnight UK time.

Get started with one email a day

The top financial news stories in 3 minutes.