Basic UK 71 Folder Collection
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European auto stocks are stuck in the first gear.
This chart showing share prices falling even as earnings forecasts are upgraded says it all.
Investors clearly don't have much faith that those profits can continue for long.
Car sales have peaked in the United States and seemingly in the UK, too.
Investors fear that shrinking volumes and weaker pricing in the down leg of the cycle,
will be exacerbated by the leverage in their financial services subsidiaries.
These are vast undertakings, as this chart shows.
And in addition to generating extra profits,
financing operations have helped car makers
sell bigger and more profitable cars more frequently.
But could they now pose an existential threat to manufacturers?
Many investors worry that falling used car prices and rising interest rates
could expose bad lending and trigger write-downs,
although car makers contend that their expectations of secondhand car values
are actually very conservative.
And let's face it.
There is little evidence of looming stress in the bond or stock markets.
Finance subsidiaries can still raise funds at very, very low interest rates.
Volkswagen has just securitized 89,000 Spanish car loans
at just 38 basis points over one month Euribor.
That's the lowest rate for asset-backed issuance in Spain since the financial crisis.
And last month, Societé Générale floated its auto finance subsidiary ALD ,
at almost twice its book value.
That's a rating most banks can only dream about.
Moderation of the leasing boom will hurt car makers,
but unless the markets have got it very wrong,
the financial risk posed by the fincos to the automakers themselves is fairly small.
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Car stocks stuck in first gear | Short View

71 Folder Collection
Ann published on July 6, 2017    Ann translated    Samuel reviewed
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