Automotive stocks in Europe continue to feel paid as the industry continues its global recession. The region posted a drop in car sales of 0.5% for April, as the market shrank for the eight consecutive month, according to Reuters. As a result the Stoxx 600 Auto and Parts Index slumped again, down about 1.5%, heading into Friday's U.S. cash open.
The move lower was led by Nissan, Ford and Volkswagen, who all posted sharp declines in the region. Nissan saw sales decimated 17.1% as the company continues to struggle with putting the scandal related to former chairman Carlos Ghosn behind it. Ford, currently in the process of downsizing in Europe, saw a 5.1% drop while Volkwagen saw a 3.4% decrease.
Auto registrations fell to 1.345 million cars in the EU and EFTA states from 1.351 million a year ago, according to the monthly report by the Brussels-based Association of European Carmakers.
The news comes days after we reported dismal sales data out of China for April, indicating that the auto industry was in a wide-reaching slump. For April, sales in China dropped 16.6% year-over-year to 1.54 million units, following a 12% decline in March and an 18.5% slide in February. In addition, April SUV sales fell 14.7% to 642,220 units.
The last time retail auto sales were up in China was all the way back in May 2018, meaning sales have declined for a record 11 months in a row.
In addition, data out of the U.S. for April wasn't any more promising.
US auto sales in April tumbled by 6.1% - the biggest monthly drop since May 2011 - to just 16.4 million units, the lowest since October 2014. Aside for an incentive-boost driven rebound in March, every month of 2019 has seen a decline in the number of annualized auto sales. Furthermore, as David Rosenberg notes, the -4.3% Y/Y trend is the weakest it has been for the past 8 years.
Adding "fuel to the fire", the average price of a new car in April came in at $36,720, the highest ASP so far this year, according to The Detroit News.
It comes at a time where interest rates remain above 6% on average in the U.S., further pressuring sales.