- GM’s Detroit HQ.
- Stan Honda/AFP
- Ford, GM, and Fiat Chrysler are expected to report solid revenues and profits – although GM and Ford could see declines from the second-quarter of 2017.
- FCA will have new CEO Mike Manley overseeing earnings after Sergio Marchionne fell ill.
- Both Ford and GM have set up separate self-driving car units that Wall Street might look to for future growth.
Wednesday is a big day for the big three American automakers – all are reporting second-quarter earnings, General Motors and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles before the markets open, and Ford after the bell.
All are expected to produce solid profits and revenues, but analysts figure both GM and Ford will report top and bottom line declines from the same quarter last year.
FCA will be a different story, not because of the financials, which are expected to be strong, but because former CEO Sergio Marchionne has fallen seriously ill and was replaced over the weekend by Mike Manley, who had been running the Jeep brand and will oversee earnings.
Analysts will want to know in some detail FCA’s plans for dealing the abrupt transition to new leadership, even though Marchionne had planned to retire in 2019.
With Ford’s and GM’s automotive businesses in good shape – despite some issues with a fire taking out all-important Ford pickup-truck production earlier this year – Wall Street will likely turn its attention to its self-driving car efforts.
A $2.25-billion investment in GM’s Cruise division from Japan’s SoftBank coupled with another $1.1 billion from GM itself has given Cruise an eye-popping $11.5-billion valuation just two years after the San Francisco-based startup was snapped up by the auto giant
Ford is following suit, setting up its own Ford Autonomous Vehicles unit as a standalone entity, and announcing that the company will have its own CEO and be able to court third-party investment.