For the Big Three, 2005 was a down sales year for two out of three -- and the biggest two at that.
The news at DaimlerChrysler
Chrysler continued to build on a successful 2004, when a record nine new models were introduced. Although the new model introductions slowed in 2005, sales didn't. They increased a strong 5%.
General Motors has already announced its restructuring plan, which includes health care cost reductions. Analysts expect it to report modest earnings of $1.06 a share in 2006. At 18.2 times forward earnings, earnings-challenged GM is hardly what I'd call value priced, given the relative uncertainty surrounding its outlook.
The outlook ahead is cloudy for Ford. Its Jan. 23 announcement of a restructuring plan is expected to include plant closings and layoffs. Ford's president for its operations in the Americas stated today that the 2006 sales outlook will probably not outshine 2005. Analysts agree. They expect Ford to report a decline in 2006 earnings.
DaimlerChrysler expects to introduce a record number of new models next year. That should help the company post the $4.23 a share in earnings analysts expect (up from a projected $3.34 this year). At 12.6 times forward earnings, the company is priced below the 14.5 times Toyota
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