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Auto ETF Revs Up as Car Sales Hit Six-Year High


An automobile related exchange traded fund is at full throttle as low-interest loans, an improving economy and pent-up demand help drive record car sales.

The First Trust NASDAQ Global Auto Index Fund (CARZ) rose 1.7% Wednesday. CARZ is up 26.4% year-to-date.

General Motors Co., Ford Motor Co. and Chrysler Group all revealed double-digit sales in August.

“The industry as a whole continues to experience a robust improvement in demand,” John Humphrey, senior vice president of the global automotive practice at J.D. Power and Associates,s aid in a L.A. Times article. “August is looking to be the best month for retail sales that we’ve seen in the past seven years.”

Humphrey predicts consumer spending on new vehicles in August reached $36 billion, a new record high. [Auto ETF Shifts Up on Strong Consumer Car Demand]

Cheap leasing helped boost gains, accounting for 27% of new-vehicle purchases in the second quarter.

“Attractive low lease payments have proven very effective at getting new-car buyers back into the market,” Jessica Caldwell, a senior analyst at Edmunds, an industry researcher, said in a N.Y. Times article. “In many cases, leases are paying less than they did pre-recession while getting a more expensive car.”

“The news is even more positive than the overall numbers imply, as individual car buyers, not fleet sales, are behind the surge,” Edmunds senior analyst Michelle Krebs said in a USA Today article.

The recovering economy and improving consumer sentiment has pushed consumers to purchase a new vehicle after holding off in the wake of the recession.

“Right now, based on three years of pent-up demand, an aging national car fleet, artificially low interest rates and some glimmers of hope that the economy is really developing some momentum, the auto industry is out-performing the growth of the overall economy,” Jack Nerad, executive editorial director and market analyst at Kelley Blue Book, said in the USA Today article.

First Trust NASDAQ Global Auto Index Fund

For more information on the auto industry, visit our automobiles category.

Max Chen contributed to this article.

The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, and may not actually come to pass. Information on this site should not be used or construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any product.