ICYMI: Automotive earnings, w/e 7/31

Several automakers announced big gains this week.

As we wrap the week, we're taking a quick look at some of the bigger earnings announcements from the industry. While the U.S. auto industry is strong, South American and Asian markets (notably Brazil, China and Russia) are hitting some volume manufacturers where they've recently invested quite a bit of money in developing industry infrastructure.

Here are this week's highlights:

Nissan - Operating profit up 58% to 193.71 billion yen ($1.57 billion USD). Nissan was an exception to the rule when it comes to China, maintaining growth compared to a year ago (even when Nissan's funky accounting of China sales is factored in). The Japanese automaker's year-end forecast remains unchanged.

FCA - Operating profit up 5.8% to 1.53 billion euros ($1.67 billion USD). FCA's continued success rides on big performances from its U.S. brands--especially Jeep. FCA adjusted its 2015 forecast up from 4.1 billion euros ($4.5 billion USD) to 4.5 billion euros ($4.94 billion USD) or more.

Mazda - Operating profit down 5.4% to 53.32 billion yen ($430 million USD). Despite following Nissan's lead with strong China sales and keeping up its U.S. momentum, Mazda couldn't quite overcome booked depreciation losses for infrastructure development and currency exchange. Mazda's global sales were up 16% in the quarter and the automaker is maintaining projections of a slight increase in profit for the end of its fiscal year.

Subaru (Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd.) - Operating profit up 70% to 134.21 billion yen ($1.08 billion USD). Good news for Subaru is practically no news at all theses days. The weaker yen has helped Japanese automakers this year and Subaru is no exception. The company is struggling to build enough cars to sell in the United States, where total sales are up 14.5% YTD with no ceiling in sight. Fuji is holding on to its forecast year-end improvement of 19%.

Ford - Operating profit flat, $2.6 billion. The Blue Oval is still struggling to get its truck game together (relatively speaking, of course), but the money is coming in nonetheless. While being flat compared to a year ago may not seem impressive, the fact that they're still bringing in good profits despite a noteworthy drop in (high-profit) F-150 volume changes the story a bit. Ford's full-year forecast remains unchanged.

Some automakers' results are still outstanding as of publication time. We're looking forward to Toyota's numbers especially so we can get a better idea of where they're being edged out in the current battle for first place on the global playing field.

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