Company News

GM and Chrysler Sales Slip as Ford Rises

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – New car sales in the U.S. continued to follow the downward trend seen all year as two of the Big Three American automakers posted a year-over-year drop in sales. While General Motors Co. and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles were both down in May, Ford Motor Co. was the only to see and increase in sales.

General Motors’ sales fell 1.3% from last year, with 237,364 vehicles sold across the U.S. Two of the company’s four brands, Buick and Cadillac, posted gains, while both Chevrolet and GMC were down.

Buick’s sales were up 28.5%, totaling 20,077, while Cadillac sales rose 9.2% to 13,211. GMC sales fell 5.2% as 41,126 trucks and vans were sold.

Chevrolet sales fell to 162,950, down 3.8% from a year ago. Leading sales for the brand was the Silverado, with 43,804 delivered to customers for a 2.7% drop. The Lordstown-built Cruze was the fourth-best seller in May as 17,120 were sold, a 2.7 gain.

At Ford Motor Co., sales rose 2.2% as both of its brands reported a jump in sales. Ford sales totaled 230,838, a 2.1% increase, while Lincoln’s sales were up 4.9% to 10,288.

Leading sales for the Ford brand was the F-Series pickup line, which saw its sales rise 12.8% over May 2016 with 76,027 hitting the streets. Atop the Lincoln sales chart was the MKX with 2,682 sold, a 4% drop.

For Fiat Chrysler, sales dipped 1% to 193,040 delivered in May. Among its four American brands, both Dodge and Ram were up for the month, while Jeep and Chrysler fell.

Dodge sales were up 8% to 51,044, led by the Caravan, of which 13,786 were sold in May. For the Ram truck line, 51,0144 were sold last month.

Chrysler sales fell 2% to 17,969 last month. Leading sales for the brand was the Pacifica with 11,720 sold, a 325% increase from last year. Jeep sales, meanwhile, were down to 75,516, a 15% drop. The Grand Cherokee was the top seller for Jeep with 20,276 sold.

In their monthly sales estimate, analysis firms J.D. Power and LMC Automotive noted that the Memorial Day weekend, traditionally one of the busiest in the auto industry, would not be strong enough to overcome the drop in sales that’s been seen all year.

“On the surface, continued downward pressure on auto sales since the beginning of the year is troubling,” saidJeff Schuster, LMC’s vice president of forecasting, in the estimate, released May 25. “However, we believe some of the weakness year-to-date has been exaggerated by jitters over policy risk with the Trump administration. If uncertainty dissipates and tax cuts are initiated or [original equipment manufacturers] engage higher incentives, stronger demand could return for an encore performance in the second half of the year. However, the industry still must deal with negative effects of a growing used car market and the notion of rising interest rates, both of which are real risks to future volume and potential growth.”

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.