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Sales for GM Up, Ford and Chrysler Down in August

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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Car sales nationwide continued to lose pace with 2016’s record totals as two of the Big Three American manufacturers reported a drop in sales in August.

General Motors Co.’ sales climbed 4.2%, totaling 275,552 in August. GMC had the brand’s sales increase from last year as 47,718 trucks and SUVs were sold, up 12.4%.

Chevrolet’s sales rose 11.4% to 196,007, led by the Silverado, of which 54,448 left showrooms. The Lordstown-built Cruze ranked fourth in sales for the brand – behind the Equinox and Malibu – as 16,500 were sold, a 26.1% decline from August 2016.

GM’s other brands both saw a drop in sales. Buick sales fell to 16,811, a 22.5% fall, led by the Encore with 7,682 sold. Cadillac was down 8.1% to 15,016, topped by the Escalade, of which 1,803 were delivered to customers.

Ford Motor Co. reported a 2.1% drop in sales last month as 209,897 were sold in August. Among the three segments – cars, trucks and SUVs – only trucks were above last year’s total with 96,619 delivered, up 9.3%. Car sales fell 8.6% to 47,652 and SUV sales were down 11.3% to 65,626.

For the Ford brand, sales fell 2% to 201,189. Topping its sales chart was the F-series truck line with 77,007 sold last month, up 15% from August 2015. Lincoln sales totaled 8,708, down 5.8%. The luxury brand’s sales were led by the MKX, of which 2,371 were sold.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ sales totaled 176,033 last month, down 11% from a year ago. Among the company’s six brands, only Alfa Romeo saw sales rise, with 1,140 cars leaving showrooms, up from 37 last year.

Chrysler was down 33% to 12,652 cars sold, Fiat down 23% to 2,120 and Jeep was down 15% to 73,191. Both Dodge and Ram posted 2% losses with 43,608 and 43,322 vehicles sold.

Despite the drop in sales, six Fiat Chrysler Automobiles vehicles posted their August ever: Dodge Challenger (6,253 sold), Chrysler Pacifica (7,621), Ram ProMaster (4,589), Ram ProMaster City (1,125), Jeep Compass (9,305) and Jeep Renegade (8,974).

The overall decline in sales was in line with the prediction of industry analysis company J.D. Power, which projected sales to drop 1.9% in August.

“The dip in retail demand for new vehicles in August is consistent with the slowdown observed throughout 2017, despite the availability of large discounts as manufacturers work to clear out last year’s models,” said Thomas King, vice president of original equipment manufacturer operations, media and marketing, in the release.

September could be a month that manufacturers make up ground on last year’s totals, he added, as the Labor Day weekend is one of the busiest sales weekends of the year. Last year, more than 400,000 new cars were sold nationwide, nearly 3% of all cars sold in 2016.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.