GM Sales Up in March as Ford, Chrysler Drop

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – While 2016 was a record year for American automakers, 2017 is proving to be slightly off the pace General Motors Corp., Ford Motor Co. and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles posted mixed results in March.

General Motors’ sales rose a modest 1.6% as 256,224 vehicles were sold nationwide last month. While two of the company’s brands – Chevrolet and Cadillac – posted sales losses in March, they were offset by double-digit percentage gains for GMC and Buick.

Chevrolet sales were down 2.2% to 172,458 last month and topped by the Silverado with 42,410. The Equinox remained the second-best selling model for Chevy as 22,671 left showrooms, followed by the Lordstown-built Cruze with 18,607 delivered, an 88.3% jump from March 2016.

Cadillac also posted a sales loss as 12,861 cars were sold last month, down 1.5% from last year. The brand’s sales were topped by the XT5 with 5,280 sold.

Offsetting those losses were Buick’s 15.1% climb in sales as 20,957 cars and SUVs delivered to customers and GMC’s 12% increase to 49,948. Topping Buick sales was the Encore with 8,293. GMC sales were led by the Sierra with 18,460.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ sales fell to 190,254, a 5% drop from March last year. Among its American brands, a 33% fall in Chrysler sales and an 11% drop for Jeep were offset somewhat by gains for Dodge and Ram.

Chrysler sales dropped to 16,969 and were led by the Pacifica minivan, of which 9,340 were sold. Meanwhile, Jeep’s sales were down to 67,983 and led by the Grand Cherokee with 20,374 leaving showrooms.

Dodge sales, led by the Caravan with 15,602 sold, rose 10% to 50,076, while sales for the Ram pickup brand were up 6% to 51,749.

Ford Motor Co. posted a 7.2% drop in sales as 236,250 vehicles were sold in the U.S. A 16.9% fall in fleet sales – sales to commercial customers – was largely responsible for the overall drop. Retail sales were down 1.5% to 157,740.

For the Ford brand, sales were down 7.5% to 226,696. The F-Series pickup line topped sales as 81,330 were sold, a 10.1% gain from March 2016. Leading car sales was the Fusion with 18,759 delivered, while the Explorer topped SUV sales with 20,232 sold.

Lincoln sales totaled 9,554 in March, a 1.4% slip from last year. Topping the charts for the luxury brand was the MKX with 2,688 leaving showrooms.

Year-to-date sales for Ford Motor Co. and Fiat Chrysler are both down – 4.4% and 8%, respectively – following 2016’s record numbers, while GM was up 0.9%.


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