Valley Auto Sales Decline 2.6% in May

U.S. Automakers Rebound After Months of Decline

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – American auto manufacturers rebounded after several months of sales declines as General Motors Co., Ford Motor Co. and Fiat Chrysler Automobile all posted gains in March and beat out industry projections.

General Motors reported large gains for both overall sales and retail sales – that is, sales to individuals. Overall sales reached 296,341 in March, a 15.7% gain from last year, while retail sales were up 13.8% to 231,156. The numbers beat out projections from industry analysis firms Edmunds and Cox Automotive, which forecast sales to rise 3.6% and 7.3%, respectively.

The company also announced that it will stop releasing monthly sales figures, opting instead to release the numbers quarterly, which executives say will better reflect the market.

“Thirty days is not enough time to separate real sales trends from short-term fluctuations in a very dynamic, highly competitive market,” GM U.S. sales chief Kurt McNeil said. “Reporting sales quarterly better aligns with our business, and the quality of information will make it easier to see how the business is performing.”

In the sales report for March, all four GM brands reported an increase in total sales, led by Buick’s 28% climb to 26,834. That brand’s No. 1 model was the Encore with 15,118 sold, the only one to cross 5,000 units sold.

Chevrolet’s sales rose 15.6% to 199,367 sold, led by the Silverado with 52,547 delivered to customers. The Lordstown-built Cruze, meanwhile, saw sales drop 13.4% to 16,122, good for No. 3 on the sales list.

Sales for Cadillac were up 12.7% to 14,494 and were led by the XT5, of which 6,188 were sold. And GMC’s sales rose 11.4% to 55,646, topped by the Sierra pickup line with 17,082.

Ford Motor Co. reported an overall 3.4% increase in sales as 244,306 cars, trucks and SUVs left dealerships last month. However, the company’s retail sales rose only 0.8% to 158,996. Edmunds and Cox Automotive projected the company’s sales to rise 2.8% and 1.3%, respectively.

For the Ford brand, overall sales climbed 3.6%, coming in at 234,954 last month. The brands best-seller was the F-Series truck line, of which 87,011 were sold, followed by the Escape with 27,370 sold.

Sales of the Lincoln brand fell 2.1% to 9,352 with the sales chart topped by the MKX with 2,605 sold.

“March represented a strong start to the spring selling season for both Ford and the industry,” said Mark Leneve, Ford’s vice president of U.S. marketing, sales and service, in a release. “We saw incredible demand for our trucks and SUVs, selling over 87,000 F-Series pickups. Ford brand SUVs established a new sales record in March.”

Fiat Chrysler reported a 14% climb in sales behind a strong month from its SUV lines, beating out analysts’ projections ranging from 2.5% to 3.3%.

Jeep and Chrysler both reported gains in March, with Jeep sales up 45% to 98,382 and Chrysler up 15% to 19,499. Jeep’s No. 1 model was the Wrangler with 27,829 delivered. Chrysler’s top seller was the Pacifica with 13,086 sold.

The Ram truck line and Dodge both posted year-over-year declines, with Ram falling 13% to 44,878 and Dodge dropping 2% to 49,184.

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