Surging Auto Sales in May

Written by Sandy Williams

The auto sale roundup for May started out with gusto. Early reporter Chrysler posted US automotive sales at 194,421 units, a 17 percent increase year over year. Chrysler’s Jeep brand set a sales record in May with 64 percent jump in sales. On CNBC this morning, they were reporting Chrysler as saying their forecast was for auto sales to reach 16.9 million units on a SAAR basis.

General Motors sales were up 13 percent with delivery of 284,694 vehicles in May, marking the best May in seven years and the best total sales since August 2008.

Ford had a surprising increase of 3 percent in May with sales of 254,084 units. After the weak performance last month, analysts were expecting a decrease of 2 percent. The Dearborn and Kansas City truck assembly plants will be closed for 10 and 3 weeks, respectively, to retool for the incoming F-150 lines. Ford expects to lose market share due to the down time.

Toyota reported sales were up 12.6 percent to 243,236 units. Nissan jumped 19 percent year over year to 135,934 vehicles in May. Honda sales were up 9 percent to 152,603 units.

Hyundai had its best month ever with sales up 3.7 percent to 70,907 vehicles. The first 2015 Sonata from the Alabama assembly plant was sold over the weekend as the new line hit dealerships. Kia, celebrating its 20th anniversary in the US, sold 60,087 vehicles for a year over year increase of 14.8 percent and an all time best sale month record.

Volkswagen of American sales fell 15.4 percent in May to 32,163 units. So far the company is down 11.5 percent on a year to date basis from 2013. Sales for Audi, VW Groups premium brand, were up 25.5 percent to 16,601 vehicles.

WardsAuto reports the current projected seasonally adjusted annual rate for May auto sales is 16.65 million. “Analysts expected May auto sales to be good–but not this good,” said Armada in its Executive Intelligence Brief.  

Armada was surprised by the 4.3 percent drop in Fords F-150 sales in May.  Considered almost a “proxy” for the farming and construction sectors, Armada questioned whether the decreased sales might indicate anything about the farming and construction sectors.  Generally, when the sectors are strong so are truck sales. It’s something to think about…


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