U.S. saw sluggish 2.3% growth in light vehicle sales in April
2012, to 1.18 million units from 1.16 million units in the same
month last year. Meanwhile, it rose 9.5% to seasonally adjusted
annual rate (SAAR) of 14.42 million units from 13.17 million units
in April 2011.
The sluggish growth can be attributable to lower sales recorded
by the two biggest players in the industry -
General Motors Company
Ford Motor Co.
) - and fewer selling days (due to more Sundays than April last
year). But thanks to the fuel-efficient lineups and pent-up demand,
the auto sales recovery has kept on track.
sales dipped 8% to 213,387 units from last year due to lower sales
to car rental companies. Three of its four brands (Chevrolet, Buick
and Cadillac) saw significant decline in sales. The remaining GMC
brand reported a 4.5% increase in sales during the month.
The Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck was the company's hottest
selling vehicle, with sales up 5% to 30,749 units. However, sales
of its top selling sedan Cruze slashed 28% to 18,205 units.
sales slid 5% to 180,350 vehicles due to shortages in production.
The company's top selling vehicle during the month was F-Series
pickup trucks, which saw a 4% rise in sales to 47,453 units.
Meanwhile, sales of the recently revamped models - Lincoln MKS
sedan and MKT crossover - surged more than 50% during the
Chrysler Group LLC - controlled by Italy's
Fiat SpA (
) - again reported its best month in four years. The automaker saw
an impressive 20% rise in sales to 141,165 vehicles during the
month, driven by higher incentives. Fiat 500, Chrysler 200, Dodge
Challenger, Jeep Wrangler and Dodge Avenger were their top-selling
vehicles during the month.
Toyota Motor Corp.
) sales grew 12% to 178,044 vehicles, driven by impressive sales of
Camry and the Prius hybrid that offset lower sales of the Lexus
luxury lineup. Sales of Camry surged 21% to 36,820 units while that
of Prius doubled to 25,168 units from the prior year.
Honda Motor Co.
) sales inched down 2% to 122,012 vehicles due to lower car sales
(5%) that more than offset the impact of higher truck sales (1%).
Honda division sales including Fit, Accord, Odyssey and Pilot went
down 3%, while the luxury Acura division saw a 5% rise in sales
during the month.
Nissan Motors Co.
) recorded a marginal 0.3% fall in sales to 71,329 vehicles, partly
due to lower sales of its biggest-selling vehicle Altima. Nissan
Division sales fell 1% to 64,200 units, while sales of Infiniti
vehicles went up 5% to 7,129 units during the month.
) Mercedes-Benz sales scaled up 12% to 22,336 units. The higher
sales were led by C-Class sedan (up 23%) and M-Class sport-utility
vehicle (up 54%).
) sales shot up 31.5% to 37,525 units. The higher sales were
attributable to redesigned Passat and Beetle models.
Hyundai Motor Co.
) sales inched up 1% to 62,264 units. The new Accent and Veloster
small cars were the highly sought after model during the month.
Strong pent-up demand and higher consumer confidence led by
improving macroeconomic conditions in the U.S. will continue to
revive the industry from recessionary lows. According to Jesse
Toprak - vice president of the car-buying website TrueCar.com -
total sales in the industry could go up to 14.5 million in 2012, up
13% from 12.8 million in 2011.
The good news is that a revival of the automotive industry will
lead to a recovery in other industries as well, since the former
generates demand for many products that are used in manufacturing
the automotive components.
DAIMLER AG (DDAIF): Free Stock Analysis Report
FORD MOTOR CO (F): Free Stock Analysis Report
FIAT SPA (FIATY): Free Stock Analysis Report
GENERAL MOTORS (GM): Free Stock Analysis Report
HONDA MOTOR (HMC): Free Stock Analysis Report
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TOYOTA MOTOR CP (TM): Free Stock Analysis
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