Auto sales in the U.S. grew 8.2% to 1.44 million units in May
while it rose 10.9% to 15.3 million vehicles on a seasonally
adjusted rate (SAAR) basis. Thanks to the continued macroeconomic
recovery, aging vehicles on the U.S. roads and strong demand for
commercial vehicles from businesses.
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Among the six major automakers (U.S. and Japanese),
Nissan Motor Co.
) continued to top all the automakers in terms of sales growth.
Let's look at the sales figure by individual automakers.
General Motors Company
) posted a 3.1% rise in sales to 252,894 vehicles in May, driven
by strong demand for its Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck. In
fact, it was the company's best month since Sep 2008. Silverado
sales went up 25% to 43,283 units in the month.
Ford Motor Co.
) sales rose 14.1% to 246,585 vehicles, driven mainly by strong
demand for its F-Series pickup truck and the redesigned Ford
Escape small SUV. Sales of Ford's F-Series pickup, the
best-selling vehicle in the U.S., grew 31% to 71,604 units while
sales of Escape escalated 26% to 29,123 units.
Chrysler Group - controlled by Italy's
) - recorded an 11.0% rise in sales to 166,596 vehicles, driven
by continued strong sales of its Ram pickup truck. Ram pickup
sales gained 22% to 31,672 units during the month. Jeep brand
sales rose about 1% but Chrysler brand sales fell 2% due to a
poor performance from the 300 large sedan (down 18%).
Toyota Motor Corp.
) sales inched up 2.5% to 207,952 units due to strong demand for
its Lexus luxury brand. Lexus car sales surged 29% to 12,422
units led by the ES midsize sedan. However, Lexus utility sales
went down 17%. Toyota brand car sales scaled up 4% but truck
sales were flat.
Honda Motor Co.
) recorded a 4.5% rise in sales to 140,013 vehicles driven by
strong sales gain of its light trucks and Accord sedan. Light
truck sales rose 7.8% to 64,395 units while sales of Accord sedan
rose 11.7% to 33,218 units.
Nissan Motor posted an impressive 24.7% rise in sales to 114,457
vehicles in May. Nissan Division sales rose 31.2% to 106,558
units, driven by models like Sentra, Altima sedan and Leaf
electric car as well as Pathfinder and Rogue trucks. However,
sales of Infiniti vehicles dipped 25.4% to 7,899 units in the
Strong pent-up demand, easier car finance and improving
macroeconomic conditions will continue to act as a catalyst to
rejuvenate U.S. auto sales to the pre-recession level. Good news
is that improving auto sales will also help the overall economic
recovery in the U.S. being a key industry for growth. Despite
some headwinds, full year sales are expected to exceed 15 million
units compared with 14.5 million units in 2012.
GM expects a 7% rise in industry sales in 2013. Meanwhile, Ford
predicted an 8% gain in the year, which reflects more than
threefold rise compared with the overall economic growth of
2%-2.5% forecasted by the automaker.