U.S. light-vehicle sales surged 11% year over year to 1.61
million in May 2014. Sales on a seasonally adjusted annualized rate
(SAAR) basis increased to 16.8 million in May 2014 from the
year-ago level of 15.5 million units. The May SAAR is the highest
since Jul 2006.
All major automakers reported strong sales figures, led by
General Motors Company
Toyota Motor Corp.
Nissan Motor Co. Ltd.
) and Chrysler also reported double-digit sales growth. Nissan led
in terms of the year-over-year sales growth rate.
Consumers remained unfazed by the unending stream of recalls by
General Motors, leading to the company's best May sales in seven
Ford Motor Co.
) reported its best May retail sales in 10 years, while Toyota had
its best monthly sales in 6 years. Chrysler Group also reported its
highest May sales since 2007.
Let's look at the U.S. sales figures reported by the individual
General Motors recorded 284,694 vehicle sales in May, up 13%
year over year. Retail sales also increased 10%, while fleet sales
Ford reported a 3% increase in total sales from the year-ago
period to 254,084 vehicles in May 2014. Retail sales improved 6%
year over year to 174,889 units.
Chrysler Group - controlled by Italy's
) - recorded a 17% year-over-year rise in sales, pulling the figure
up to 194,421 vehicles. Chrysler witnessed a year-over-year
increase in monthly sales for an impressive 50 consecutive months.
Moreover, this is the best May sales for the group since 2007.
Toyota's sales increased 12.6% year over year on daily selling
rate (DSR) basis and 17% on volume basis to 243,236 units in May
2014. Sales in the Toyota division improved 12.2% based on volume
and 16.5% on DSR basis to 216,315 units. Lexus sales rose 16.6% on
DSR basis and 21.1% on volume basis to 26,921 units.
Honda Motor Co., Ltd.
) recorded a 9% year-over-year increase in sales on volume basis to
152,603 vehicles in May 2014. Sales on DSR basis increased 5%.
Sales in the Honda Division increased 9.8% on volume basis and 5.7%
on DSR basis to 137,928 units. Sales of the Acura Division
increased 2.2% on volume basis but fell 1.6% on DSR basis to 14,675
Nissan Motor posted an 18.8% year-over-year increase in sales to
135,934 vehicles in May. Sales in the Nissan division also climbed
17.8% to 125,558 units. Additionally, sales of the Infiniti
Division hiked 31.4% to 10,376 units in the
With the SAAR staying above the 16 million mark in each of the
last three months, the improvement in the U.S. auto sales is
expected to continue in the months ahead. The current growth in
auto sales is buoyed by low interest rates, rising employment
rates, growing consumer confidence and recovery of the housing
market. Moreover, with the improvement in the general economic
situation, banks are offering more car loans with lower interest
rates and longer repayment periods. Further, the high average age
of cars on the U.S. roads is resulting in high replacement demand
for cars as well as car parts.
Moreover, automakers continue to offer ample incentives to
attract customers. Five weekends in May and an early Memorial Day
acted as the icing on the cake.
In the long term, sales are expected to rise on the back of
strong pent-up demand, improving macroeconomic conditions and
easier car financing. As the automobile sector is a key industry,
improving auto sales will help in reviving the overall U.S.
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