The strong U.S. light vehicle sales in Mar 2014 continued in
April, on the back of healthy retail sales, impact of delayed
purchases due to the severe winter weather in January and
February, high incentives and the spring selling season. Sales
during the month increased 8% from the year-ago level to 1.39
Sales on a seasonally adjusted annualized rate (SAAR) basis
increased to 16.1 million in Apr 2014 from the year-ago level of
15.2 million units. However, SAAR went down sequentially from
16.4 million in March.
Most large automakers like
General Motors Co.
Toyota Motor Corp.
), Chrysler and
Nissan Motor Co.
) reported increase in sales in Apr 2014, although
Ford Motor Co.
) reported a decline. Nissan led in terms of the year-over-year
sales growth rate, while General Motors had the highest sales
Let's look at the U.S. sales figures reported by the
General Motors recorded 254,076 vehicle sales in April, up 7%
year over year. Retail sales also increased 8%, while fleet sales
improved 5%. The company is set to launch many vehicles in 2014,
which are likely to improve sales in the coming months.
Ford reported a 1% decline in total sales from the year-ago
period to 211,126 vehicles in Apr 2014. Retail sales fell 1% year
over year to 141,950 units. However, commercial and government
fleet sales increased significantly.
Chrysler Group - controlled by Italy's
) - recorded a 14% year-over-year rise in sales, pulling the
figure up to 178,652 vehicles. Chrysler witnessed a
year-over-year increase in monthly sales for 49 consecutive
months. Moreover, this is the best April sales for the group
Toyota's sales increased 9% year over year on daily selling
rate (DSR) basis and 13.3% on volume basis to 199,660 units in
Apr 2014. Sales in the Toyota division improved 11.7% based on
volume and 7.4% on DSR basis to 176,495 units. Lexus sales rose
23.1% on DSR basis and 28% on volume basis to 23,165 units.
Honda Motor Co., Ltd.
) recorded a 1.1% year-over-year increase in sales on volume
basis to 132,456 vehicles in Apr 2014. However, sales on DSR
basis decreased 2.8%. Sales in the Honda Division increased 1.1%
on volume basis to 118,334 units but fell 2.8% on DSR basis.
Sales of the Acura Division increased 1.6% on volume basis but
fell 2.3% on DSR basis to 14,122 vehicles.
Nissan Motor posted an 18.3% year-over-year increase in sales
to 103,934 vehicles in April. Sales in the Nissan division also
climbed 18.5% to 94,764 units. Even sales of the Infiniti
Division hiked 16.9% to 9,170 units in the month.
Improvement in the U.S. auto sales in the last two months is
expected to continue in the months ahead, backed by a strong
outlook for 2014. In the long term, sales are expected to rise on
the back of strong pent-up demand, easier car financing and low
Additionally, improving macroeconomic conditions, such as low
interest rates, reduced unemployment rates, improving consumer
confidence and recovery of the housing market are likely to boost
sales. These catalysts are expected to drive the U.S. auto sales
to pre-recession levels.
As the automobile sector is a key industry, improving auto
sales will help in reviving the overall U.S. economy. Ford
expects the U.S. industry volume to range within 16-17 million
units in 2014, compared with 15.6 million units sold in 2013.
Meanwhile, General Motors expects industry sales in the range of
16-16.5 million in 2014, while Toyota expects it to be about 16
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