As analysts have predicted earlier in May, GM and Ford have reported significant sales falls in the United States, but Fiat Chrysler has posted a surprisingly positive result.
May has always been a very slow month in terms of auto sales in the United States and all major automakers were estimated to report drops. However, among the Detroit’s Big Three, General Motors posted the biggest decline of 18 percent, hitting 240,450 vehicles last month because of the two fewer selling days and the planned cutting strategy on rental fleets. GM said its rentals were down nearly 22,000 units, or 49 percent, while year-to-date rentals plunged more than 82,000 vehicles from a year ago. The biggest carmaker in US estimated that the seasonally adjusted annual selling rate (SAAR) for light vehicles in May was 17 million units and on a calendar-year-to-date basis, the light vehicle SAAR was 17.2 million units.
Sales of Ford and Lincoln models declined only by 5,9 percent to 235,997 units in May, dragged down by 25 percent crash of their passenger cars. This decline was too much of a burden to offset an 8.9 percent rise of the brands’ trucks and the best sales results in 38 years for Ford Vans, which was based on the strength of a 16 percent gain by the full-size Transit.
A surprise for analysts was Fiat Chrysler’s report which showed 204,452 units sold last month, a 1 percent increase, thanks to its Jeep brand’s 14 percent rise. “Notwithstanding a challenging calendar, we managed to muscle our way to our strongest May sales in over 10 years,” said Reid Bigland, Senior Vice President – Sales, FCA – North America.