With the advent of the first spring month also came the sales blossom, with deliveries growing 8% and two of the Detroit three posting good results.
Industrywide sales grew to 1.39 million cars and lights trucks, up 8.1%, while the annual sales rate, adjusted for seasonal trends, went up to 16 million cars. While GM improved sales over analysts expectations and Chrysler had its best April since 2007, Ford under delivered but the news was overshadowed by the CEO change.
GM went up 6.9% – signaling that its 2.6 million small cars recall is not affecting overall sales, especially those of full-size pickups (up 12%) and large SUVs (up 22%).
The “trend in GM’s total and retail sales has only improved since news of its ignition-switch recall affecting older-model cars became widely reported upon in the media — we believe furthering our thesis that GM market share will not be materially impacted as a consequence of the issue,” said Ryan Brinkman, an industry analyst with JPMorgan Chase & Co.
Chrysler managed its 49th consecutive sales gains, with total sales up 14% compared to April 2013. Still, for the brands last month brought mixed results – Ram was up 17% and Jeep a great 52%, while Dodge sales were flat and Chrysler dropped 26%.
Ford in the mean time slipped 0.8%, with US light-vehicle sales of 210,355 – compared to GM’s 254,076 units. The news was eclipsed by the announcement that Alan Mulally would leave the CEO seat, with Mark Fields filling it since July 1st.