US Auto Sales: Top 3 US Automakers posted strong sales, but economy slows [table] image

Top 3 US automakers notched robust U.S. sales gains in May– but industry demand slowed from the strong pace of the first four months.

The weaker-than-expected sales, which included mixed results from Ford Motor Co, were a bad sign when combined with an anemic U.S. jobs report on Friday. The US Department of Labor released employment statistics for the month of May on Friday, and almost every figure factored into their report suggests that the recent stabilization of the jobs market was only a momentary one.

The unemployment rate edged higher to 8.2 percent, up from 8.1 percent in April.

Chrysler Group LLC said Friday its U.S. auto sales rose 30% last month, while Ford Motor Co. posted a 13% increase and General Motors Co. an 11% rise despite weakness for its Cadillac brand.

The results show that pent-up demand is overpowering any fears about the economy, analysts say.
But people are buying because they have to replace aging cars and trucks that they kept through the Great Recession. The average age of a vehicle on U.S. roads is now pushing 11 years, and they are simply wearing out.

Question is – how much the industry will continue to announce sales gains …

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