As usual, January should bring frosty winds, lots of snow and freezing temperatures and in 2014 the USA had them all in big parts of the country. So, the US automakers took the beating, with Ford and Gm missing estimates. The bright spot was Chrysler, who managed to post an 8% increase.
Mother Nature’s full throttle blast took its toll and took industry sales down 3,1 % (data from Reuters) to 1,011,188 units. Still, according to Autodata the US annual selling rate overall remained a robust 15.2 million vehicles, practically flat from January 2013.
“The weather clearly affected January sales, and not just in traditionally cold areas,” said Jessica Caldwell, senior analyst with Edmunds.com. “After the first polar vortex at the beginning of the month, we saw the market start to make up some of those lost sales. But by the time the second vortex struck last week, there wasn’t enough time to make up all of January’s lost sales.”
As extreme temperatures and, in some regions, record snowfall affected huge parts of the country, Ford announced company sales fell 7.1 % to 154,644 units. As the Ford brand went down 8.4 %, Lincoln was a big winner, posting a 42.5 % gain on the strength of MKZ sedan and the MKX crossover.
Same sad story at GM, where the company reported sales dropped 11.9 % to 171,486 and this time all four brands were down in January.
“The bad weather only seemed to affect our competitors’ stores,” teased Chrysler as it reported double-digit sales increases for its Jeep and Ram truck brands.
So, it looks Chrysler dwelled in the frightful weather, as sales rose 8 % in the month to 127,183, thanks to big jumps at its Jeep and Ram truck brands. The full-size Ram pickup went up 22% and the 2014 Jeep Cherokee was among the bestseller models of the company.