Although certain economic indicators were not overly positive last month, the same cannot be said about the automotive market in the US, with the industry continuing to show a healthy appetite towards growth.
The seasonally adjusted annual sales rate or SAAR climbed to its highest pace in almost ten years, at 17.8 million units – with automakers, even those showing a negative trend, managing to outshine analysts’ predictions with their performances. The trend has continued to showcase the rising consumer interest towards sport utility vehicles, crossovers and pickup trucks, with the segments usually commanding a higher selling price and fatter profit margins for the automakers. “Our Jeep brand continues to set records with its best monthly sales ever in May, helping us to achieve our 62nd consecutive month of year-over-year sales increases,” said Reid Bigland, head of sales at FCA US, for example. For GM pickup trucks and crossovers were also the main assets, with sales on the retail level rising 7 percent as most of its primary competitors lost some ground. “Chevrolet has the hot hand in the pickup market thanks to our three-truck strategy,” commented Kurt McNeil, General Motors’ U.S. vice president of sales.
Even Ford, which has lost some ground in May, said that its deliveries are actually hampered by the lack of enough aluminum-bodied F-150 models, with the new generation in tight supply on dealer lots and setting a new record when it comes to average transaction prices for the month of May – the company has even reduced down times during the summer from two to one week at the plants making it and other hot-selling Ford models.