It’s a big day in Detroit, as Chrysler Group LLC, Ford Motor Co., and General Motors Co. posted a double-digit sales increase last month. The increase is down to each company’s new models and strong fleet sales.
Chrysler led the Big Three with a 33 percent increase compared to a year ago, with Ford in second with a 23 percent increase, and GM brought up the rear with a 16.6 percent increase.
Sales of Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, and Cadillac rose 32 percent compared to May of last year. Last month, GM sold 223,822 vehicles and then proceeded to post its fifth consecutive month of double-digit sales gains. Ford sold 192,253 vehicles last month and posted its sixth consecutive month of sales gains. That streak should easily be pushed to seven with the new Fiesta only months away. Chrysler sold 104,819 vehicles, the first time the company sold over 100,000 units since last year.
"The company continues to show improvement each month, with May being our strongest month this year, exceeding overall industry growth for the second month in a row," said Fred Diaz, Chrysler’s sales chief to The Detroit News.
A look back at May 2009 shows a massive recovery in sales and a return from financial uncertainty for GM and Chrysler. Edmunds.com predicts that most automakers will see double-digit gains as well, expect for Toyota Motor Corp., which has risen only 7.5 percent over last year which is really no surprise considering their obstacles this year.
For GM, year-to-date combined sales of the Cadillac CTS wagon, Cadillac SRX, GMC Terrain, Buick LaCrosse and Regal, and the Chevrolet Camaro and Equinox have climbed 323 percent. GM’s luxury brand Cadillac saw its sales rise by 54 percent, followed by Buick with 37 percent, Chevrolet with 31 percent and GMC with 26 percent.
"Each of our brands has new products that are being received well by customers," said Steve Carlisle, GM’s vice president of U.S. sales operations to The Detroit News
"In fact, these new vehicles now account for about one in every four retail sales in the U.S. With each brand launching new vehicles in the next few months, we are optimistic about the remainder of the year."
The Detroit automakers sales were also helped by strong fleet sales, as GM has been known to do, with rental car companies restocking their inventory. Ford’s fleet sales were up 32 percent last month, thanks to its trucks being sold to commercial customers.