May 2014 US Auto Sales
Detroit June 3, 2014; Ben Klayman and Paul Lienert writing for Reuters reported that automakers on Tuesday reported higher-than-expected U.S. new car sales in May, underpinning a broader recovery in the U.S. economy.
They reported that General Motors Co, Ford Motor Co and Chrysler Group beat analysts' expectations, as did Toyota Motor Corp and Nissan Motor Co. GM and Chrysler said May sales were the best for that month in seven years, and Nissan set a sales record for the month.
"Industry sales in May soared as consumer confidence improved and demand for new vehicles continued to strengthen," said Bill Fay, group vice president of Toyota Motor Sales USA.
In spite of a record number of recalls at GM since the first of the year GM's May sales were up 12.6 percent to 284,694 vehicles, well above the consensus of nine analysts polled by Reuters. All four GM brands reported sales increases, with gains at Chevrolet and GMC driven in part by strong demand for new full-size utility vehicles and pickups.
Ford's U.S. sales boss, John Felice, said demand was strong, especially over the Memorial Day weekend: "We're very encouraged with what we see in a robust industry thus far this year."
Ford said May sales rose 3.0 percent to 254,084 vehicles, with gains for both the Ford and Lincoln brands. Chrysler was up 16.7 percent, to 194,421. Toyota climbed 17.0 percent, to 243,236, and Nissan jumped 18.8 percent, to 135,934.
The U.S. auto industry is forecast to show a third straight month of strong sales after cold and snowy weather pressured results in January and February. Analysts polled by Reuters expected May industry sales to rise about 7 percent, with an annual sales rate of 16.1 million vehicles, but the actual results could surpass those projections.