Thursday, June 11, 2009

Auto Sales for May

U.S. auto sales are still down 39% versus a year ago, which is still a substantial decline. It appears that the U.S. based automakers are having a rebound in sales with the exception of Chrysler. Sales were the best they have been since the summer of 2008....with a annual run rate of 1.1 million cars.

Ford and GM sold more cars in May and cut the downward spiral sales for the month. During April, Ford and GM sales were down 32% and 35% respectively. An interesting fact is that GM declared bankruptcy during May but their sales were up from the prior month. Meanwhile, Chrysler stayed down 47% for both months.

Mitsubishi down 58%
Chrysler down 47%
Honda down 42%
Toyota down 41%
Mazda down 40%
Nissan down 33%
Mercedes down 31%
General Motors down 29%
BMW down 28%
Ford down 24%
Volvo down 23%
Hyundai down 20%
Volkswagen down 16%
Kia down 16%
Subaru down 5%

It appears that new products were the reason behind the twenty percent increase in sales over April. The Ford Fusion, Ford Flex and the company's hybrids set sales records. In addition, two new Lincoln sedans the MKZ and the MKS helped Lincoln post a 2% increase.

Ford's Fusion set a record of 18,321 cars breaking into the top three mid-size sedan market for the first time since July 2002. The Ford Fusion and Mercury Milan have the best predicted reliability among all mid-size sedans. The Japanese brands have dominated the mid-size segment with the Toyota Camry and the Honda Accord.

May sales were up at a fairly decent run rate of 1.1 million cars annually. So, it appears that consumers had more faith in the future to spend money on high ticket items.

An interesting anomaly is that sales of Japanese brands continue with the downward spiral meanwhile U.S. manufacturers seem to be improving. We will have to monitor to see if that is a trend that will continue!


  1. Hi Pete .. I guess the same is happening here - I see some new cars around.

    My question would be .. how many of these are fleet cars - bought by companies?

    It seems we'll be losing a lot of our middle and low market car plants ... importing those - specialising in the high end, and the specialist technology developments ..

    Honda having had a close down for 5 months .. is now back but on a reduced wage .. they seem to have got an accepted flexible model for the car plant .. and got the unions on side.

    Interesting times - Hilary Melton-Butcher
    Positive Letters

  2. Hi Hilary,

    Thank you for your update from England! A number of the business indicators show that England is ont he rebound. Hopefully, that is the case!

    In the U.S. fleet sales are down considerably. Many of the those sales go to the rental car companies but with airline travel down...those sales have dropped.

    What your describing about the low and middle markets will only get worse! The Chinese and the Indians will come on line in the next 10 years and build some inexpensive cars to be exported around the world. It basically comes down to the cost per hour to build the cars.

    President Obama has pushed the U.S. automakers to build small cars here in the U.S. GM will build the new Chevrolet Cruze here and Ford will build the new Ford Focus here.

    Thanks for your comment!

    Pete Baca
    The Car Enthusiast Online

  3. Hi Pete,
    Automobile economics are in the news. I think that things were out of control,and the checks and balances has kicked in. We should have the freedom to drive the size of car that we want to.

    Thanks again,

    Dr. Moulas

  4. Dr. Bob,

    Your correct...there were a number of companies out of control. Overall, Obama has helped the U.S. auto industry recover. I don't care what has been done with Chrysler.

    I am of the opinion that we should have the freedom to drive any vehicle that we want. The new CAFE regulations will require auto companies to increase their fleet average economy so there will be many changes.

    Also, I am of the opinion that a number of new technologies will help us drive the vehicles that we want.

    Thanks for your comment!

    Pete Baca
    The Car Enthusiast Online

  5. Thank you Peter, for keeping us in the know on this situation. It is such a mess. Hilary helps us to know what is happening in the UK. You do that for the US. Keep up the good work.
    Dan and Deanna "Marketing Unscrambled"

  6. Hi Dan & Deanna,

    It is interesting to see the changes going on....even they are not positive. I am rooting for Ford...they seem to be doing a lot of thing right currently. My wife drives a Lincoln MKZ and really likes the car. We have purchased a number of Ford cars.

    Also, I hope GM will recover and build some great cars....normally this is a real wake up call for the industry. The new Cadillacs and Chevy's are great cars!

    Thanks for your comment!

    Pete Baca
    The Car Enthusiast Online