'Big Three' Sales Better in May
DETROIT – Although the numbers were down compared from a year ago, overall sales improved for all three Detroit manufacturers since April, with General Motors delivering the most vehicles at a reported 191,875 total units.
Based largely on data reported by dealers representing their sales to retail and fleet customers, Ford, Lincoln, and Mercury sales totaled 155,954, up 20 percent versus April and Ford's highest sales for any month since July 2008, according to the company sales release.
Sales of the Ford Fusion were 19,786, Ford Flex sales were 4,305, and sales of the company's hybrid vehicles totaled 3,906 — setting three new sales records, Ford said in the statement.
In addition, Lincoln was one of the few brands in the U.S. to achieve a sales increase in May, according to the manufacturer. Lincoln sales totaled 8,566, up 2 percent versus a year ago.
General Motors dealers in the U.S. delivered 191,875 vehicles in May, down 29.6 percent compared with a year ago. However, when comparing GM's May sales with April, total volume was up 11 percent, or about 19,000 cars, crossovers, and trucks resulting in the automaker's best monthly sales performance so far in 2009.
Mark LaNeve, vice president, GM North America Vehicle Sales, service and marketing, attributed the improvement to consumer confidence in the market. "Those signs, along with more clarity on the New GM, are providing some additional consumer confidence," he said in the GM sales release.
GM total truck sales (including crossovers) of 110,866 were down 22 percent, and car sales of 81,009 were off 38 percent compared with a year ago.
Chrysler LLC reported May U.S. total sales of 79,010 units, representing the best retail sales month of 2009. Compared to May 2008, however, retail sales decreased 30 percent. During the month of May, Chrysler did not produce any vehicles for fleet sales, which resulted in a fleet sales reduction of 90 percent year-over-year for the same period, according to the Chrysler press release.