Sales of vehicles to commercial fleets from eight automakers increased 3.3% to 67,744 units, a reversal from several months of declining sales this year, according to Automotive Fleet data.
Pickup trucks, vans, and SUV sales led the way with a 7.3% gain to 57,520 from a year ago. Sales of passenger cars fell 14.4% to 10,224. For the first five months, commercial fleet sales have fallen 5.3% to 297,929. Truck-based sales have fallen 3% to 255,720, while car sales have fallen 17.1% to 42,209.
Commercial fleet sales significantly outpaced sales to government purchasers and daily rental. Overall fleet sales to the three segments fell 14.7% to 236,813. Truck-based overall fleet sales fell 2.9% to 156,116, while car sales fell 31% to 80,697. Year-to-date sales fell 11% to 1.18 million. Truck sales have declined 4% to 758,185, while car sales have fallen 20.9% to 441,525.
Ford reported overall fleet sales of 82,844, which was an 8.4% increase from a year ago. Ford sold 241,126 vehicles to retail and fleet buyers, which was a 2.2% gain. Ford's truck sales increased 9.4% to 99,237, while car sales fell 10% to 60,565. Fleet sales made up 34.4% of total sales, with commercial sales making up 12.4%.
Sales of the Transit van increased 1.2% to 13,801 in May, even while year-to-date Transit sales are 13.2% lower than 2016.
General Motors increased commercial sales 14% to 45,976 in May. Overall, the company sold 237,364 vehicles, GM reported.
Fiat Chrysler sold 40,813 fleet vehicles and doesn't break out fleet segments. The company sold 193,040 vehicles to retail and fleet buyers, which was a 1% decrease from a year ago. The Ram Commercial brand sold 8% more vehicles than a year ago with 14,269 units. Sales of the ProMaster van increased 22% to 13,952.