May Sales: More Encouraging News

While it has to be acknowledged that Ford Division alone sold 175,370 vehicles in May, up 27.9% over May 2009 and up 33.8% year-to-date—and if you throw in Lincoln and Mercury, the company moved 192,253 cars and trucks, a 23.3% gain over last May and up 31.2% for the year—again we think a sure sign of the improvement in the auto industry is the increase in sales at Chrysler Group (all the divisions, not just the Chrysler brand). Chrysler Group moved 104,819 cars and trucks in May, up 33% compared with its May 2009 sales.

While it has to be acknowledged that Ford Division alone sold 175,370 vehicles in May, up 27.9% over May 2009 and up 33.8% year-to-date—and if you throw in Lincoln and Mercury, the company moved 192,253 cars and trucks, a 23.3% gain over last May and up 31.2% for the year—again we think a sure sign of the improvement in the auto industry is the increase in sales at Chrysler Group (all the divisions, not just the Chrysler brand).

Chrysler Group moved 104,819 cars and trucks in May, up 33% compared with its May 2009 sales. For the year it is up 8%. A

While this is certainly not anywhere near Ford territory (e.g., the biggest-selling Ford in May was the—no surprise—F-Series, of which it sold 49,858; the Ram was Chrysler’s volume leader, and it came in at 17,298, just to provide a sense of the delta), clearly given that of the Detroit Three, Chrysler Group’s lineup is the most, ah, mature, so the fact that they’re moving metal is a sign that the market is moving.

GM? All in—and “all” isn’t what it used to be—it actually sold more units than Ford, with a total of 222,305 cars and trucks moved in May, not including vehicles from HUMMER (1,290), Pontiac (181) or Saturn (46).

Yes, yes, there are fantastic deals, which undoubtedly helped account for much of this, but if you think back over the past several years, there have always been fantastic deals from these Three. And the numbers for brands including Audi (best U.S. sales in its history), Subaru (up 35%), and others are similarly larger than they were last year.

A couple interesting footnotes, however:

  1. Toyota Division passenger car sales were down 1.9% compared with May 2009, at 86,464. Yet Toyota Div. light truck sales were up 14% compared with May 2009, at 54,133. What’s more, total Lexus Div. sales are up 31.3%, at 22,216.
  2. BMW passenger car sales in the U.S. were down 5.2% compared with May 2009, at 14,017. Yet BMW light truck sales—the X3, X5, and X6—were up 6.8%, at 3,842.

Cars down, trucks up?