GM, Ford, FCA post sales drop in April

Updated 2017-05-03 10:30:26 Xinhua

The big three American automakers -- General Motors (GM), Ford and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) -- all reported sales decrease in April. This suggests that U.S. auto sales may have entered a stagnant period.

The FCA said on Tuesday that its April sales fell 6.6 percent to 177,441 units; GM put its April sales at 244,506 units, down 5.8 percent from the same period of 2016; and Ford had its April sales fall 7.2 percent to 214,695 units.

Individually, the FCA's April sales of Chrysler brand dropped 3.3 percent; Dodge brand fell 2.6 percent; Jeep brand dropped 16.5 percent; and Fiat brand plunged 18 percent.

Meanwhile, Ram brand rose 5.3 percent, as a result of Ram pickup sales jumping 7.6 percent to 43,321 units; and Alfa Romeo and Maserati increased 1,047 percent and 18.7 percent, respectively year on year.

GM's Buick sales soared 17 percent year on year; Cadillac rose 9.5 percent; Chevrolet fell 10.4 percent; GMC slipped 0.3 percent.

GM's pickup sales dropped an overall 14.4 percent year on year in April: Chevrolet Silverado sales lost 19.7 percent and GMC Sierra sales fell 15.3 percent

GM's crossover sales, nevertheless, are growing, with each of its brands seeing double-digit growth year on year.

GM U.S. sales operations vice president Kurt McNeil said in a statement that about one in four GM sales were crossovers five years ago. "Today, they account for almost one-third of our deliveries and we see more growth ahead."

Ford car sales dropped 21.2 percent in April; truck sales fell 4.2 percent; and Lincoln brand sales dipped 0.9 percent to 9,691 units.

But truck sales still drove up Ford's average transaction price, Ford U.S. marketing, sales and service vice president Mark LaNeve said in a statement.

"Strong demand for high-series Super Duty trucks and diesel powertrains drove a 1,900-dollar increase in Ford's transaction pricing versus an industry increase of just 210 dollars," LaNeve said.

Nissan North America Inc. and Toyota Motor North America also posted year-on-year decline in April sales, dropping 1.5 percent and 4.4 percent, respectively.

Volkswagen AG bucked the downward trend and posted a 1.6 percent increase in April, as its sales totaled 27,557.

Only Volkswagen AG posted a 1.6 percent increase in April, with sales standing at 27,557 units.

"After a weaker-than-expected March, it's becoming more likely that 2017 will be the first down year for the industry since 2009," the Detroit News quoted Tim Fleming, an analyst for Kelley Blue Book, as saying.

Other analysts say it's no time to panic, as sales may remain healthy for the year and finish at or above 17 million units. Automakers sold a record 17.55 million vehicles in the United States in 2016.

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