NEW YORK: Leading carmakers last week reported strong US sales increases for May with some models breaking records or notching their best results since the 2008 financial crisis.
General Motors, Ford, Chrysler, Toyota and Nissan all reported May sales that exceeded expectations. Some carmakers cited rising consumer confidence as driving the boom.
“The momentum we generated in April carried into May, with all four brands performing well in a growing economy and 17 vehicle lines posting double-digit retail sales increases or better,” said Kurt McNeil, US vice president of sales operations at GM.
GM’s results again showed the nation’s largest carmaker is enjoying strong interest from customers despite a series of recalls this year, including a massive recall of older model cars it no longer makes due to ignition problems linked to at least 13 deaths.
GM said May’s sales of 284,694, an increase of 13 percent from last May, marked its best monthly sales since August 2008.
Ford sales jumped 3 percent to 254,084. The number-two US carmaker said its Fusion and Escape notched their best monthly sales ever, while the Explorer had its best sales month since 2005.
Chrysler, a unit of Fiat Chrysler, reported a sales increase of 17 percent to 194,421. The third-largest US carmaker said sales of Jeep jumped 58 percent, the largest increase of any Chrysler Group brands. It was Jeep’s third consecutive month of record sales.
Toyota’s US sales came in at 243,236 units, an increase of 12.6 percent from last year.
“Industry sales in May soared as consumer confidence improved and demand for new vehicles continued to strengthen,” said Bill Fay, Toyota division group vice president and general manager. “Toyota had its best month in six years led by strong Camry, Corolla and hybrid sales.”
Nissan said May sales jumped 18.8 percent to 135,934. The Sentra set a May sales record of 21,932, breaking a previous peak reached in 1984.