US May auto sales fall 3.6% year on year for first drop in 2011

01 June 2011 23:36  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--US May sales of automobiles fell by 3.6% year on year, the first such drop so far in 2011, according to data released on Wednesday by Autodata.

A decline was expected because of the after-effects from the March earthquake and tsunami in Japan. The disasters caused tightness in the supply of key electronic components in auto manufacturing.

US May auto sales totalled 1.06m units, down from 1.10m units in the same month a year ago.

Among the six largest US auto manufacturers General Motors, Ford, Chrysler, US Toyota, US Honda and US Nissan the majority of the year-on-year sales volume decreases came from Japan-based companies.

US Toyota sales dropped by 33.4%, to 108,387 units in May from 162,813 units in May 2010.

"As expected, May was an especially challenging month due mainly to uncertainties about our production forecast,” said Toyota USA vice president and general manager Bob Carter. “But thanks to the tremendous efforts of our manufacturing team members and suppliers, we are ramping up much faster than expected.”

US Honda sales dropped by 22.5%, and US Nissan sales dropped by 9.1%. Among the US-based companies, General Motors and Ford each experienced decreases of 1% or less year on year.

The only big six manufacturer to experience a year-on-year sales increase was Chrysler, with a 10.1% jump to 115,363 units from 104,819 units in May 2010.

“Chrysler Group just posted its 14th consecutive month of year-over-year sales gains, confirmation that our 2011 models continue to resonate with consumers,” said Chrysler executive Fred Diaz.

The US automobile industry is a major demand segment for chemicals such as acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS), styrene butadiene rubber (SBR), nylon 6,6 and several other synthetic fibres and paints and coatings.

The American Chemistry Council (ACC) estimates that each automobile contains an average of $2,700 (€1,863) worth of chemicals.

Total month-on-month US auto sales declined from 1.16m units in April 2011.

Figures in the table below represent May sales volumes for the big six US automakers.

 

2011 May

2010 May

% Change

Chrysler

115,363

104,819

10

Ford

191,529

192,012

0

GM

221,192

223,410

-1

Honda

90,773

117,173

-23

Nissan

76,148

83,764

-9

Toyota

108,387

162,813

-33

Total

803,392

883,991

-9

($1 = €0.69)


By: John Dietrich
713-525-2600



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