Ford, Chrysler push May US auto sales to 15.3m unit annual rate

03 June 2013 20:37  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--May US car and light-truck sales rose back above the 15m-unit annual rate, with Ford, Chrysler, BMW and Nissan all racking up double-digit sales gains from a year ago, while GM, Honda and Toyota reported only modest increases on Monday.

Autodata, a consultancy, estimated May sales at 15.3m annual units. That was the most important figure of the day for automakers as well as the petrochemical industry, which supplies products such as acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) and polycarbonate (PC) to make auto parts. The auto industry had a mild panic in April when the annual rate was 14.9m annual units, the first time it fell below 15m units since October 2012.

Ford had estimated the May selling rate would be 15.2m units, while GM's estimate was 15.4m and Chrysler 15.5m. Industry sources said that the April dip below the 15m-unit annual rate was just an anomaly as GM gears up to introduce 23 new models over the next six months. Further reducing angst over the 14.9m April number was news last month that Ford, GM and Chrysler will add shifts and reduce summer shutdowns at plants to meet increasing demand.  

According to Autodata, Ford's May sales of cars and light trucks rose by 14.1%, Chrysler's sales were 11% higher, and BMW's US sales were up by 10%. GM, the world's largest automaker, posted only a 3.1% gain for the month, but that was expected as GM retools and restarts lines to introduce those 23 new models.  

Among other major US retailers, Nissan's May sales rose by 24.7%, while Volkswagen's sales were up only 2.2%, Toyota's rose by 2.5% and Honda's were up 5.2%.

The American Chemistry Council (ACC) estimates that each automobile contains an average of $3,297 (€2,539) worth of chemicals, such as ABS, nylon, PC and others.

($1 = €0.77)

By: Mark Yost
+1 713 525 2653

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