Auto sales keep on rising, especially trucks

Auto sales keep on rising, especially trucks

April saw yet another month of seemingly unstoppable auto sales, up 3.3 percent year to date, at a SAAR of 17.42 million. The big story is still the strength of truck sales, as gas prices remain low. Other factors driving sales are available credit, some pent-up demand and rising incentives.

Some automakers, such as Ford, increased sales by boosting fleet share. Others, such as GM, intentionally cut back on fleets. The average transaction price rose for nearly all automakers, especially the Detroit Three, according to Kelley Blue Book, with the industry average at a healthy $33,865.

Truck share rose 11 percent, while cars were down 6 percent. –Consumer preference for SUVs and pickup trucks continued unabated in April,” said Reid Bigland, FCAês senior vice president for North America sales.

Sales of 1.5 million vehicles for the month beat the April record set in 2005, said Kelley Blue Book but driven this time by consumer demand more than incentives.

Potential future concerns: an overall increase in fleet sales and the possible need to put more incentives on cars to move them off the lot as truck sales continue to dominate. Whatês more economic growth appears to be slowing, as shown by the recent lackluster hiring figures.

Download Bulletin PDF