May sales down, but still set for solid year
Although most automakers reported a drop in sales in May, analysts agree that the industry is still on track for a solid sales year of reaching or eclipsing 17.4 million. Weaker sales were expected last month, partly because of one less weekend and two fewer sales days than May 2015.
Analysts say that economic fundamentals are strong. Interest rates remain low, and automakers will likely offer more incentives if needed. TrueCar.com estimated that incentives rose 7 percent to an average $3,034 per vehicle.
Trucks and SUVs continue to dominate the market. Ford saw a 9 percent gain in its F-Series truck sales, but its cars plunged 25 percent. General Motors sales dropped sharply, by 17 percent, partly because it is still cutting back on fleet sales. Of the Detroit Three, only Fiat Chrysler saw a sales increase, just 1.1 percent. Toyotaês sales fell 10 percent, Honda sales by 5 percent and Nissan, down 1 percent. The Volkswagen brand was hurt by fallout from its emissions scandal, with sales falling 17 percent.
Industry sales remain steady in May with the shift toward light trucks and SUVs continuing, said Bill Fay, Toyota division group vice president and general manager. Toyota division SUVs had their best month ever, led by RAV4, Highlander and 4Runner.Download Bulletin PDF