Robust May sales make up for lackluster

Robust May sales make up for lackluster April

As expected, U.S. light-vehicle sales in May were strong, and projected sales for the year are now 15.4 million, according to NADAs economic forecast. That would be up from last years 14.4 million and would be the highest in six years. Based on year-to-date figures, 2013 sales would come in at 15.22 million.

Each of the Detroit 3 brands did very well in May, driven by strong sales of pickups and crossovers. Ford sales were up 14 percent from May 2012 (its strongest May sales since 2006), Chryslers were up 11 percent and GMs up 3 percent. Most of the foreign-owned brands saw respectable sales gains, and Nissan Division did particularly well, jumping 31 percent. (Infiniti sales, though, dropped 25 percent). (Figures are from Automotive News.)

May sales quickly chased away any of last months concerns that the auto recovery is stalling, senior analyst Jessica Caldwell said in a statement. The quick rebound is just another example of how the auto industry is currently one of the most resilient areas of the overall economy.

Industry retail sales rose 9 percent, in the best monthly increase since August 2007, Toyota Division General Manager told Automotive News.

Reflecting the housing recovery, light truck sales were up 11 percent in May, more than double the 5 percent increase for cars.

Cadillac is growing faster than it has in almost 40 years, the pickup rebound is in full swing and were seeing strong retail demand for our crossovers, said Kurt McNeil, GMs vice president of U.S. sales operations in a statement. These are all powerful signs that the gradual recovery in the economy is becoming more broad-based.

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