September Auto Sales Increase; Ford, GM Stall
Toyota Motor Corp. and Volkswagen AG’s VW brand continued to post robust U.S. sales increases while deliveries at General Motors Inc. and Ford Motor Co. were flat in September, a month that is expected to generate more steady gains for the industry.
The Associated Press reported that Toyota said combined sales at Toyota, Lexus and Scion jumped 42%. It was the second consecutive month deliveries rose 40% or more as the automaker continues to rebound strongly from last year’s earthquake in Japan.
Volkswagen reported sales at the VW brand climbed 38% and boasted it expects to continue to outperform the industry during the fourth quarter.
Detroit’s two biggest automakers cited lower truck volume — a traditional stronghold — for sales that were down less than a percent at Ford and up just 1.5% at GM. The results will likely mean more market share losses for the companies.
Chrysler Group posted a 12% rise in U.S. sales last month, helped by a 27% increase in car deliveries and big gains at the Fiat and Dodge brands. Hyundai brand sales rose 15% to 60,025 last month, marking its biggest gain since February, according to a Twitter post by CEO John Krafcik.
Other automakers are scheduled to release September sales figures later today. The early results signal the industry continues to rebound despite mixed economic reports, high gasoline prices, sluggish job growth and the prospect of deep cuts in federal spending.
“The industry is on plan, Ford is on plan, and we’re looking forward to a really good fourth quarter,” said Ken Czubay, head of U.S. marketing, sales and service for Ford.