Pickups Lead Way as Auto Sales Surge in May
Full-size pickups once again dominated US auto sales in May, as small businesses — increasingly confident in the economy — raced to replace the aging pickups they held on to during the recession.
The Associated Press reported that car buyers, too, were lured by low interest rates and Memorial Day sales. Overall, US consumers bought 1.4 million vehicles in May, up 8 percent from the same month a year ago, Autodata Corp. reported.
The results suggest the auto industry will remain a bright spot in an economy that has been slowed by weak manufacturing. And the boost from the industry will help sustain the economy’s steady job growth.
Most automakers topped analysts’ expectations last month, with Nissan reporting its highest May sales ever after cutting prices on seven popular models. Chrysler, Ford, Honda, and Toyota also reported increases. Only Volkswagen’s sales were down from last May.
Automakers sold 173,972 full-size pickups in May, the highest total since a year-end rush last December, according to Ward’s AutoInfoBank. Sales of Ford’s F-Series pickup, which is the country’s best-selling vehicle, rose 31% to a six-year high of 71,604. General Motors and Chrysler also posted full-size truck sales gains of more than 20%.
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