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US automakers see big gains in May

2014-06-04 08:34

ON THE RISE: Car sales has seen a significant climb during May in the US. Even General Motors has seen a 13% sales jump despite its current crisis. Image: AP/LM Otero.

TOM KRISHER and DEE-ANN DURBIN

DETROIT, Michigan - Brisk demand for SUV's and bakkies - and a strong Memorial Day holiday weekend - was expected to push US auto sales to a seven-year high in May 2014.

Nissan's US sales jumped 19% over the previous May as buyers snapped up the new Sentra small car and Rogue SUV.

Chrysler's US sales jumped 17%, boosted by strong demand for the new Jeep Cherokee small SUV. Chrysler said its Jeep brand sales jumped 58% and set a one-month sales record with 70 203 vehicles sold.

GOOD NEWS FOR ALL

Even General Motors, in the throes of a recall crisis, saw sales rise 13% from a year earlier. Sales of the Chevrolet Corvette more than tripled GMC Sierra pick-ups rose 14%.

Other automakers were to report sales later on Tuesday (June 3 2014).

Analysts expect sales to rise seven to eight percent to 1.56-million in May, helping erase doubts about the strength of the industry. January and February sales were weaker than expected as potential buyers spent more time shoveling snow than shopping.

Jeff Schuster of LMC Automotive, an industry consulting firm, said: "We're still recovering from the low first-quarter numbers. It's the continued recovery in the summer selling season, kind of everything aligning in the month of May."

May, traditionally among the best sales US vehicle months and Schuster said sales were strong even without big automakers' discounts.

Auto sales have led the uneven US economic recovery for the last few years and Schuster expects that to continue but the pace is expected to slow as annual sales top a natural peak of around 16-million.

US auto sales totaled 15.6-million in 2013, up from 10.4-million at the depths of the recession in 2009.

AND IN GERMANY...

Meanwhile, in Germany, AFP reports that new car registrations, a key measure of demand in one of the most crucial sectors of Europe's top economy, also rose in May 2014.

274 804 new cars were registered, up by 5.2% over May 2013, according to data compiled by the federal automobile agency KBA.

April registrations had fallen by 3.6%.

Taking the first five months as a whole, new registrations rose by 3.4% to 1.261-million.

And in South Africa... Wheels24 reported on June 3 2014 that car sales have started to slump in May.
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Read more on:    general motors  |  chrysler  |  us  |  car sales

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