The biggest automakers in the U.S. market reported December U.S. sales that fell short of analysts’ estimates, as cold weather may have kept buyers from dealer lots at the end of the industry’s best year since 2007.
Bloomberg reported that General Motors Co. sales fell 6.3% last month, compared with an average estimate for a 1.5% gain, and Toyota Motor Corp. sales slid 1.7%, compared with a projected increase of 3.1%. Ford Motor Co. light-vehicle sales rose 1.7 percent, missing projections for a 4.3 percent increase. Chrysler Group LLC sales rose 5.7%, extending a streak of monthly gains to 45, while falling short of analysts’ estimates of an 8.4% increase.
“The sales pace at the beginning of the month was slower than expected as a lot of places were hit by bad weather,” Michelle Krebs, an auto analyst with researcher Edmunds.com, said in an interview. “Dealers thought sales would come in bigger than usual in that last week of the month and it turned out the weather wasn’t so great then, either.”
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