General Motors Co. and Ford Motor Co. both reported stronger-than-expected U.S. auto sales in April today (May 1) as robust demand for trucks, and crossover and sports utility vehicles kept the industry on track for its best year in almost a decade.
Reuters reported that GM sales rose 6%, while Ford’s were up 5.4%. Sales at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and Nissan Motor Co. increased 5.8% and 5.7%, respectively, but both results missed expectations.
The early sales results were largely in line with estimates for the market as analysts polled by Reuters expected industry sales last month to rise 6%.
“Consumer and commercial customer demand for pickups and utility vehicles has been building since last fall, and that’s a clear sign that the slowdown in GDP growth during the winter months was caused by factors that are mostly transitory in nature,” said Kurt McNeil, GM’s U.S. vice president of sales operations. “The auto industry continues to be on track to have its best sales year since 2006.”
Auto sales are an early monthly snapshot into consumer demand. GM expects the industry’s annual sales rate in April was 16.7 million vehicles, compared with 16.05 million last year.
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