Big Three auto sales roar in May 2012

June 1, 2012

CHICAGO (MarketWatch) – The top U.S. automakers continued their recovery in May, with all of the Big Three on Friday posting double-digit sales growth with the help of brisk demand and somewhat looser consumer credit.

General Motors said that U.S. sales of new cars and trucks rose 11% to 245,256 vehicles compared to May of 2011 and the highest monthly total since August 2009.

Sales of Buick and GMC vehicles were up 19%, while Chevrolet was up 10%.

At Chrysler Group LLC, a unit of Italy’s Fiat , U.S. sales soared 30% to 150,041 vehicles last month, marking the best sales for May in five years. Both the Jeep Wrangler SUV and the Dodge Challenger enjoyed their best-ever monthly sales, Auburn Hills, Mich.-based Chrysler said.
“In spite of a tremendous amount of global economic uncertainty, the U.S. new vehicle sales industry continues to power ahead,” said Reid Bigland, president of the Dodge brand and head of U.S. sales. “Our May sales . . . represented our 26th-consecutive month of year-over-year sales growth.”

He added that the company is also “in the process of adding production capacity as quickly as possible to meet strong demand for our products.”

At Ford, U.S. sales rose 13% percent to 216,267 vehicles with retail sales rising 12%. Standout marques included the F-Series, up 29% percent; the E-Series, up 31% and the Fusion, which rose 9% for its best May ever.
“Ford posted solid gains across our fresh lineup of new cars, utilities and trucks in May,” said Ken Czubay, vice president of U.S. marketing, sales and service. “Fuel efficiency continues to be a top purchaser driver, and Ford’s wide range of fuel-efficient products delivered again.”

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