The U.S. auto sales outperformed analysts’ expectations, for December and the whole year, in spite of rising concerns about a cooling global economy and mounting interest rates. However, low unemployment, tax cuts and cheaper gas prices made sure that the U.S. auto industry had a strong year.
Here’s a detailed look at the performance of U.S. and other automakers.
Performance of U.S. automakers
General Motors (NYSE:GM) has stopped reporting monthly sales figures but has instead shifted to reporting quarterly sales, which came in at 785,229 vehicles, down 2.7% year-over-year. Fourth-quarter sales dropped 3.2% for Chevrolet, 2.7% for Cadillac and 13.7% for Buick. By contrast, GMC brand experienced 3.5% sales growth during the quarter. SUVs had an active market during the quarter as sales of Chevy Equinox and Traverse rose 26.4% (98,239 vehicles) and 14.1% (39,536 units).
Ford (NYSE:F) sales in December plummeted 8.8% to 220,774 vehicles, while retail sales dipped 4.8% to 167,705 units and fleet sales plunged 19.5% to 53,069 units. The Blue Oval said that its passenger car sales slipped 27.8% year-on-year, which is why the company will soon stop manufacturing its Focus, Fusion and Taurus models.
SUV sales decreased 4.4% year-on-year. The F-Series pickup truck, which is the most popular U.S. model, saw sales decline 1.8% to 87,772 units.
Unlike Ford and General Motors, Fiat Chrysler (NASDAQ:FCA) witnessed sales growth of 14% year-over-year to 196,520 units. The sales gain was attributable to robust sales of Jeep brand all through the year (up 17%). Monthly sales of Jeeps amounted to 80,449 units. Further, Ram brand sales came in at 68,195 in December, which reflected mammoth 36.7% sales growth. On the other hand, sales of the company’s top seller, Ram pickup, shot up by 34% to 60,155 units.
Performance of other automakers
Toyota (NYSE:TM)’s sales in December amounted