USA: Slight increase in sales auto in may despite the price of gasoline


DETROIT (Reuters) – sales of new cars rose 2% in may in the United States, the weakness of the unemployment and the high confidence of the consumers who have mitigated the impact of rising interest rates and gasoline prices, have estimated Friday the leaders of Ford (NYSE:F).

The dynamism of the sales during the extended weekend of Memorial Day, from may 26 to 28, has also contributed to support the commercial activity, have pointed to the manufacturers.

“The u.s. economy remains on a trajectory that is favorable,” said the chief economist of Ford, Emily Kolinski Morris, during a conference call with journalists.

According to data from Autodata, sales on an annualized basis, including the businesses and fleets, however, are in slight decline, 16,91 million, compared to 17,17 million in April.

Ford expects sales of the sector on the year as a whole contracted slightly, to around 17 million units, while manufacturers strive to reduce their sales to fleet, low-margin, while facing the growing competition of vehicles from the fleets of rental.

Auto sales in the United States declined 2% last year, after a record to 17.55 million units in 2016.

They have been irregular since the beginning of the year, alternating increases and decreases depending on the month, motorists are continuing to move away from sedans in favor of pick-ups and SUVS, is on the whole more expensive and generating higher margins for the manufacturers.

The figures for the month of may are mixed.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (NYSE:FCAU) (FCA) sold in may more cars than Ford to individuals in the United States.

The total sales of FCA have jumped 11% last month on the u.s. market, 214.294 units. Sales to individuals have reached their highest level since July 2005, 167.785 vehicles.

Ford, for its part, sold 242.824 cars in total in may, an increase of only 0.7%, which 163.796 to individuals.

Its pick-ups to success of the range F-Series have seen their sales increase by 11.3% to 84.639 units.

FCA, for its part, clarified that the sales of its trademark Jeep had jumped by 29 per cent to a record 97.287 units.

General Motors (NYSE:GM), the largest u.s. car manufacturer, no longer publishes monthly figures of sales. Industry analysts estimate that its sales increased by about 10% in may.

Sales of Toyota (T:7203) fell 1.3% to 215.321 vehicles and those of Nissan (T:7201) declined from 4.1% to 131.832. Those of Honda Motors rose 3.1% to 153.069.

To research firm Kelley Blue Book estimates that the average purchase price of a new vehicle in may amounted to 35.635 ($30.532 euros), an increase of 3.4% year on year, due to the strong demand for pick-ups and SUV’s.

(Paul Lienert, Bertrand Boucey and Juliette Rouillon for the French service)

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