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Ford, GM, Chrysler report double-digit May sales; Toyota up 7%

UPDATED with other automakers at 2:53 p.m.:

Chrysler said its May sales were up 33 percent compared to May 2009, which sounds like a great number -- and it's not bad -- but one-third of its sales came from low-cost fleet purchases, and the retail sales were driven by Jeep, the minivans and the pickup trucks, not the passenger cars.

Still, Chrysler sold 100,000 vehicles in one month for the first time in more than two years.

Ford said May sales were up 22 percent compared to May 2009, beating estimates, and GM said its May sales were up 17 percent, nearly three times estimates. Strong sales from Ford's F-series pickup trucks and sporty Mustang lead the way.

GM was helped by fleet sales, which were up 38 percent. Sales of GM's four remaining core brands -- Chevy, Cadillac, GMC and Buick -- were up 32 percent. GM entered bankruptcy in May 2009. The company has repaid its government loans and plans an IPO soon to pay back the government's 61 percent stake in the company.

Ford is raising its second-quarter production by 15,000 vehicles to meet demand.

May's sales were helped by the Memorial Day weekend and buyer incentives.

Ford has benefited the most of the Big Three from the economic crisis. As the only U.S. automaker to not take federal bailout money, Ford is taking market share from its competitors.

Toyota's sales rose seven percent on the strength of Lexus sales, which were fueled by incentives. Sales of Toyota rose only 3.6 percent and the company even saw a drop in sales for the Camry and Avalon sedans. This could be the recall backlash finally kicking in, now that the incentives have been reduced.

May results from other automakers:

  • Honda was up 19 percent.

  • Hyundai had its best May ever, with sales up 33 percent.

  • Nissan said sales rose 25 percent, thanks to the Versa, Sentra and Altima.

  • Subaru continued its amazing winning streak. Sales were up 35 percent.

  • Kia sales were up 21 percent.

  • By Frank Ahrens  |  June 2, 2010; 2:53 PM ET
    Categories:  Autos  
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    Comments

    Of course Chrysler passenger car sales are down since they don't actually manufacture any. Really, can anybody name one? Their passenger car line has not been updated in years and wasn't any good 10 years ago anyway.

    Fiat has clearly signaled that they only want Chrysler's truck and SUV lines with the rest headed for the dustbin. Kind of like when Chrysler bought AMC.

    Posted by: junebug98 | June 2, 2010 2:25 PM | Report abuse

    @ junebug98

    Yep, I can name a Chrysler passenger car, the Dodge Charger, because I own one. And it's a great car, a sedan and sports car all in one! Speaking of Mustangs, I beat one off the line in my Charger just yesterday.

    Posted by: vabeach_voter | June 2, 2010 6:30 PM | Report abuse

    Unbelieveable how badly written this article is. Front page headline says "(automakers) report double-digit sales" What does this mean? They sold twelve cars? Headline at the top of this page says 3.2% Q4 GDP with a down arrow. What does this mean? The fourth quarter had a 3.2% DECLINE? The article says that GM sales were three times estimates, which is foolishness. DON'T YOU PEOPLE HAVE A PROOFREADER?

    Posted by: rbdave | June 2, 2010 7:17 PM | Report abuse

    I noticed the 3.2% GDP number too. The down arrow would indicate that 3.2% is a bad thing, yet 3.2% is exactly the average real GDP increase since 1948. Either this is very poor web design or and indication of an incompetent analyst.

    Posted by: DrS1 | June 2, 2010 8:28 PM | Report abuse

    I noticed the 3.2% GDP number too. The down arrow would indicate that 3.2% is a bad thing, yet 3.2% is exactly the average real GDP increase since 1948. Either this is very poor web design or and indication of an incompetent analyst.

    Posted by: DrS1 | June 2, 2010 8:34 PM | Report abuse

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    Posted by: itkonlyyou97s | June 2, 2010 9:25 PM | Report abuse

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