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:
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