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Demand for trucks and SUVs drives U.S. automakers sales

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Staff writer ▼ | April 1, 2016
Auto industry   Ford truck sales jumped 11.4 percent

U.S. automakers reported sales growth for March, driven by continued demand for trucks and sport-utility vehicles.

However, sales of General Motors, Ford Motor and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles fell short of estimates.

GM said March sales rose 0.9 percent to 252,128 units from last year. Retail deliveries rose 6 percent to 193,524 vehicles in March, driven largely by a 7 percent increase at Chevrolet and a 13 percent increase at GMC. Analysts were expecting sales to grow 6 percent, according to reports.

For March, the Chevrolet sales gained 1.4 percent to 176,283 units, GMC brand rose 6.9 percent to 44,585, Cadillac brand slipped 5.1 percent to 13,053 and Buick dropped 11.3 percent to 18,207.

Ford's March sales rose 8 percent to 254,711 vehicles from last year. This represents the company's best sales performance for March and first quarter since 2006. Analysts were expecting sales to grow 9.4 percent, according to reports.

Ford's car sales for the month dropped 1.6 percent year-over-year, while truck sales jumped 11.4 percent and utilities sales rose 14.1 percent.

Fiat Chrysler said its U.S. vehicle sales for March rose 8 percent to 213,187 units driven by strong demand for Dodge, Jeep, Ram Truck brands. Analysts were expecting sales growth of 13.9 percent, according to reports.

Jeep sales rose 15 percent, while Chrysler brand sales declined 13 percent. Dodge sales rose 11 percent, while Ram brand also rose 11 percent. Fiat sales tumbled 24 percent.

Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A. reported March sales of 219,842 units, a drop of 2.7 percent. Analysts were expecting sales growth of 5.6 percent, according to reports.

Toyota division posted March sales of 189,644 units, down 2.7 percent; while Lexus posted sales of 30,198 units, down 2.8 percent.

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