April Sees Slowdown in Auto Sales

02 May 2001

April appears to have been this year’s cruellest month for the big three US auto manufacturers – General Motors, Ford Motor Company and Chrysler Group – as each reported double-digit falls in Stateside sales of cars and light trucks over the month.

The trio, which accounted for 67.2% of America’s car and truck market in Q1, posted respective declines of 16%, 15% and 18% compared to April last year. However, a rise in sales of cars made by foreign rivals, such as Toyota, Hyundai, Kia and BMW, narrowed the overall fall in sales to 7%.

GM’s results include a 12% decline in sales of its Chevrolet marque, which accounts for over half of its US business in terms of volume, while Ford saw a 20% slump in sales of passenger cars. Meanwhile, Chrysler blamed its poor performance on confusion among dealerships over a cost-sharing scheme, which has seen cutbacks in orders by dealers and hence a fall in sales.

The decline follows a better-than-expected first quarter, and was widely expected in light of present economic difficulties and a fall in consumer confidence. However, the industry as a whole remains on course for the third or fourth best year ever seen for sales volume.

News source: Wall Street Journal