Autos Still King in US Despite Rise in Fuel Prices

04 June 2004

The US consumers' love affair with their automobiles shows no sign of tarnishing despite recent rises in gasoline prices, according to new Autodata Corp. figures.

Car makers have risen to the challenge and introduced a multitude of dangled carrots in a bid to keep consumer interest high. And it seems to be working.

Auto sales climbed 3.4% in May to 1.63 million vehicles, a rise boosted by giants such as General Motors, the largest worldwide car maker, selling 2.6% more cars and trucks than last year. Toyota proudly announced its best month ever in 47 years of marketing, with sales up 8.4%.

Even fuel-slurping sport utility vehicles and trucks showed a significant rise in sales across the industry following promotions such as GM's Truckfest, which wooed customers with zero percent loans and $1000 (£544; €816) cash-back on several models.

These sales gains were countered slightly by a rise in manufacturers' average incentive costs per unit of $193 to $3,784.

Data sourced from: The Wall Street Journal Online; additional content by WARC staff