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GM, Ford, Honda, Mitsubishi sales plummet

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Honda, Ford, GM see double-digit sales declines in May; Toyota also down slightly

DALE JEWETT | Automotive News

Posted Date: 6/2/05

DETROIT -- Auto sales in May dropped 8.0 percent as Ford Motor Co., General Motors and American Honda Motor Co. posted double-digit drops. But Nissan North America continued its winning ways.

Sales totaled 1.49 million units in May, down from 1.63 million units in May 2004. Through the first five months of this year, sales totaled 6.89 million units, down 1.0 percent from 6.96 million units. The seasonally adjusted annual sales rate for May, according to the Automotive News Data Center, is 15,905,610.

GM sales fell 12.6 percent in May to 386,688 units. The automaker's sales of light trucks, which include pickups, SUVs and minivans, fell 14.9 percent for the month. Car sales fell 9.0 percent.

GM responded to the sales decline by launching a new incentive program that enables all customers to get the GM employee discount, on top of other incentives, on almost all 2005 models. The program runs through July 4.

Toyota falls

Even Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc. recorded a rare sales decline in May. Total sales of Toyota, Lexus and Scion vehicles reached 201,493 units, down 0.5 percent from May 2004. Through five months of this year, Toyota sales are up 10.2 percent.

DaimlerChrysler saw its sales fall 2.5 percent in the month to 232,394 units. Year-to-date sales are running 3.5 percent ahead of last year, though.

The going remained tough for German automaker Volkswagen and its Audi division. Combined sales of Volkswagen and Audi fell 34.2 percent to 23,072 units in May. For the year to date, sales are down 18.7 percent.

Honda, Ford down

American Honda sales fell 14.7 percent to 122,169 units in May, as car sales for the Honda Division dropped 24.1 percent. Accord sales fell 29.6 percent in the month, while Civic sales dropped 30.5 percent.

For the year to date, American Honda sales are down 0.7 percent to 565,948 units.

Ford sales dropped 10.6 percent in May, due mainly to another large decline in truck sales.

Ford also said it plans to build 730,000 vehicles in the third quarter, a 2.3-percent cut from its output in the same quarter last year. Third-quarter production this year will be split 71 percent trucks and 29 percent cars, vs. a 74 percent trucks and 26 percent cars split a year ago.

In May, the automaker sold 282,837 vehicles. That tally includes Aston Martin, Jaguar, Land Rover and Volvo. For the year to date, Ford's sales totaled 1.32 million units, down 5.7 percent from the same period a year ago.

Sales of the automaker's best-selling SUV, the Explorer, were off 35.2 percent. The automaker sold just 19,539 Explorers in May, compared with 30,165 in May 2004. For the year, Explorer sales are off 25.2 percent.

Nissan, Hyundai see gains

Nissan North America sales rose 6.6 percent in May to 93,519 units. Nissan Division was propelled by a 19-percent jump in Sentra sales and a 6.3-percent rise in Altima sales. Sales of the Pathfinder SUV climbed 169.5 percent as the redesigned model reached showrooms in significant numbers. Infiniti sales for the month fell 0.6 percent.

For the year to date, Nissan North America sales are up 14.0 percent to 449,942 units.

The Hyundai Group, which covers Hyundai and Kia, saw a slight 0.2 percent sales increase in May to 65,919 units. Sales for the group are up 9.4 percent since the start of this year.

Among other automakers reporting May sales:

>>> BMW sales fell 3.1 percent in May to 26,961 units. But sales are up 1.8 percent for the first five months of this year compared to the same period a year ago.

>>> Mazda sales fell 3.2 percent in May to 26,657 units. Since the start of the year, Mazda sales are down 0.6 percent.

>>> Mitsubishi sales fell 30.5 percent to 11,380 units. For the year to date, sales are down 38.4 percent.

>>> Porsche sales rose 27.4 percent in May to 3,291 units. Year to date, sales are up 5.2 percent.

>>> Subaru sales of 14,475 units in May were up 1.4 percent from a year ago. Through the first five months of this year, sales are up 4.6 percent.

>>> Isuzu sales fell 37.4 percent in May to 1,221 units.

GM & Ford dropping in sales is not suprising. But the Accord and Civic dropping by 30% is shocking :eek:

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