Thu, Dec 04, 2014 - Page 15 News List

Most automakers see US sales up before Christmas

‘HOUSEHOLD WEALTH’:GM official Kurt McNeil said that increased job security, as well as improved wages and low pump prices, were responsible for the sales

AFP, NEW YORK

US auto giants General Motors Co (GM) and Chrysler Group LLC on Tuesday rode lower gasoline prices and aggressive holiday promotions to higher sales, while Ford Motor Co reported another decline.

The industry as a whole sold 1.3 million vehicles in the US last month, about 4.6 percent more than in the year-ago period, according to industry specialist AutoData.

GM, the largest US automaker, sold 225,818 cars last month, up 6 percent from a year ago behind strong results for GMC Sierra and Chevrolet Tahoe trucks, as well as for some sedans.

“The buzz around Black Friday helped drive strong showroom traffic, but there was a lot more at work in the market,” GM US vice president for sales Kurt McNeil said.

“More people have jobs and job security, their wages are starting to increase, household wealth is growing and low pump prices look like they’re here to stay through 2015,” he said.

Chrysler, a unit of Fiat Chrysler, sold 170,839 cars, up 20 percent from November last year.

The company reported gains for larger vehicles, like the Ram Truck, as well as for some sedan models. Sales at GM and Chrysler exceeded projections from online site Edmunds.com.

Japanese automaker Toyota Motor Corp reported a 3 percent gain in US sales to 183,346, also exceeding the Edmunds estimate.

However, Ford saw sales decline for the third straight month, this time by 2 percent to 187,000 vehicles.

Ford said the drop was expected as it readies inventories for a number of major launches, including that of its revamped aluminum F-150 pickup.

The market benefited from the fall in US fuel prices.

Gasoline prices in the US currently average US$0.73 per liter, down 15.5 percent from a year ago, according to the American Automobile Association.

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