The major automakers Tuesday posted mixed US sales results for June and Q-2 with demand still fairly strong for SUVs and pickup trucks while passenger car sales continued a long-running decline.
Overall, US auto sales are slowing after a long Bull run that has satiated replacement demand.
In a significant development for the pickup truck segment, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV’s (FCA) Ram pickup outsold General Motors Co’s (GM) Chevrolet Silverado in Q-2. GM reports sales on a Quarterly basis instead of each month.
The Silverado has long held second place behind Ford Motor Co’s (F) F-Series pickup trucks, with Ram often 3rd. But for 1-H of Y 2019, FCA’s sales of Ram pickups outpaced Chevy Silverado sales by more than 40,000 vehicles.
FCA, GM and Ford escalated a price war in June over pickup trucks, 1 of the few vehicle market segments that offers substantial profits, which matters at a time when overall US new vehicle sales are expected to fall this year.
High interest rates, plus competition from millions of nearly new, off-lease vehicles have translated into fewer consumers splurging on new cars.
After a weak start to the year, sales in the last couple of months have been largely flat Vs Y 2018.
“The market is not as down as it was to start off the year, which says a lot about market stability,” said the director of industry analysis at CarGurus Inc (CARG), an online marketplace for new and used cars. “At this point, a Fed interest rate cut could be the thing that sparks the industry.”
FCA said its sales rose 2% in June, driven by a 56% spike in Ram sales.
GM said Q-2 sales fell 1.5%, with strong sport utility vehicle sales offset by a poor performance for its pickup trucks. The #1 US automaker said sales of its trucks would pick up in the third quarter as both its most popular and most affordable versions of the Silverado will hit dealer showrooms.
Toyota Motor (TM) reported a 3.5% drop in sales for June, led by falling sedan sales.
In the last few years, Americans have increasingly shunned passenger cars in favor of larger, more comfortable SUVs and pickup trucks
Have a terrific Holiday week.