Frigid weather across much of the nation cooled U.S. light-vehicle sales, as many automakers reported sharp declines during the month of January. Just over 1 million cars and trucks rolled off dealership lots during the month, putting overall sales down 3 percent compared to January of last year. According to Autoweek, it was the first drop in January deliveries since 2009, when the U.S. market was collapsing. The numbers have been released by WardsAuto.com. Their data center provides the most trusted numbers for new car sales.
Most of the major automakers reported decreases in sales during January, with the exception of Chrysler. Chrysler extended its streak of year-over-year sales gains to 46-consecutive months in January. The automaker said US sales increased 8 percent to 126,746 vehicles, the group’s best January sales since 2008. Ford, the second largest U.S. automaker, reported its overall sales decreased 7.4 percent to 150,541 cars and trucks. General Motors, the nation’s largest auto manufacturer, said sales dropped 11.9 percent to 171,486 from 194,699 a year ago. GM noted that January is typically the industry’s lowest sales month of the year and extreme winter weather in the South, Midwest and Northeast further depressed GM industry sales.
The big Japanese automakers all posted declines for the month. Toyota, the largest Japanese car manufacturer, reported that it sold 146,365 vehicles last month, a 7.2 percent drop from the same month in 2013. Meanwhile, Honda’s overall sales slipped 2.1 percent from January 2013 results.
According to the New York Times, the industry expects sales this year to surpass 16 million units, the best showing since before the recession when sales reached 16.2 million in 2007.
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