DETROIT May 2 General Motors Co, Ford Motor Co
and Toyota Motor Corp, the top three automakers in the United
States, on Tuesday all posted lower new vehicle sales in April
in a fresh sign the long boom cycle for the auto industry is
GM shares fell 3.5 percent while Ford was off
No. 1 U.S. automaker GM reported a 6 percent decline in
April sales to 244,406 vehicles, but said the month continued to
see strong growth for crossovers and trucks.
Over the past couple of years, U.S. consumers have
increasingly shunned cars in favor of larger crossovers, SUVs
New vehicle sales have risen ever since the end of the Great
Recession, hitting a record of 17.55 million units in 2016. But
as consumer appetite for new cars has waned, automakers have
raised discounts to get vehicles off dealer lots.
GM said the average transaction price for its vehicles rose
in the first quarter and that its consumer discounts were
equivalent to 11.7 percent of the transaction price. The
automaker also said its inventory level had risen to 100 days of
supply at the end of April versus around 70 days at the end of
GM has said it will bring inventories down by the end of
2017, but the most recent level has created concern among
Ford, the No. 2 U.S. automaker, said sales were down 7.2
percent in April, with sales to consumers down 10.5 percent. Car
sales dropped 21 percent and trucks declined 4.2 percent, while
SUV sales rose 1.2 percent.
Toyota said sales fell 4.4 percent in April,
with its luxury Lexus brand posting an 11.1 percent drop. U.S.
car sales at the Japanese automaker were down 10.4 percent,
while truck sales were up 2.1 percent.
(Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)