Amid soaring crude oil prices and weak demand, General Motors, Toyota, Ford, and Chrysler reported declining sales in May but Honda sales jumped.
Sales for American automakers were down steeply for the month, with GM, Ford and Chrysler sales dropping 30.2 percent, 16 percent, and 25 percent respectively. Faring relatively better was Toyota which saw a decline of 7.9 percent. Honda sales jumped 15.6 percent.
General Motors was affected by lower demand for its trucks. The company reported that compared to May 2007, its overall sales declined to 272,363 from 375,682 vehicles.
Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc. said sales fell 7.9 percent from last May as it sold 257,404 vehicles last month. The company blamed soaring fuel prices and economic uncertainty. The Toyota division sold 230,811 vehicles or 6.3 percent less than May 2007. The Lexus Division sold a total of 26,593 units, a decrease of 19.6 percent.
Ford Motor Co. said its U.S. sales fell 16 percent last month due to low sales of large trucks and sport utility vehicles. Including all Ford's brands, sales dropped to 217,998 vehicles in May from 259,470 in the same month a year earlier. The company said truck sales fell 25.8 percent while car sales rose 2.8 percent.
American Honda Motor Co. said it sold 167,977 vehicles in May, up 15.6 percent from 145.367 in the same month a year ago. Passenger car sales rose 31.9 percent to 114,796 units from 87,064 a year earlier. Truck sales were down 8.8 percent to 53,201 units, from 58,303 in May of 2007.
Privately held Chrysler LLC sales dropped 25 percent in May, as it also experienced weak demand for its large pickup trucks and sport utility vehicles. Truck sales fell 22 percent to 106,623 units from 136,772 units in May 2007. Car sales slumped 33 percent to 42,124 units compared to 62,621 units.