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DATE News (chronologically)
06/01/11
automotive
Chrysler sales up 10%, Ford flat, GM down 1.2%
Chrysler defied the general slowdown in new vehicle sales in May, reporting a 10% increase from a year earlier, when it was preparing to launch the 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee.

Sales of the revamped Chrysler 200 more than doubled the year-earlier performance of the Chrysler Sebring it replaced with 7,096 units sold in May, but sales of its Town & Country minivan tumbled 51% and sales of the redesigned 300 full-size sedan fell 28% to 2,539.

Chrysler’s Jeep brand drove the Auburn Hills’ automaker's overall gain with a 55% increase from May 2010, as sales of the Grand Cherokee nearly tripled to 9,484.

For the industry, however, May was a lackluster month as higher gas prices and a shortage of many Japanese brand models led many consumers to defer purchases.

General Motors' sales fell 1.2% in May as it sold fewer vehicles to rental car fleets. Ford’s sales slipped 0.1% in a month that had two fewer selling days than May 2010.

GM said sales to individual customers increased 9% from a year earlier. Ford said its retail sales increased 4%.

Shortages of vehicles out of earthquake-stricken Japan and higher sticker prices added to consumers’ hesitation from gas prices that remain at least $1 a gallon higher than they were a year ago.

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