FCA, Ford annual sales best since mid-2000s, GM up 5% – The Detroit News
Ford Motor Co. and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV on Tuesday reported their best annual sales since the mid-2000s, while General Motors Co. posted its best sales since 2007.
Ford said it sold 2.6 million vehicles in 2015, a 5.3 percent increase from 2014, and the company’s best annual sales since 2006. It also reported its best December performance since 2005, selling 239,242 cars and trucks — up 8.4 percent from December 2014.
GM sold nearly 3.1 million vehicles in the U.S. last year, up 5 percent from 2014, as December sales rose 5.7 percent to 290,230.
FCA US – the automaker’s North American-based operation – sold 2.24 million vehicles last year, up 7.3 percent from 2014 totals, marking the company’s best annual sales since 2005. The yearly total included 217,527 vehicles sold in December, up 12.6 percent year-over-year, in what is expected to be a strong month for the industry.
The Jeep brand’s 41.7 percent sales gain continued to lead the Italian-American automaker’s sales in December, which marked Fiat Chrysler’s 69th-consecutive months of year-over-year sales in the United States. The Dodge, Ram and Fiat brands all posted sales gains in December, while the Chrysler brand saw its sales decline 21.5 percent from December 2014. The Jeep brand posted its best monthly sales ever and posted a record for best U.S. yearly sales of just more than 865,000.
“FCA US finished 2015 strong with sales up 13 percent and our best December sales since we started business more than 90 years ago,” said Reid Bigland, head of U.S. Sales for Fiat Chrysler. “For the second straight year, the company has topped 2 million in U.S. sales. FCA US sales have now grown annually for the past six years.”
Ford reported its popular F-Series pickup sales totaled 780,354 trucks in 2015 — making it America’s best-selling pickup for 39 consecutive years and the best-selling vehicle for 34 straight years. The Ford brand also remained the best-selling brand in the United States for a sixth-straight year, according to the Dearborn-based automaker.
“The move into utilities and trucks is very good for the Ford business,” said Mark LaNeve, Ford vice president of U.S. marketing, sales and service, during a call on Tuesday with news media and analysts. He added Ford’s SUV sales last year were the best since 2003.
Heading into December, truck sales represented 55.2 percent, or 8.7 million, of vehicles sold in the United States. That compares with passenger car sales at 44.8 percent, or 7.4 million.
Ford’s luxury Lincoln brand sold more than 100,000 vehicles for the first time since 2008.
“It was a strong close for what was a very strong year for Ford and the industry,” LeNeve said. “We feel like we’re carrying a lot of momentum into 2016, which we anticipate will be another good year.”
GM said the Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet and GMC brands all posted sales gains in December, led by a 28.7 percent surge in Cadillac sales in a month known for luxury sales. For the year, Cadillac, Chevrolet and GMC posted year-over-year sales gains, while Buick sales fell 2.6 percent. The automaker said sales for its largest brand, Chevrolet, totaled 2.13 million in 2015, the brand’s best year since 2007. The brand was led by record crossover sales of nearly 471,000. Chevy and GMC also sold 1.2 million trucks last year, up 14 percent from 2014.
“In a record year for the industry, GM gained significant retail market share and we grew our commercial business by 12 percent,” said Kurt McNeil, GM’s U.S. vice president of sales operations, in a statement.
Nissan North America Inc. said its U.S. sales of 1.48 million set a record last year, up 7.1 percent from 2014. The company said its December 2015 U.S. sales jumped 18.7 percent year-over-year to 139,300 vehicles. Nissan brand sales rose 17.9 percent in December, while Infiniti brand sales were up 25.7 percent.
Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc. said December sales of 238,350 were up 10.8 percent, while the company’s sales of nearly 2.5 million in 2015 increased 5.3 percent. The Japanese automaker said Toyota and Lexus both posted best-ever December sales.
American Honda Motor Co. Inc. sold nearly 1.6 million cars and trucks in 2015, an all-time record and 3 percent increase over 2014. For December, the automaker reported a 9.9 percent increase, with its namesake brand up 12.2 percent and luxury Acura division down 5.5 percent.
Volkswagen of America Inc. closed 2015 with sales of 349,440 cars and trucks, down 4.8 percent from 2014. That includes a 9.1 percent decrease in December sales compared to a year ago to 30,956. The announced sales do not include its luxury Audi division.
Automakers will continue to report December and year-end sales Tuesday.
LMC Automotive and J.D. Power predicted December to be the best-selling month of not only 2015, but the past decade. They expect sales hit 1.71 million, the highest number since sales reached 1.8 million in July 2005. December 2015 had two more selling days than December 2014 did.
Ford Chief Economist Emily Kolinski Morris said many favorable factors such as low fuel prices, rebounding labor market and consumer confidence continue in 2016.
“In terms of the macroeconomic environment, we expect that many of the favorable factors that supported a record 2015 industry performance will remain in place this year,” she said, adding Ford will announce its 2016 industry sales expectations soon.
Auto sales are expected to continue growing in 2016. Many industry experts expect sales to reach 18 million this year.