US January auto sales stronger than expected – CNBC

Posted: Tuesday, February 02, 2016

U.S. auto sales appeared to fare better than expected in January as the industry benefited from low gasoline prices, easy credit and moderate economic growth, preliminary results showed on Tuesday.

The same trends that boosted sales in 2015 helped blunt the challenges of two fewer selling days and a massive East Coast snowstorm.

Ford Motor’s U.S. sales chief, Mark LaNeve, said the last five days of January were strong, helping overcome the snowstorm’s effects. But he said the storm had pressured Ford’s sales, which fell 2.6 percent.

General Motors, the top-seller in the U.S. market, said its sales were up 0.5 percent.

Toyota Motors, No. 3 in the U.S. market, showed sales down 4.7 percent, led by an 11 percent drop for car sales while its sport-utility vehicles, crossovers and trucks gained slightly. The stock was down about 1 percent midday.

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