The month of Memorial Day sales events saw U.S. auto sales as a whole rise eight percent, powered by double-digit increases for Nissan Motor Co., Ford Motor Co., Chrysler Group and Subaru. Every other major auto manufacturer saw gains in May, except for Mitsubishi.
Subaru led the way with the highest sales percentage increase in May with a 34-percent growth over May 2012. This was largely due to the manufacturer’s May monthly sales record of 39.982 units. Nissan, which also set a May U.S. sales record, was second in percentage growth with a 25-percent increase, despite a 25-percent decrease in the Infiniti brand. Auto industry analysts cite the increase to price cuts on seven models, as well as increased incentives.
Ford was third with a 14-percent growth, with less than one-percent growth from the Lincoln brand. Chrysler, with an 11-percent increase, saw its 38th-straight month of positive sales numbers. Within the Chrysler group, the Ram and Dodge brands grew 24 and 23 percent, respectively, while Jeep and Fiat only grew one percent each.
American Honda saw sales rise five percent in May, with the Acura brand losing 1.5 percent. Main competitor Toyota Motor Co. saw a three-percent overall increase, including a four-percent increase with the Lexus brand, nine percent with Scion and two percent with just Toyota.
Powered by another strong month from Cadillac (an increase of 40 percent), General Motors grew 3 percent overall. Chevrolet, which provides the majority of GM sales, grew just one percent, while GMC grew seven percent and Buick dropped three percent.
Despite May record sales for the Jetta and Passat, the Volkswagen brand dropped nearly two percent in sales. However, the VW group grew four percent overall thanks to 38-percent growth from Porsche and 15 percent from Audi.
Hyundai had its second-best month of all time in May, netting a two-percent increase. Mazda broke a four-month sales slump with a 19-percent gain, while Mitsubishi continued its own sales slump with a 15-percent slide.