Market Overview

Ford, General Motors Crush Expectations While Chrysler Posts Best January In Years

Ford, General Motors Crush Expectations While Chrysler Posts Best January In Years

The American automakers reported strong January sales numbers Friday, with Ford (NYSE: F) and General Motors (NYSE: GM) outperforming expectations.

With January sales of 166,501 units in the U.S., Ford posted a 22% increase from last year. Industry analysts TrueCar, Edmonds and Kelley Blue Book underestimated the growth, with an average increase projection of 12.3%. This in spite of a 10% drop among the Lincoln brand.

Ford's strong start was driven by a record 65% increase in the Fusion sedan and robust numbers for the Escape and F-series pickups. In the case of latter, some suggest that the 22% increase in truck sales point to an improved economy and housing market.

GM posted a strong Janaury, selling 194,699 vehicles. Like Ford, GM outperformed expectations. Its 16% increase from a year ago toppled a 12.3% average projection from TrueCar, Edmonds and Blue Book.

GM's best seller, the Chevy Silverado, experienced a 32% increase while the GMC Sierra rose by 35%. The strong sales expanded well past pickups, however. The Chevy Sonic subcompact surged by 25% and the Volt rose by 90%, despite a weak December.

Although projections for Chrysler's sales fell short of analyst expectations, the company experienced its best January since 2008, with the Dodge brand sustaining a 37% increase. Fiat, Chrysler and Ram rose 31%, 18% and 14%, respectively. Jeep sales fell 4%.

Reid Bigland, Chrysler's Head of U.S. Sales and CEO of the Dodge brand remains confident. "Entering 2013 our product portfolio has never been stronger," he told The Detroit Free Press.

A solid year for the automobile industry, sales increased 13.4% to 14.5 million in 2012. Industry analysts project sales of over 15 million in 2013.

Posted-In: News Retail Sales Best of Benzinga


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