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Detroit's Big 3 Report Sales Declines, But Outperform Expectations

Detroit's Big 3 Report Sales Declines, But Outperform Expectations

U.S. auto producers announced Q1 sales figures this week, and as expected, sales numbers fell due to the COVID-19 outbreak. A strong year start was fully offset by terrible last month's results.

According to industry research firm Wards Intelligence's data, approximately 1 million light vehicles were sold in March in the U.S. On the other side, St. Louis FRED's data reveals that approximately 1,6 million light vehicles were sold in March 2019. In other words, sales data for March shows a serious decline of approximately 37% on a month-on-month basis. 

Results Are Bad

Passenger car registration plunged in March in France and Spain approximately 70%. Maybe this is a good approximation of what we can expect in April.

If we extend our analysis on first-quarter results, we can see that overall U.S. car sales dipped approximately 13%, down from 4 million to 3.5 million vehicles. Sales results in the first two months combined were approximately 5% better than during the same time frame the previous year, but March hammered the results and pushed growth rates onto a negative territory.

Ford Motor Co

Ford (NYSE: F) presented a 12.5% sales drop in Q1 2020. It sold 516,330 vehicles. Passenger cars were hit the most. They plunged 36% compared to the same time a year ago, partly justifying Ford's plan to abandon the production of sedans and focus more on sport utility vehicles and trucks, which didn't fall as much. SUV sales dropped 11%, while truck sales fell 5%. But what is most concerning is that Ford's best-selling vehicle F-150 pickup truck dipped 13%. This was partly compensated by the fact that Lincoln brand sales were up 2%. 

General Motors 

General Motors (NYSE: GM) also reported negative numbers. Sales fell 7% last quarter on a year-over-year basis. But keeping in mind what happened in March, this is an excellent result. Less severe drops were the result of sales promotions like no-interest loans that helped dealers sell more vehicles than others and reduce inventory level for approximately 18%.

Fiat Chrysler

Fiat Chrysler (NYSE: FCAU) sales fell approximately 10%, down to 498,425 vehicles. The numbers are mixed. Dodge brand sales were down about 20%, Jeep sales plunged 14%, while Ram sales were up 3%. On an even brighter note, sales of Ram pickup trucks increased 7% to almost 129,000 vehicles.

A Piece Of Good News

While, the results are very bad, there is one piece of good news for Detroit's Big 3: results could have been worse. Results were generally above expectations, including for Ford. Considering March is usually the best sales month of the first quarter, and considering what the world has to deal with right now, we can at least hang our hat on that. 

This article is not a press release and is contributed by Ivana Popovic who is a verified independent journalist for IAMNewswire. It should not be construed as investment advice at any time please read the full disclosure. Ivana Popovic does not hold any position in the mentioned companies. Press Releases – If you are looking for full Press release distribution contact: Contributors – IAM Newswire accepts pitches. If you're interested in becoming an IAM journalist contact: Questions about this release can be sent to

The post Detroit's Big 3 Report Sales Declines but Outperform the Market appeared first on IAM Newswire.

Photo by Erik Mclean on Unsplash


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