Chrysler Continues to Lead GM, Ford in May Sales

By Joel Arellano | June 01, 2012
Chrysler dominated its Detroit Three rivals last month with every brand--Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Fiat, and Ram--showing greater volume increases compared to May 2011 figures than its crosstown rivals. Ford did well in May 2012, seeing sales rise over 12 percent compared to the same time last year, with crossovers and refreshed models like theĀ Ford Flex andĀ Lincoln MKS bringing in the green. Crossovers also helped General Motors' sales figures in May, though it was GMC trucks and SUVs that showed the strongest growth, with almost all of its vehicles showing upward figures. General Motors Winners:
  • Again, the Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck saw a sales uptick, with consumers purchasing more than 21-percent higher compared to the same time last year. Yes, world, Americans love their pickups.
  • And emphasizing American's love affair with the pickup, GM saw sales of its diminutive GMC Canyon jump more than 60 percent versus May 2011.
  • GMC, in fact, got the most love from buyers, with virtually all of its vehicles--Acadia, Canyon, Envoy, Sierra, Sierra, and Terrain--getting an extra 10-percent love this year. Only the full-size GMC Yukon and the commercial GMC Savana were left in dealership lots.
General Motors Losers:
  • Cadillac continues to bleed, with every nameplate--CTS, Escalade, and SRX--seeing a slide. The brand saw a drop of over 15 percent compared to last year. Here's hoping the upcoming "flagship" Cadillac XTS and entry-level ATS, which both go on sale later this year, can staunch the blood loss in time.
  • Premium brand Buick is barely ahead of its Cadillac sibling, showing an overall 9.4-percent loss versus the same time last year. Compare that to Cadillac, which saw an over 22-percent drop in sales. The brand's biggest loser was the Buick Regal, which saw sales drop 40 percent compared to last year.
  • Chevrolet sold five Chevy Aveo in the month of May? Really?
Ford Winners:
  • Remember what we said about America's love affair with the pickup truck? Well, said affair continues over at Ford with the Ford F-150 seeing May 2012 sales pull ahead nearly 30 percent compared to May 2011.
  • Americans also love crossover. Both the Ford Flex and near-identical twin Lincoln MKT saw sales increases, with Flex figures over 40 percent and the MKT watching a--get ready--a 103.5-percent jump versus May 2011 numbers.
  • Americans love muscle cars. Americans love Fords. Americans heart the Ford Mustang and bought or leased more than 50 percent more of the iconic muscle car in May 2012 than last year.
Ford Losers:
  • Ford Fiesta continues to see losses, with sales down more than 16 percent. Has anyone else noticed sales declines began shortly after the larger Ford Focus was introduced? Anyone?
  • Sales of the Ford Crown Victoria sedan, Ranger pickup, and Lincoln Town Car sedan were down 92.1 percent, 71.9 percent, and 92.3 percent, respectively, compared to the same time period in 2011. No shock since all have been discontinued.
Chrysler Winners:
  • Except for the Jeep Compass, the Jeep brand saw an increase in sales in every vehicle in the lineup, with the Jeep Wrangler taking the lead at a 44 percent rise compared to May 2011, followed by the Jeep Grand Cherokee (40-percent), Liberty (13-percent), and the Patriot (8-percent).
  • The refreshed Chrysler 300 full-size sedan continues to enjoy a resurgence, with sales up a staggering 140 percent versus 2011.
  • Car enthusiasts may lambast the "box-on-wheels" minivan, but the buying public sees its value, causing sales of the Chrysler Town & Country minivan to increase more than 55 percent compared to May 2011 sales.
Chrysler Losers:
  • The soon-to-be discontinued Jeep Compass saw sales drop nearly 20 percent for the month of May versus last year. Yet, more than 3,700 were sold to dealerships. Chrysler, would you please take the Compass off the ordering form?
  • Same with the discontinued Dodge Caliber, which saw a 66-percent sales drop.
  • Chrysler sold 164 Dodge Nitros to dealerships? Why?
Sources: Chrysler, Ford, General Motors
David S.
David S.

Joel, as the writer of this story - I am perplexed as to why you are questioning why such small numbers of certain vehicles were purchased. Do you not understand the concept of winding-down a vehicle, where they sell off the remaining units - to get them off the books. From the way I read your story, I get the impression that you would rather manufacturers scrap any vehicles they decide to end, rather than to sell them & get as much $ as they can. Are you really this ignorant on business???