U.S. Car Sales Slip 1%

February 01, 2019 at 5:12 PM

New-car sales in the U.S. dipped by  a mere 12,000 units year-on-year to about 1.15 million in January, shrugging off the impact of a protracted federal government shutdown and record cold weather that hammered 48 states.

The month’s annualized rate was 16.9 million compared with 17.6 million in December and 17.2 million in January 2018, according to Automotive News.

Sales improved for Ford (+7% to 171,800 units), Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (+3% to 136,100), Honda-Acura (+2% to 106,100), Hyundai-Kia (+3% to 79,400), Subaru (+4% to 46,100), Tesla (+314% to 31,900) and Jaguar Land Rover (+16% to 10,500).

FCA’s results were driven by a 24% jump to 39,600 units for the company’s Ram truck brand. Jeep sales declined 2% to 58,400 units.

All other major carmakers reported shrinking sales in January, AN reports. The group was led by General Motors (est. -7% to 184,900 vehicles), Toyota (-7% to 156,000) and Nissan (-19% to 100,700).

Volkswagen Group posted a 3% drop in sales to 43,000 units, mainly because of declines by VW brand vehicles (-7% to 23,100 units) and Audi (-2% to 14,300). The group’s Porsche brand reported a record-high 5,400 sales for the month.

BMW brand sales fell 5% to 18,100 vehicles. Sales by rival Mercedes-Benz dropped 14% to 23,700 cars and SUVs.