UPDATE: U.S New-Car Sales Sag Again

May 01, 2019 at 5:12 PM

Passenger vehicle sales in the U.S. slipped 2% to 1.32 million units in April, in spite of an extra selling day, according to a tally by Automotive News.

On an annualized basis, last month’s sales pace slowed to about 16.4 million units from 17.4 million in March and 17.3 million one year ago. AN says last month’s sales rate was the lowest since February 2014. Many analysts predict annual volume this year will dip below 17 million units for the first time since 2014.

April deliveries shrank for traditional domestic producer. Sales retreated for General Motors (by an estimated -3% to 231,700 units), Ford (-5% to 194,200) and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (-6% to 173,800).

Three mass-market brands posted big gains in April: Nissan (+11% to 87,200 units), Subaru (+8% to 57,300) and Volkswagen (+9% to 31,300). Sales also advanced slightly for Hyundai (+2% to 57,000 units) and Kia (+2% to 51,400). But brand sales slumped for Toyota (-5% to 162,500 vehicles).

Demand for BMW-brand vehicles rose 1% to 23,800 units last month. Sales by rival Mercedes-Benz fell 15% to 25,600).