Cruze sales show major drop


By Kalea Hall

khall@vindy.com

LORDSTOWN

October 2017 was one of three months in the history of Cruze sedan sales that the Lordstown-built car had less than 10,000 sales.

Dealers sold 8,646 Cruze sedans. The Mexico-built Cruze hatchback had 2,477 sales during the month, which had one fewer selling day than October 2016 when there were more than 17,000 Cruzes sold.

“The membership continues to stay focused to build a quality product,” said Robert Morales, president of the United Auto Workers Local 1714. “It was a slow month of sales, but we still have to maintain our focus on our customers.”

The two other times Cruze sales were below 10,000 were in November 2010 when there were 8,066 sales, reflecting the launch period of first-generation Cruze, and in March 2016 when there were 9,881 sales, reflecting the sell down period of the first-generation Cruze.

GM reported a 2 percent overall decrease in sales to 252,813. The Detroit automaker attributed the slight decline in sales to the one fewer selling day and low passenger car sales.

Meanwhile, GM’s pickups were up 9 percent and crossovers were up 12 percent.

“Trucks and sport utility vehicles are winning the day,” said Michelle Krebs, senior analyst for Autotrader.

At Honda, however, cars led sales. Specifically, the Civic saw a nearly 20 percent increase in sales to 30,319.

“It’s amazing how well Honda does with cars,” Krebs said.

When it comes to car sales, Honda is in a different category from other automakers, Edmunds senior analyst Jessica Caldwell explained.

“They have decades of customers,” she said. “They have a bigger buyer base to gain from.”

Overall, Honda reported October sales of 127,353, an increase of 0.9 percent from October 2016.

Toyota Motor North America Inc. reported October 2017 sales of 188,434, up 1.1 percent on volume.

Ford Motor Co. reported 200,436 sales, up 6.2 percent year over year.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles U.S. reported sales of 153,373, a 13 percent decrease year over year.

After seven-consecutive years of growth, auto sales have slowed this year, but the industry is still strong.

“We call this the post-peak era,” Krebs said. “We are continuing to see the signs of that.”

The signs include growing incentives and inventories.

“At the same time I think it shouldn’t be lost that this is a pretty strong market,” Krebs said.

Kelley Blue Book analysts see the year ending with sales between 16.9 million and 17.2 million. Edmunds’ analysts estimate 2017 total sales of 17.2 million. The year is expected to end strong with Black Friday and end-of-the-year sales.

“Incentives are there and the inventory [is there],” Caldwell said.

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