Auto industry''s sales strong in May, analysts say


The auto industry’s overall sales numbers for May were strong, industry analysts said.

“Despite rising transaction prices and higher fuel costs, the new vehicle market remains strong,” said Karl Brauer, executive publisher for Autotrader and Kelley Blue Book. “Consumers continue to buy trucks and SUVs at an accelerated rate, more than offsetting the ongoing drop in car sales.”

Edmunds analysts project a 3.5 percent year-over-year sales increase for May, and Cox Automotive projected a 3.1 percent increase.

Ford Motor Co. said Friday that May sales of all new vehicles in the United States rose an estimated 2 percent.

General Motors, manufacturer of the Lordstown-built Chevrolet Cruze, no longer reports its sales monthly. It plans to report second-quarter [April, May, June] sales July 3.

Analysts, however, estimated GM had a strong month as well. Cox Automotive said its forecast of an 11.7 percent year-over-year sales increase in May “came in near initial expectations.”

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