Ford announced that sales dipped 3 percent last month, as automakers report today on how the big East Coast blizzard kept potential customers away from showrooms. Ford did report strong demand for its Sport Utility Vehicles, up 4.1 percent while car sales were down 12.2 percent.
But at Fiat Chrysler sales were up 7 percent thanks to the Dodge Caravan minivan, Dodge Durango, and the Chrysler minivan. FCA said Jeep sales posted their best January showing ever, ditto for the Ram pickup. “Mother Nature was no match for our Jeep brand last month …” said Reid Bigland, Head of U.S. sales.
GM reported total sales rose .9 percent in January with sales of Chevy and GMC pickups up 7 percent. Officials said household balance sheets are strong and the labor market continues to improve. Chevrolet had its best January retail performance since 2005 with car sales up 25 percent.
Mazda reported a sales decrease of 2.8 percent but said January sales of its SUV’s were the best ever, especially for All Wheel Drive CX-3 and CX-5 models.
But Mazda has issued a stop sale order for 2014-16 CX-5 models saying a fuel filler pipe could rupture during a rear-end collision, potentially causing a fuel leak. Approximately 264,463 vehicles are affected. There have been no reports of accidents or injuries. If a customer has concerns about driving their vehicle before a repair is available, dealers will offer a free loaner, demo, or rental vehicle.
The estimated average transaction price for light vehicles sold last month was $34,112, a gain of 2.8 percent year over year, according to Kelley Blue Book. Transaction prices for full size pickups rose nearly 6 percent.
Lexus sales rose 12 percent globally last year with the company reporting gains in virtually of all its markets, including record demand here in the U.S. Toyota’s luxury brand is expecting another record to be set this year.