With help from a big finish over Memorial Day weekend, the auto industry pushed the bad days of 2009 further into the past, with sales increasing 19% over last year. That equates to a seasonally adjusted annual sales rate of 11.8 million units, which is not only a damned sight better than 10.4 million at this point last year, but is even a bit ahead of last month's 11.5 million rate.
MAY 2010 SALES, AND PERCENT INCREASE OVER 2009
GENERAL MOTORS +32% (that's New GM: Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, and GMC)
With the liquidation of Pontiac, Saturn, and Hummer almost complete, there's no point in having them handicap GM's performance. The continuing brands had a very good month, giving GM one of the best year-over-year increases in the industry. That big 32% figure is tempered only by the fact that GM sales were dismal last May, as bankruptcy rumors swirled around the company.
The LaCrosse is the driving force here, doubling last year's volume. The Regal, with only 150 units sold, is not yet a factor.
The SRX enjoyed its second month as the number one Caddy, outselling all three Escalades combined as well as the CTS and the DTS. The latter two did at least provide an assist with Cadillac's May surge.
Chevrolet saw growth on both the car and the truck side. In the former, the Aveo (+88%), the Camaro (+64%), and the Malibu (+54%) were standouts. Only the Corvette (-13%) slipped. Among trucks, the Equinox continued to rock (+256%), but we also should mention the Suburban (+101%), the Avalanche (+87%), and the Traverse (+65%). The Colorado (-30%) was the only downer.
As at Chevrolet, GMC's small pickup, the Canyon, slumped (-44%). The addition of the Terrain accounted for most of the brand's increased volume. Interestingly, the Yukon balance has shifted dramatically in favor of the XL, which in May ran neck-and-neck with the standard Yukon.