May Auto Sales Numbers Show Surprises

According to Automotive News May U.S. sales data, compact cars such as the Dodge Caliber, , Chevrolet Cobalt, , and are all enjoying sales bumps due to the rising cost of energy. But, surprisingly, a few vehicles haven’t caught the recent small car sales wave.

Compared to the first five months of 2007, Pontiac‘s G5 and Mazda‘s 3 are both suffering sales declines this year. The G5’s sales are down nearly 6 percent, even as Cobalt sales have increased almost 18 percent (the Cobalt is the G5’s virtually identical sister car). Likewise, Mazda 3 sales have dropped by more than 4 percent in 2008, but sales of competitors such as the Civic and the refreshed Focus have increased 20 percent and 36 percent, respectively.

And while it seems many consumers have been forced to adopt less expensive modes of transportation, luxury vehicle buyers appear to have just slightly changed their purchasing habits.

Through May 2008, all luxury brands except Lexus have seen their car sales remain relatively stable compared to last year. Lexus, however, is in the midst of a 16 percent car sales slide.

Other interesting notes from Automotive News May 2008 car sales data:

– Perhaps Chrysler‘s 300 needs some L’Oreal rejuvenating lotion. With barely 35,000 units sold through May, the rear-wheel drive sedan isn’t aging as well as its counterpart (which had 50,173 sales).

– sales continue to fall. Ford sold only 44,160 units through May 2008 compared to 64,560 units last year – a 32 percent drop. A refreshed Mustang arrives for the 2010 model year.

– Pontiac Solstice and Saturn Sky sales are down 28 percent and 21 percent, respectively.

– Every Kia car model (the Optima, Rio and Spectra) is selling better this year than last, except for the low-volume Amanti.

– sales are outpacing sales. However, sales of Honda‘s mid-size car have increased nearly 8 percent compared to the first five months of 2007. Camry sales have only increased 2 percent.

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