Thanks to the Cash For Clunkers scheme, the US Auto Industry had a bumper month in August. The increased sales figures were led by a 17% jump at Ford Motor Co. Ford’s sales performance was underpinned by its truck sales which posted its first year-on-year increase in three years.
Auto industry sales were boosted by the Cash For Clunkers offer which was more popular with consumers than anticipated. It gave immediate relief to the struggling auto industry but, after winding up last month, will most likely lead to a sluggish September for auto companies.
Chrysler, meanwhile, fell 15% which was partly attributed to a lack of inventory. Most of Chrysler’s plant sat idle for three months as it battles bankruptcy. Chrysler finished with inventory which was 74% lower than a year ago. It has just a 28-day supply of vehicles so the Company has announced a 50,000 vehicle boost to planned output.
GM reported a fall in sales of 20% with car sales down 4.6%. However, Mark LaNeve, Vice President of U.S. Sales said “We’re very pleased with the sales performance in our Western region, where sales were up more than 41% compared with July”. He noted customers were responding to a pilot program it launched last month with online auction site eBay Inc. That effort will be extended through September.