Make us your home page
Instagram

Carmakers report U.S. sales increase in January, perhaps signaling economic recovery

DETROIT — U.S. sales of cars and trucks rose in January, a strong start to what the auto industry hopes will be an extension of last year's recovery.

In another good sign, sales to individuals were better than sales to fleet buyers such as rental-car companies, which are far less profitable for automakers

General Motors and Chrysler said sales rose 23 percent in January. Ford had a smaller gain of 9 percent.

Overall January sales hit an annual rate of 12.6 million when adjusted for seasonal changes.

"Consumers are driving much of the gains that we're seeing in the industry," said Don Johnson, vice president of U.S. sales for GM. "January signals a good start to the year for us, for the industry, and we think it's a good sign for the overall U.S. economy."

A year ago, fleet sales spiked to high levels as businesses started buying again after the recession.

But in January, consumers were back in showrooms.

GM's sales to individual buyers rose 36 percent while fleet sales dropped 7 percent. Ford and Chrysler also said their fleet sales fell.

Chrysler's sales increase was driven by strong demand for the entire Jeep brand. Sales of the Grand Cherokee sport utility vehicle, the brand's newest offering, rose 130 percent.

Toyota recovered from January 2010, as sales rose 17 percent. The previous January, it lost an estimated 20,000 sales after it recalled eight models because of defective gas pedals.

Other automakers reporting sales were:

• Hyundai said sales rose 22 percent. Sales of the revamped Sonata sedan, which went on sale early in 2010, nearly doubled in January, while sales of the newly redesigned Elantra rose 26 percent.

• Honda said sales rose 13 percent. The CR-V was Honda's top-selling model as sales rose 69 percent.

• Nissan sales rose 15 percent on the strength of its Rogue vehicle. Nissan also sold 87 Leaf electric vehicles. January was the Leaf's second month on the market.

• Kia sales rose 26 percent, led by the Sorento, which blends the features of a car and an SUV, and the Optima sedan.

Carmakers report U.S. sales increase in January, perhaps signaling economic recovery 02/01/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, February 1, 2011 8:59pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Associated Press.
    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Pinellas licensing board asks Sen. Jack Latvala for $500,000 loan

    Local Government

    The troubled Pinellas County agency that regulates contractors wants Sen. Jack Latvala to help it get a $500,000 lifeline from the state to stay afloat.

    State Sen . Jack Latvala, R- Clearwater, is being asked to help the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board get $500,000 from the state so it can stay open beyond February.  [SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]
  2. In advertising, marketing diversity needs a boost in Tampa Bay, nationally

    Business

    TAMPA — Trimeka Benjamin was focused on a career in broadcast journalism when she entered Bethune-Cookman University.

    From left, Swim Digital marketing owner Trimeka Benjamin discusses the broad lack of diversity in advertising and marketing with 22 Squared copywriter Luke Sokolewicz, University of Tampa advertising/PR professor Jennifer Whelihan, Rumbo creative director George Zwierko and Nancy Vaughn of the White Book Agency. The group recently met at The Bunker in Ybor City.
  3. Tampa Club president seeks assessment fee from members

    News

    TAMPA — The president of the Tampa Club said he asked members last month to pay an additional assessment fee to provide "additional revenue." However, Ron Licata said Friday that the downtown business group is not in a dire financial situation.

    Ron Licata, president of the Tampa Club in downtown Tampa. [Tampa Club]
  4. Under Republican health care bill, Florida must make up $7.5 billion

    Markets

    If a Senate bill called the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017 becomes law, Florida's government would need to make up about $7.5 billion to maintain its current health care system. The bill, which is one of the Republican Party's long-promised answers to the Affordable Care Act imposes a cap on funding per enrollee …

    Florida would need to cover $7.5 billion to keep its health care program under the Republican-proposed Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017.  [Times file photo]
  5. Amid U.S. real estate buying binge by foreign investors, Florida remains first choice

    Real Estate

    Foreign investment in U.S. residential real estate recently skyrocketed to a new high with nearly half of all foreign sales happening in Florida, California and Texas.

    A National Association of Realtors annual survey found record volume and activity by foreign buyers of U.S. real estate. Florida had the highest foreign investment activity, followed by California and Texas. [National Association of Realtors]