Wednesday, June 20, 2018
Business

U.S. auto sales hit 9-year high in May

DETROIT

Brisk demand for SUVs and pickup trucks — and five sunny weekends — pushed U.S. auto sales to a nine-year high in May.

Chrysler, Nissan and Toyota all reported double-digit sales gains over last May. Even General Motors, battling bad publicity from a mishandled recall, surprised with a 13 percent sales increase.

Ford's sales rose a better-than-expected 3 percent, while Hyundai's were up 4 percent. Of major automakers, only Volkswagen's sales fell.

May is traditionally a strong month for the auto industry, as buyers spend their tax returns and think ahead to summer road trips. This year's calendar, with five weekends, gave it an extra boost. Sales were particularly strong the last weekend of the month, automakers said.

Sales rose 11 percent to just more than 1.6 million in May. That was the highest monthly total since July 2005, according to Kelley Blue Book.

June should bring more of the same, said Karl Brauer, a senior analyst with Kelley Blue Book. May sales were driven by pentup demand from the winter, he said, but the summer months will likely be strong because of other factors, including low interest rates, good lease deals and enticing new vehicles.

GM said May was its best month since August 2008. Sales of its GMC Yukon and Buick Encore SUVs more than doubled, and buyers snapped up the new Chevrolet Corvette. GMC Sierra pickup sales gained 14 percent.

Brauer said buyers haven't been deterred by GM's multiple recalls — 13.8 million vehicles so far this year — and questions about how long the company took to report safety problems in older cars.

"Car buyers are willing to forget the past and look at the present and future for GM," he said.

Toyota's sales increased 17 percent over last May. Sales of the Camry midsize sedan, the country's bestselling car, rose 26 percent to nearly 50,000. Luxury Lexus brand sales gained 21 percent.

Ford said it was a record month for the Fusion sedan and Escape SUV, which both topped 30,000 in sales. Sales for the Lincoln luxury brand gained 21 percent as the new MKC small SUV went on sale. But Ford's truck sales dropped 4 percent as the automaker reduced incentives.

     
Comments
What historically high lumber prices mean for Florida home buyers

What historically high lumber prices mean for Florida home buyers

Blame a lack of rail cars in Canada or not enough semi trucks in the United States. Forest fires didnít help. Tariffs played a big role, too.Even the buoyant economy takes part of the rap for frothy lumber prices, which hit all-time highs last month....
Published: 06/20/18
As Tesla races to meet Model 3 deadline, factory pressures and suspicions grow

As Tesla races to meet Model 3 deadline, factory pressures and suspicions grow

Tesla chief Elon Musk said last week that the companyís layoffs of 9 percent of its workforce wouldnít affect production as the all-electric automaker races to build thousands of new Model 3 sedans a week.But documents the company filed days later wi...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Tech Data sending a record 700 employees to march in Pride Parade

Tech Data sending a record 700 employees to march in Pride Parade

Among the marching bands and twirlers at Saturdayís St. Pete Pride Parade, one major sponsor, Tech Data, is sending by far a record number of employees ó more than 700 at last count ó to march in Floridaís largest gay pride parade.The parade, which d...
Published: 06/19/18
A valet at this South Tampa Publix will park your car as you shop

A valet at this South Tampa Publix will park your car as you shop

TAMPA ó Publix shoppers in South Tampa who hate circling the lot for parking can now toss their keys to a valet.The Publix at Dale Mabry and Neptune started testing a free valet service last week that could expand to more stores. Spokesman Brian West...
Published: 06/19/18
Sign to report employees not speaking English at doughnut shop creates a stir

Sign to report employees not speaking English at doughnut shop creates a stir

A sign asking customers at a Dunkiní Donuts store in Baltimore to report employees who were heard not speaking English has set off a controversy.The sign, according tothe Baltimore Sun, would offer coupons to customers who reported workers at a dough...
Published: 06/19/18
Florida Bankers Association recognizes Bill Klich with award

Florida Bankers Association recognizes Bill Klich with award

Former Tampa Bay banking executive Bill Klich was presented the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Florida Bankers Association last week at an annual meeting in Palm Coast.Klich, 73, has a strong reputation with more than four decades of commercial ...
Published: 06/19/18
Jeff Vinik-backed construction material firm headed to Port Tampa Bay

Jeff Vinik-backed construction material firm headed to Port Tampa Bay

TAMPA ó With $3 billion in construction on the boards, Water Street Tampa will need a lot of concrete, so a company whose largest investor is Jeff Vinik is moving to Port Tampa Bay to begin importing fly ash, a component of concrete.Spartan Materials...
Published: 06/19/18
Drugs at your doorstep: CVS will deliver prescriptions to your home

Drugs at your doorstep: CVS will deliver prescriptions to your home

CVS Health will make prescription deliveries nationwide to accommodate the heightened expectations of convenience from consumers. The nationís second-largest drugstore chain says it also will make home deliveries of other items, like allergy medicine...
Published: 06/19/18
St. Petersburg residents will see higher water, sanitation bills

St. Petersburg residents will see higher water, sanitation bills

ST. PETERSBURG ó Residents can expect their water and sanitation bills to increase between $7 and $11 starting in October.That represents an average of a 7-percent increase. Customers who use an average of 4,000 gallons a month, including reclaimed w...
Published: 06/19/18
Spectrumís new service will eventually increase the cost for TV

Spectrumís new service will eventually increase the cost for TV

Spectrumís new all-digital service is set to bring more high definition, faster internet speeds and expanded on-demand offerings ó but it also comes with higher costs for some of its TV customers in Tampa Bay. Each TV that receives service from Spect...
Published: 06/19/18