GM Reports Modest Gains in March, While Ford and FCA Sales Drop


Dearborn automaker Ford Motor Co. today announced the company’s sales results for March, including 236,250 vehicles sold, a 7 percent decline versus the same monthly period in 2016. Retail sales also declined 2 percent last month, with 157,740 vehicles sold, while fleet sales were down 17 percent.

Ford’s F-Series sales increased 10 percent compared to March 2016, with a total of 81,330 pickups sold, and overall average transaction pricing increasing more than $2,500. Ford Super Duty high-series trucks, including Lariat, King Ranch, and Platinum, represented 56 percent of the 2017 Super Duty retail sales for the month.

“Our high-series Super Duty trucks and all-new F-150 Raptor drove double- digit F-Series sales gains in March, along with the strongest year-over-year increase in transaction prices of any truck manufacturer in the industry,” says Mark LaNeve, vice president of marketing, sales, and service for Ford. 

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The Ford Escape also posted record March retail sales with a 13 percent gain, and Ford expedition sales grew 43 percent, with 5,472 SUVs sold. Lincoln retail sales also increased 5 percent.

Detroit-based General Motors Co. was deemed the fastest growing automaker for March, driven by gains in the Chevrolet and Buick brands, which saw sales increases of 9 percent and 22 percent, respectively.

“The economy is strong and we see more growth ahead for our brands,” says Kurt McNeil, U.S. vice president of sales operations at GM. “More people are working, consumer confidence is at a 16-year high, fuel prices are low, and Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, and Cadillac have a wave of new crossovers to compete in the industry’s biggest and hottest segments.”

GM’s overall retail sales were 546,838 units, a 1.9 percent increase from March 2016, with the gains primarily attributed to crossovers, which were up 21 percent. Truck deliveries also increased 0.5 percent.

GM’s commercial deliveries increased 4 percent, but daily rental deliveries were down 8 percent, or about 6,000 units. Total fleet sales decreased 3 percent as well. GM’s total sales were 689,521 units, a 1 percent increase, and the average transaction prices were $34,000, in line with last year’s first quarter.

Auburn Hills-based automaker FCA US also reported overall losses for March, with fleet sales of 43,992 units, a 15 percent year over year decrease, as the company continues its strategy of reducing its sales to the daily rental segment. Fleet sales represented 23 percent of FCA US’s overall sales in March, with retail sales of 146,262 units also falling 1 percent for the month.

Dodge and RAM Truck brands saw sales increases compared to March 2016, with sales up 10 percent and 6 percent respectively. Sales of the Dodge Journey, Ram Pickup, and Ramp ProMaster each posted year-over-year gains, as well as the Jeep brand’s volume leader, the Jeep Grand Cherokee, which saw sales increases of 22 percent.

Sales for the Fiat 500 also increased 12 percent compared to March 2016, and Fiat Spider sales increased 39 percent compared to February of this year. The Chrysler Pacifica also posted a 3 percent sales increase from February, continuing its third month of year-over-year gains.

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