AutoNation May vehicle sales dropped 15 percent to 16,347 units

Article by Christian Andrei, on June 3, 2011

AutoNation Inc.’s sales fell 15% in May to 16,347 units, mainly due to a steep drop in sales of Japan-built models. The dealership holding company also revealed that its import vehicle sales fell by 30% to 7,110 units last month.

The Detroit 3’s vehicles sold 3% more to 5,995 units. Meanwhile, premium import sales rose by 1% to 3,242. Last Wednesday, Toyota Motor Corp. posted a 33% decrease in May sales, primarily due to inventory shortages that resulted from the Japan earthquake.

On the other hand, Honda’s sales dropped by 23% and Nissan Motor Corp.’s sales declined by 9%. The auto industry’s sales of new cars, crossovers and light trucks fell 4% in May.

The factors named for this drop include high gasoline prices, tight vehicle supplies and economic worries. Previously, AutoNation said that supply shortages will reduce sales of Japanese-brand models through the summer. It runs a total of 19 Toyota, 20 Honda and 23 Nissan franchises, a majority of which are in Southern and Western states.

In the past few weeks, its advertising has been focused on the Detroit brands while the Asian supplies have yet to be restocked. Both Toyota and Honda have announced that production levels in Japan and North America will go back to normal in late June at the earliest.

Last Wednesday, Toyota said that its inventory consisted of about 195,000 Toyota brand models in ground stock, lower by 50,000 units compared to the start of May. AutoNation owns and operates 247 new-vehicle franchises in 15 states.

Topics: autonation, sales

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