May 2012 Automotive Industry Sales Roundup

Luke Vandezande
by Luke Vandezande

With May sales numbers rolling out today, there are some interesting stories developing around several automakers.

Overall, industry analysts were disappointed with sales performances last month, which came short of the projected 14.4 million units the industry was supposed to be on pace for this year, instead coming closer to 13.8 million. That, in turn, sent stocks tumbling despite what should have otherwise been a good month for most companies.

Toyota‘s sales were up 87.3 percent compared to last year. Those numbers were helped especially by strong sales from the Prius family of hybrid cars and the popular Camry. Despite having impressive sales gains, the company still fell short of analyst predictions.

Similarly, General Motors rose 11 percent thanks to strong demand for the Buick Verano and Chevrolet Sonic subcompact. Again, those numbers fell below expectations, despite being an improvement.

Subaru continued on its trend from April, with the Impreza lending a helping hand to the brand’s numbers with an almost 236 percent increase over last year. Other models in its range continued to perform well also, including the popular Outback and Forrester.

Staying on the Japanese vehicle vein, Honda reported that strong demand for its CR-V small SUV and Accord sedan helped solidify double-digit sales gains this month. Perhaps more interesting than that, the brand’s luxury subsidiary, Acura, made big strides with its RDX small crossover — something it predicted would happen. Furthermore, the brand is poised to trounce the Buick Verano, which at the moment stands unopposed. That will almost certainly take a sharp change in direction when the ILX debuts, which competes in pricing with the Verano, but will likely hold more appeal with the young target market.

Helped by its well-received JX crossover, Infiniti saw a 66 percent gain in a move the brand predicted in a cocksure manner. Before the vehicle launched, the brand was quoted saying it covered the bases and expected strong sales. This month those forecasts came true, with roughly a third of Infiniti unit sales coming from the crossover.

Finally, Chrysler rounded off the pack with a 30 percent sales increase over May, 2011. Compared to April of this year, the company strengthened its sales, helped most by its namesake badge and strong sales for the 200 and 300 sedans, which made up the largest part of the company’s 81 percent increased sales over last May.

Luke Vandezande
Luke Vandezande

Luke is an energetic automotive journalist who spends his time covering industry news and crawling the internet for the latest breaking story. When he isn't in the office, Luke can be found obsessively browsing used car listings, drinking scotch at his favorite bar and dreaming of what to drive next, though the list grows a lot faster than his bank account. He's always on <A title="@lukevandezande on Twitter" href="">Twitter</A> looking for a good car conversation. Find Luke on <A title="@lukevandezande on Twitter" href="">Twitter</A> and <A title="Luke on Google+" href="">Google+</A>.

More by Luke Vandezande

Join the conversation
2 of 3 comments
  • News Staff News Staff on Jun 02, 2012

    That's a big bounce-back from the Japanese automakers.

  • H8R fo Life H8R fo Life on Jun 04, 2012

    With all the sales numbers climbing so much, I just need to say one thing. I represent the lease rate is too damn high party, and I'm running for election on one issue alone. Lease rates are too damn high. You got people having to choose between feeding their kids and paying the lease rates. Why? They're TOO DAMN HIGH!