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Detroit Three Report May Sales Decline, Japanese and Korean Automakers See Sales Increases

June 4, 2008

The Detroit Three continued to suffer a sales decline in May, while Japanese and Korean automakers reported sales increases this month. BMW also continued its upward sales trend, while Audi took a slight hit in May sales. All automakers reported declines in truck and SUV sales. However, sales of cars and crossovers continued to increase with record sales of the BMW MINI, Jeep Patriot, Ford Focus and Fusion, Chevy Aveo, Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla.

AUDI: Audi of America Inc. reported total May sales of 8,534 units, a slight decrease of 2.9 percent from last year’s figure of 8,788. Audi certified pre-owned sales continued their record-setting trend as sales rose to 3,364 units, an increase of 42.7 percent from 2,358.

For the first five months of 2008, Audi has sold 36,820 vehicles, a 2.9 percent decrease from 37,922 over the previous year. CPO sales for 2008 total 15,454 units, an increase of 45.5 percent from 10,622 over the previous year.

BMW: The BMW Group in the U.S. (BMW and MINI combined) reported a year-to-year increase of 3.1 percent in May sales from 30,819 to 31,781 vehicles sold.

BMW brand sales were down 4.6 percent to 25,469 vehicles compared to 26,689 vehicles sold in May 2007. BMW's automobile sales were down 7.2 percent in May to 19,884 versus 21,421 in the same month a year ago. Sales of BMW sports activity vehicles were up 6 percent in May to 5,585 vehicles. The company sold 5,268 last May.

MINI USA reported an all-time record in May. The brand sold 6,312 cars, a 52.8 percent increase compared to 4,130 cars sold in the same period a year ago. MINI USA reported a 36 percent increase from 2007 to 2008 in the same period a year ago.

Year-to-date sales were down 2.4 percent to 131,758 vehicles versus the 134,944 sold January through May of 2007.

CHRYSLER: Chrysler LLC reported total May 2008 sales of 148,747 units, which is 25 percent below the 199,393 units sold during the same period last year.

The Chrysler brand reported sales of 32,776 units, a 38 percent decrease from 53,157 in May sales compared to the same month a year ago.

The Jeep brand posted total May sales of 35,841, a 16 percent decrease from 42,870 in the same month a year ago. However, the fuel-efficient Jeep Patriot posted record monthly sales of 8,199 units in May 2008, an 82 percent increase from 4,504 units sold during the same period last year.

The Dodge branch recorded total May sales of 80,130, a 22 percent decrease from 103,366 units in May 2007. However, the Dodge Caliber and Journey posted new monthly sales records. The Dodge Caliber recorded sales of 12,856 units, up 7 percent compared with May 2007 sales of 12,052 units. The Dodge Journey reached 7,520 units in its fourth month of sales.

FORD: Total Ford Motor Company sales, including Jaguar, Land Rover, and Volvo, reached 217,998 units in May, down 16 percent from 259,470 vehicles sold the same period last year. Ford, Lincoln and Mercury sales totaled 206,000 in May 2007, down 16 percent from 244,630 units sold in May 2008, and reflected a decrease in daily rental, truck, van and SUV sales.

However, sales of Ford cars increased 13.3 percent from 63,754 to 72,225 units. The increase was led by the Taurus, Focus and Fusion. The Taurus reached sales of 6,700 units, an increase of 66.9 percent from 4,014 vehicles sold a year ago. The Focus sales totaled 32,579, up 53 percent from 21,269 units sold in May 2007. Sales of the Ford Fusion reached 18,088, the highest in 2008 and a 27 percent increase from May 2007.

The company's gains in the small and mid-size car market have helped mitigate sharp declines among SUVs (down 44 percent), trucks and vans (down 29 percent), and lower sales to daily rental companies (down 30 percent).

The company also announced the Ford Fiesta will be produced in North America in early 2010. Two Fiesta models, a sedan and a hatchback, will be offered to meet growing consumer demand for small cars, reported Ford.

GENERAL MOTORS: GM’s total May sales were down 30 percent from 375,682 units to 272,363 units, while total truck sales decline 39 percent from 220,077 units to 138,777 units.

The sales increase in fuel efficient cars and crossover vehicles, such as the Chevy Aveo, Chevy Cobalt and Buick Enclave, could not make up for soft truck demand and a decline in fleet deliveries impacted by the American Axle strike, GM reported.

Sales for all certified used vehicles in May 2008 were 46,574 vehicles, up 1.5 percent from May 2007. Year-to-date sales for certified used vehicles are 214,686 vehicles, down nearly 6 percent from the same period last year.

HONDA: American Honda Motor Co. Inc. reported May sales of 167,997, up 11.3 percent from 145,367 units sold a year ago. This shattered the company's all-time sales record for any month. Total car sales in May increased 27 percent from 87,064 units to 114,796 units during the same period a year ago. Total truck sales reached 53,201 in May 2008, a decrease of 12.1 percent from 58,303 units in 2007.

The Honda Division posted total vehicle sales of 153,104 units, an increase of 13.9 percent for the month. Total sales for cars reached 105,548, up 30.7 percent. The Honda Civic set a new monthly sales record for any model in the Honda lineup. Sales of the compact vehicle hit 53,299, up 28.3 percent versus 39,993 units sold in May 2007. The Civic surpassed the previous record of 49,098 set in August 2003 by the Accord.

The Acura Division reported total sales of 14,893 units, a 9.9 percent decrease from May 2007. However, sales of the 2009 TSX sports sedan increased 53.7 percent, setting a new all-time record of 4,564 sold units. This exceeded the previous record of 3,911 set in April 2006.

Year-to-date sales increased 3.1 percent from 625,994 to 655,819 units.

HYUNDAI: Hyundai Motor America announced sales of 46,415 for the month of May, a six percent increase over the 43,885 units sold during the same period last year. This was the company’s best May ever.

The Accent, Elantra and Sonata continued their strong sales performance with increases of 89 percent, 46 percent and 12 percent, respectively, over last year.

Year-to-date sales decreased from 187,227 units to 181,033 units.

NISSAN: North America Inc. reported a May sales jump of 4.4 percent, with sales increasing from 93,062 to 100,874 units. The company attributed its strong sales performance to the Altima midsize model, which helped offset declines at the high-end Infiniti division.

Nissan Division sales rose from 82,314 units to 90,379 units, a 5.7 percent increase. Sales at the automaker’s Infiniti Division declined 6 percent from the same month last year.

The Altima Sedan, Hybrid and Coupe combined for sales of 34,428 units, the best month in the vehicle’s history. This was a 38.3 percent increase from the same month last year.

Sales of Nissan cars combined for a year-on-year increase of 17.2 percent, while truck sales fell 14.0 percent.

SUZUKI: Suzuki Motor Corp. reported a 2 percent increase in total May sales, rising from 10,133 to 10,364 units sold. This marked the best May sales in company history.

Year to date the company reported a 1 percent decrease from 47,163 to 46,463 units sold.

Sales were fueled by the SX4 model line, which sold an impressive 3,970 units, an increase of 158 percent from the 1,538 units sold in 2007.

TOYOTA: Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc., reported May sales of 257,404 vehicles, a decrease of 7.9 percent from last May, on a daily selling rate basis.

The Toyota Division posted May sales of 230,811, a decrease of 6.3 percent from last May. Toyota Division passenger cars recorded May sales of 152,652 units, down 0.9 percent over the same period last year. Passenger-car sales were led by Corolla, which posted all-time, best-ever sales of 52,826 units. This was an increase of 12.4 percent over May 2007. Toyota Division light trucks recorded May sales of 78,159 units, down 15.3 percent from May 2007.

Scion posted May sales of 14,858 units, up 28.4 percent over the year ago month.

The Lexus Division reported May sales of 26,593 units, a decrease of 19.6 percent from the year-ago month. Lexus passenger cars reported May sales of 16,290 units, a decrease of 21.3 percent from May 2007. Lexus Division light trucks reported May sales totaling 10,303 units, down 16.7 percent from the year-ago month.

Year-to-date hybrid sales totaled 127,353 units, while May sales totaled 26,019 hybrid vehicles. Toyota Division posted sales of 23,654 hybrids for the month. Lexus Division posted May sales of 2,365 hybrids, an 18 percent increase over the same period last year.

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