Auto Sales Missed Big In January

The big automakers published their January auto sales stats today, and it was a flop.

According to Wards Auto, U.S. vehicle sales tumbled to an annualized rate of 15.14 million from 15.3 million in December.

Analysts were looking for 15.7 million.

“Cold weather was blamed for slow retail sales, especially in regions unaccustomed, or prepared for, the cold temperatures and heavy snows that fell across much of the country,” said Wards’ John Sousanis.

Ford’s sales fell by 7.5%. Analysts had estimated a 2.3% decline.

GM missed expectations by an even wider margin. Sales fell 12% versus the 2.5% decline estimated.

Chrysler, however, said sales climbed 8% during the month, which was stronger than the 5.4% estimated by analysts.

“Anecdotal reports from the main dealers pointed to the possibility of a negative effect from bad weather,” said Barclays’ Peter Newland. “Given similar reports related to this morning’s ISM release we would advise caution before reading too much into signs of a possible slowdown in economic activity. The outcome of Friday’s employment report remains very uncertain on this basis too.”

Here’s a tally:

  • Ford: -7.5% (2.3% estimated)
  • GM: -12% (-2.5%)
  • Chrysler: +8% (+5.4%)
  • Toyota: -7.2% (-2.7%)
  • Honda/Acura: -2.1% (+4.8%)
  • Nissan: +11.8% (+10%)
  • Suburu: +19%
  • Volkswagen: -19%
  • Hyundai: +0.7%
  • Mitsubishi: +4.5%
  • BMW: +3%

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