USA - Car sales up 3.8% in April

Passenger car sales in the USA rose by 3.8% in April to 741,455 from 714,032 and that took the YTD gain to 6.7% at 2,760,369 from 2,586,838, and the annualised selling rate is now 8.35 million. However, we are not convinced that the current strength of the market will be sustained and for now we are sticking with our full year forecast of 8.2 million.

There is only one casualty in the sector over the first third of the year. The Ford Grouping has seen sales dip by 1.9% to 593,077 from 604,531, but that deficit is slowly being eaten away, although at the current rate of progress it will be quite late this year before Ford gets back into the black.

What progress is being made seems to be coming in surges. It is the lack of consistency that underscores the belief that the market is more manufacturer driven than consumer driven, and hence the belief that sales will flatten and tail off as the year progresses.