Michigan Auto makers said today that their U.S. sales grew in January, typically a slower month for the industry, as strong demand trends appear likely to continue into the new year.
At C&R, we think these trends will continue to fuel Michigan’s economy. While economies of oil dependent state’s will slow this year, Michigan will accelerate.
The auto industry is in the midst of a strong run of monthly sales improvements as U.S. consumers, armed with more cash because of lower gasoline prices, are more confident about the economic outlook. Now, the market is looking to see whether the sector can continue its torrid growth this year.
Chrysler, General Motors Co. and Nissan Motor Co. all posted double-digit increases in January.
Much of the continued strength in the industry comes from higher sales of sport-utility vehicles and trucks, which benefit from declining fuel prices. Market observers expect auto makers will bet on sustained lower oil prices and will ramp up production of heavier vehicles this year
Fiat Chrysler, whose consistent double-digit monthly sales increases have been driven by sales of its Jeep and Ram brands, said it sold 145,007 vehicles during January, an increase of 14%.
Chrysler said its truck sales rose 13% to 105,119 vehicles, and car sales improved 17% to 39,888 units. The Ram brand reported a 14% increase in sales, its best January performance since 1999, the company said. The Jeep brand posted its best January ever with 23% sales growth.
Chrysler projected total industry sales in the U.S. to be a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 17 million units, while GM projected 16.6 million.