Become a Member: Get Ad-Free Access to All Our Content


It was a common belief at the beginning of May, when automakers released their sales date for April, that the first couple days of June would reveal bad news, as well. The commonality of any belief does not prove that belief to be true; however, the statistics manifest as proof that the common belief held true.

In a month where total vehicle sales fell over 10%, car sales climbed over 2%. Small cars were especially successful. Two cars that have not grabbed critical acclaim, Ford’s Focus and the Dodge Caliber, jumped 52% and 7%, respectively compared with May of last year. 
It doesn’t seem that long ago that America’s love affair with truck-based SUVs and cheap gas led to a majority of vehicle sales being classified as trucks. In the 31 days of May, that former majority dropped to the low 40s%. Here are the Numbers for American automakers and their sub-brands in America in May… in agony.
37.8 – posted percentage loss for Buick for May 2008 compared with the same period one year earlier
26 – posted percentage loss for Cadillac, May/08 against May/07
27.1 – posted percentage loss for Chevrolet, May/08 against May/07
28 – posted percentage loss for the whole Chrysler group, May/08 vs May/07
16.6 – posted percentage loss for Ford, May/08 against May/07
38.8 – posted percentage loss for GMC, an all truck and SUV brand for May of this year against May/07

61.7 – posted percentage loss for Hummer, an all heavy-duty SUV brand that GM is interested in selling, for the May/08 vs May/07 comparison
42 – percentage loss for luxury brand Lincoln for May of ’08 against the same period last year
28 – percentage drop in sales faced by Mercury, Ford’s pointless brand, for May/08 against May/07
25.9 – percentage drop in sales for Pontiac, a brand featuring some new models, for this May against last May
28 – percentage drop in sales for GM-owned Saab for May/08 against May/07
32.7 – percentage plummeting in product sales for Saturn, featuring its best model lineup ever, for May/08 vs May/07
24 – percentage drop in sales for Ford-owned Volvo for May/08 against May/07
18,455 – lead, in sales, that the Chevrolet brand had over the whole Chrysler/Dodge/Jeep group in May
15,603 – combined sales in May for FMC’s luxury duo (Volvo and Lincoln), out-performing GM’s Swedish-American dup (Saab and Cadillac) by 107
97.5 – Pontiac Vibe’s percentage points lead it held over the Pontiac brand as a whole in May-vs-May sales
23.4 – average decline in sales for Ford’s four main SUVs, the Escape; Edge; Explorer; and Expedition

44.3 – jump in sales this May vs last May, measured in percent, for the Chevrolet Aveo