January was a great month for automakers. In United States three major automakers sales increased tremendously. General Motors (GM) lead with 18.3 percent rise in January, Ford followed with 15.3 percent rise and lastly Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) with 14 percent rise. New cars and trucks were the ones that had high sales with trucks having 54 percent of January sales. Trucks comprise of vans, SUVs and pickups. New cars sales was 46 percent. Automakers sold 1.51 million new automobiles last month which is a rise by 13.7 percent from last year.
The sales have been fueled by the low gasoline prices which also led to the higher sales of trucks since the gas-thirsty cars are no longer expensive to fill up. Mike Jackson, chief executive of No. 1 U.S. dealer chain AutoNation Inc. said “The American people love their trucks,” “This decline in gas prices is a definite plus for the industry both in consumer attitude and the type of vehicles they buy.”
GM delivered 202,786 automobiles last month, which is the company’s best sales in January in the last seven years. 14 percent were retail sales and fleet deliveries were at 32 percent. Ford’s sales rose by 13 percent and this makes it the best January sales for the company since 2004. FCA on the other hand had a sales of 1545,007 vehicles and posted the best January sales since 2007. Reid Bigland, FCA's head of U.S. sales said "We kicked off 2015 with a 14-percent increase in sales and extended our year-over-year sales streak to 58 consecutive months.”
Sales are still strong in the first half of February, despite harsh weather condition in some parts of USA. The industry forecasters are forecasting the sales might reach 17 million this year after hitting 16.52 sales in 2014.