Third-quarter U.S. new-vehicle sales were mixed, sending an unclear picture amid continued woes in the greater economy that include inflation and rising interest rates.
General Motors led the way with a 25% jump, followed by smaller gains at Ford, Hyundai, Kia and Volkswagen. Luxury brands BMW and Hyundai Group’s Genesis also posted sales gains. Tesla’s worldwide sales – it doesn’t break them down by region -- were up, though off analyst estimates.
Meanwhile, Honda, Mazda, Toyota, Stellantis, Subaru and Volvo sales fell, though Toyota did have its first monthly sales increase since July 2021, up 17%.
Supply issues continue to cause problems for carmakers. Stellantis blamed “challenging industry supply constraints” for its 6% sales decline. But those issues, including the squeezing of the microchip supply, are showing signs of easing. GM said this week that its chip supply has improved.
Relaxed supply-chain pressures, though, could be replaced by larger market forces that could dampen consumer demand, especially in the face of increased new-vehicle prices.
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