U.S. Auto Sales Froze Up In January

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DETROIT, Feb. 3 (UPI) — Sales of U.S. and foreign automobiles plunged along with the outside temperatures in January, most automakers reported Monday.

During a frigid January, General Motors Co. said sales of passenger cars fell 8 percent to 70,560 from the first month of 2013. Sales of GM pickup trucks dropped 14.5 percent to 100,926..

Ford Motor Co. reported sales off 7.5 percent compared with January of 2013. Car sales for Ford went down 13.4 percent to 48,651, while truck sales dropped 4.4 percent to 104,843.

Chrysler, which became 100 percent owned by Italian automaker Fiat in January, reported split sales that included a 19.7 percent drop in car sales and a 24.2 percent rise in light truck sales, which added up to an 8 percent gain overall in the month.

Foreign automakers posted mixed results. Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc., posted a sales drop of 7.2 percent with passenger car sales off 17.1 percent to 77,818 and light truck sales up 7.4 percent to 68,547.

In total sales, GM set the pace with 171,486 vehicles sold. Ford sold 153,494 vehicles in January, followed by Toyota, which sold 146,365. Chrysler sold 127,183 vehicles in the month, while total sales tracked by Autodata — the results of 22 automakers — came to 1,012,582 in the month, down 3.1 percent from the first month of 2013.

Two automakers, Saab Cars of North America Inc. and American Suzuki had no sales to report. After that, the numbers range from 186 Ferrari’s sold to 91,631 sold by American Honda Co. Inc., which reported a drop of 2.1 percent in total sales from a year earlier.

Subaru of America Inc. posted the highest gain among the major automakers with 19.3 percent more vehicles sold compared with January 2013 — total sales reaching 33,000 precisely. The largest decline, besides the 100 percent decline at the now defunct Suzuki — was posted by Volvo Cars of North America, where sales fell 22.2 percent.

Technically, the largest gain was posted by Maserati of North America Inc., where a few sales can make a big difference. With 567 cars sold, Maserati sales spiked 229.7 percent on the month,

In 2013, Maserati sales surged 80 percent, climbing 128 percent in the United States, its largest market, Caradvise reported.

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