Chrysler Group LLC led the five largest automakers by U.S. sales in exceeding analysts’ estimates for April as the industry’s increased production drove expansion in the manufacturing sector.
Chrysler sales climbed 20 percent to 141,165 light vehicles and Toyota deliveries rose 12 percent to 178,044, according to company statements issued Tuesday.
Those results beat eight analysts’ average estimate for increases of 16 percent and 10 percent.
General Motors, Ford and Honda said sales declined by less than analysts’ estimates.
Stronger demand for automobiles bolstered U.S. manufacturing, which grew in April at the fastest pace in almost a year, according to the Institute for Supply Management. The group’s factory index climbed to 54.8 last month, the best reading since June. Chrysler and Hyundai both said Monday they will add shifts at factories later this year.
Ford deliveries fell 5.1 percent to 179,658 cars and light trucks, and GM sales dropped 8.2 percent to 213,387.
GM, the top-selling automaker in the United States, said the Cadillac, Buick and Chevrolet brands posted sales declines from a year ago. GM’s market share fell by 1.9 percentage points in the first quarter.
Ford, the No. 2 U.S. seller, said deliveries of its Fiesta subcompact plunged 44 percent to 5,135. The company sold 37 percent of its vehicles to fleet customers last month. Ford has said it can’t keep up with demand and sees its U.S. market share dropping this year as a result.
Nissan deliveries slipped 0.3 percent. Affiliates Hyundai and Kia of South Korea combined to sell 0.9 percent more vehicles than a year earlier. Honda slipped 2.2 percent. Volkswagen, on pace to exceed its target for more than 500,000 U.S. sales this year, increased combined sales of its Volkswagen and Audi brand vehicles by 27 percent in April.