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Silverado edges out Ram in the truck wars as automakers report dismal overall sales

Eric D. Lawrence and Jamie L. LaReau, Detroit Free Press on

Published in Automotive News

DETROIT -- The Chevy Silverado is keeping the ever-encroaching Ram at bay in the ongoing truck wars, despite overall dismal industry auto sales in the second quarter due to the global coronavirus pandemic.

On Wednesday, many automakers reported quarterly sales results that reflected the impact of idled vehicle production for most of the quarter and stay-at-home and related orders in many places hampering sales.

General Motors reported its quarterly sales were down 34% and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles reported a 39% plummet in sales.

Some other notable automakers to report depressing sales results included American Honda, which saw sales decline 27.9%, and Nissan Group saw sales crash by 49.5%. Nissan's highly profitable Pathfinder SUV experienced a 26% decline in sales.

The 'X factor'

Analysts say the lackluster results are merely a bump in the road that don't necessarily indicate long-term losses.

 

"Sales results for GM and FCA would be disappointing if there was no global pandemic, but the past few months have shown that consumers have an appetite for SUVs and trucks so that sets them up in a good position, especially as GM is rolling out its full-size SUVs which are perfect for summer road trips," said Jessica Caldwell, executive director of insights at Edmunds.

Caldwell warns that the "big 'X factor' moving forward is whether there will be a return to shelter in place orders which will hurt consumer confidence and create more trepidation in the workforce."

Truck wars

One notable spot in the quarterly sales results is that even though Silverado sales were down compared to the year-ago quarter, it narrowly edged out Ram by 4,984 units.

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