The auto industry recovery took a break in May, spooked by high gas prices, reduced inventory, and by a cutback in sales incentives. Sales of new cars and trucks last month were down 4% compared to a year ago, according to USA Today. It was the first sales monthly sales decline since August 2010. The annual pace was 11.8 million, lowest this year, up just slightly from 11.6 million last May and off from April’s 13.2 million pace. Sales slid 1 percent at General Motors and 3 percent at Ford as a rise in car deliveries failed to overcome a sharp decline in light truck volume. At GM, sales of large pickup trucks dropped 14 percent. In fact, sales of the

Chevrolet Silverado were off 15.7%, and crossover demand slipped 1 percent. But Chevrolet’s Cruze was up 150%, vs. the Cobalt it replaced. Two GM divisions did see an an increase in May. Buick gained 24% while GMC sales increased 9%. Ford said car sales rose 4 percent last month, but truck deliveries slid 7 percent, with F-Series pickup volume off 15 percent. And 55% of buyers picked more fuel-efficient V-6 engines, not the V-8s long favored by pickup owners.

Ford’s new redesigned Focus compact was up 31.7%. Keeping with the trend, Toyota’s Tundra sales dropped 49.3%. Total Toyota sales fell 33 percent, led by a 45% drop in Lexus sales. Honda deliveries slid 22 percent, while Acura sales were down 24%. A drop in pickup and SUV sales also resulted in a 9 percent decline in Nissan sales last month. Infiniti sales dropped 21%.

In order to get a bigger piece of a smaller pie, auto dealers are forced to come up with more and more creative ideas to move the market. At Larry John Wright we have some ideas you might want to hear about. Call us at 1-800-821-5068 or visit our website at