GM and Ford shares both dropped 1.7% and DaimlerChrysler dropped 2.5%, despite Chrysler's fourth month in a row of sales increases, fuelled by $2,000 cashback and low finance offers.
While Chrysler sales rose 9% in January, Ford's dropped 5.2%, and GM's by 2.1% despite numerically more sales, allowance made for one extra selling day compared to January 2003.
January witnessed continuing inroads by Japanese brands – Toyota up 15.6%, Nissan up 25.7%; Honda narrowly beat its 2003 January record but its average daily sales were marginally down year on year. Hyundai saw last year's growth trend reversed.
J D Power commented that changes to seasonal factors measured by the US Federal Reserve lowered the January 2004 sales rate by about 300,000 units.