The Japanese auto makers were hit hardest, but nearly all major auto makers reported declines from a year ago. GM's sales fell 1.2% while Ford Motor Co. said its May U.S. sales declined less than 1%. Toyota's sales dropped 33%, Honda's sales fell 23% and Nissan Motor Co.'s dropped 9.1%.
Chrysler's sales rose 10.1%, giving the company a 10.9% shares of the U.S. market, putting it ahead of Toyota, which had a 10.2% share. GM, Ford and Chrysler together accounted for 49.7% of the month's sales. The last time they had more than 50% was September 2008.
Hyundai capitalized on a lineup that has the highest combined fuel efficiency of any in the industry and attractive prices relative to competitors. The South Korean auto maker has pulled drawn customers from Toyota, Honda and Nissan, which suffered production disruptions because of the March 11 earthquake in Japan.
Since the Japanese earthquake / Tsunami on March 10th, Hyundai's stock price has soared by more than 20%, while Toyota has slumped 7%.