WUOMFM

April auto sales rise, driven by crossover SUVs

May 1, 2015

Credit Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

UNDATED (AP) - Demand for small and midsize SUVs is driving up auto sales.

  General Motors, Ford, Toyota, Fiat Chrysler and Nissan all reported U.S. sales gains in April as buyers flocked to crossover SUVS that handle like cars and sit up higher. But the gains came at the expense of small and midsize cars.

  General Motors sales rose 5.9 percent, with sales of the Chevrolet Equinox midsize SUV soaring 42 percent.

  Ford had its best April in nine years, gaining 5 percent. Sales of the revamped Ford Edge midsize SUV were up 78 percent from a year ago.

  A 20 percent increase in Jeep sales helped push Fiat Chrysler's U.S. sales up about 6 percent.

  Toyota sales rose just 1.8 percent but the Japanese automaker saw record April sales of the RAV4 small SUV and Highlander midsize SUV.

  At Nissan, sales were up 5.7 percent, as sales of the Nissan Rogue SUV rose 45 percent.

  Volkswagen, which lacks strong SUVs, saw sales fall about 3 percent.