Updated from 1:08 p.m. EDT
A 16% drop in U.S. auto sales for
in May led continued declines for Detroit's Big Three, as a steep fall in truck sales across the board suggested consumers are increasingly factoring the high price of gasoline into their auto buying decisions.
GM said Thursday that it sold 345,157 vehicles last month in the U.S., compared with 393,197 vehicles a year earlier. Its car sales fell more than 19% to 129,906 units, while truck sales fell more than 13% to 215,252 vehicles.
"The overall industry in May was dampened by rising fuel prices and interest rates," the company said.
For its part,
said U.S. vehicle sales fell 1.9% in May to 278,546 vehicles, compared to the 283,994 vehicles the company sold in the same month last year.
Ford's truck sales were a soft spot for the automaker, with sales down 6.6% to 170, 298 units, with sales of its sport-utility vehicles dropping 21%. Car sales rose 6.4% to 108,248 vehicles.
"We've seen an industry-wide decline in traditional sport utility vehicles, and higher gas prices accelerated this decline," Ford said.
recorded an 8% decline in sales of U.S. vehicles. The company sold 212,882 cars and trucks, down from 232,386 a year ago. The decline was offset by gains at its Volkswagen and Mercedes units, but the Chrysler division logged an 11% decline.
, which has been increasingly taking market share from its U.S.-based rivals, reported a 12.3% jump in vehicle sales to 235,708 units.
"The pinch at the pump has made small cars part of the big picture, right along with hybrids," said Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Group Vice President Jim Lentz in a statement. "The market is healthy, though shifting."
Shares of GM were recently down 23 cents, or 0.9%, to $26.70. Shares of Ford were up 4 cents, or 0.6%, to $7.20; and Daimler Chrysler's shares dropped 21 cents, or 0.4%, to $52.40.