Automakers report strong first-quarter sales despite chip shortage


A customer looks at a General Motors Co. Chevrolet vehicle for sale at a car dealership in Colma, California, on Monday, Feb. 8, 2021.

David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images

DETROIT – Automakers are reporting strong vehicle sales buoyed by consumer demand in the first quarter as fleet sales struggled and an ongoing semiconductor chip shortage shuttered some assembly plants.

Analysts forecasted sales across the industry would be up about 8% or 9% compared with the first quarter of 2020, when Covid-19 started forcing dealerships and auto plants to shutter in March. But many automakers are outperforming those forecasts despite the difficult circumstances.

Automakers that are less…


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