By on June 11, 2010

Thomas Olesen wrote in to request a May 2010 brand volume chart. His wish just came true. Your wildest US-market auto sales questions can be answered too, if you just send your request to editors@ttac.com.

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56 Comments on “Chart Of The Day: May Volume By Brand...”


  • avatar
    Russycle

    If there were any doubts about axing Mercury, this chart should put them to rest. How much longer will Scion be around?

    • 0 avatar
      Pig_Iron

      Poor Suzuki.

    • 0 avatar
      Dave Skinner

      Suzuki has a market share in Japan comparable to Honda, Nissan and Mazda. If they ever find a product that resonates in the marketplace, they have the resources to grow into a real player.

    • 0 avatar
      L'avventura

      Suzuki manages a large marketshare in Japan because it specializes in microcars (keis). There is very little resonance with the US market. But that doesn’t matter, America is a low-growth market.

      Its successful in India, and microcars are booming in China and Indonesia. Suzuki (along with VW) are well positioned to use their Japanese kei-car expertise and capitalize on it via economies of scale in high-growth markets.

      As far as Scion, it’ll be safe. The brand exists within the Toyota dealer network, requires little additional investment and is able to differentiate branding. Scion is not Mercury to Toyota.

      Its managing Mini like numbers, there is no need to kill it. Its a branding exercise, just as the iQ North American release under Scion demonstrates.

      My bigger question is a break down on fleet vehicles based on segment. Its a good indicator for the rest of the economy.

    • 0 avatar
      Z71_Silvy

      Russ:

      You’ll notice that Lincoln’s sales are far worse.

      And have been since at least 1999. Lincoln is also a joke of a brand and needs to go away as well. Nothing unique…unless bland/boring rebadges of low class Fords is your idea of unique.

    • 0 avatar
      Russycle

      With Ford on the rise, I think Lincoln has a shot. Wouldn’t bet the farm on it.

  • avatar
    brettc

    Why does Suzuki continue to bother with the U.S. market? Their cars are fairly affordable, but they sold 800 less vehicles than Land Rover. Maybe they should stick with India and other non-U.S. markets.

    • 0 avatar
      rnc

      Would imagine it has to do with dealers and franchise laws, probably easier/cheaper to let them (dealers) die or just give up with product on the lot than it is to do a formal closing. That’s just a guess

    • 0 avatar

      One thing to keep in mind is that, even if Suzuki stopped selling cars in the US, the company would still need to maintain a large corporate presence to support its motorcycle and marine product lines. Another thing to remember is that, over the past three years, Suzuki took a triple hit to its short-term prospects: besides the economic downturn that affected just about all auto manufacturers, Suzuki stopped selling rebadged Daewoos in MY 2008 (while this is a long-term benefit, it did starve Suzuki dealers of product in the short run), plus it lost GMAC floorplanning when Suzuki bought back its shares from GM. I believe this last problem is the major factor in the sharp decline in the number of Suzuki dealers (from “approximately 500″ in June 2008 to “more than 300″ in May 2010).

      All that being said, I think that Suzuki is looking at least 5-10 years down the road in the US market. I continue to read reports that the freshly-updated Swift was reworked with US-market safety compliance in mind. Add the Swift to a lineup that already includes the quite-competent SX4 and Kizashi, and Suzuki has the opportunity to get back into the game in the US.

      If only they would learn to market their vehicles….

  • avatar
    wsn

    Will Porsche be gone too?

    I mean, the dismal sales would have been OK if 911 is the only thing they offer. But given that it’s really a truck company, one would thought they should sell more than 1,873 Cayennes … Hello? Land Rover sold more than that without offering coupes and sedans.

    • 0 avatar
      jaje

      Porsche is not a competitor to Land Rover so any rationale comparing the two and determining that Porsche is unsuccessful b/c they don’t sell greater volume over more nameplates is invalid. Porsche sells mainly boutique sports cars (competitors are Ferrari, BMW, Audi, etc.) and an SUV (competitors are BMW, Benz, Land Rover) and Sedan (competitors are BMW, Audi, Benz, Jaguar, Maserati). In fact the average Land Rover MSRP is from $36k to $79k whereas Porsche MSRP’s range from $47k to $250k.

    • 0 avatar

      This comes back to profit per vehicle. Suzuki sells a car for 15k, after dealer profit, how much is left ?

      Porsche sells a small two seat car with a six cylinder engine for 80k…the numbers have got to be a lot better.

      Consider that the porsche may cost five times the amount to make of the suzuki, but the numbers are still overwhelming.

      The one taboo still unspoken is what it costs to actually produce a car. The differential between a mass market mover and a “status symbol” is a lot smaller than most would think.

  • avatar
    340-4

    I’d like to see a similar graphic showing profitability based on these sales.

    Wonder who would have the longer bars, and how much the Y axis would change.

  • avatar
    FleetofWheel

    The Scion name plate has only been in existence for a few years.
    It’s a lean operation that mostly utilizes existing Toyota designs.
    They are sold only at established Toyota dealerships.
    Seems like a good channel for low priced autos in the coming years when the Chinese finally arrive.

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    Jaguar?

  • avatar
    Robert Schwartz

    The fact that Acura sold almost 12,000 of its angry vegimatics stuns me.

  • avatar
    holydonut

    Break it out by manufacturer and compare it against their pro forma forecasts from earlier this year or even late 2009. Let’s see if those recovery plans and profitability plans are in line with projections.

    Then again the forecasts are done with shipments versus retail sales… and you’ll have a tough time seeing if vehicle mix and margins are in line. And of course there are the cost and investment components to figure out.

  • avatar
    gslippy

    The inclusion of the Maybach brand is laughable.

  • avatar
    MarcKyle64

    Ford not only needs to get rid of Mercury, but Lincoln as well. People who shop high end luxury aren’t going to the Lincoln Mercury dealer. This chart shows that Lexus alone sold more vehicles than Mercury and Lincoln combined. Infiniti and Acura combined also sold more cars than Lincoln-Mercury. I think that if Ford wants the Lincoln brand to survive, it needs to anchor the Lincoln dealers to their Ford stores like Toyota does with Scion. This would really lower costs for FoMoCo and would allow the average Ford shopper to have one stop access to ALL their products, thus being more competitive. Lincoln is now like Mercury was 50 years ago.

    • 0 avatar
      Dave Skinner

      Why would you combine Infiniti and Acura? They don’t have common ownership. If you’re comparing nameplates that compete in the market segment, Lincoln and Mercury outsold Infiniti and Volvo, so maybe Ford should keep them both.

    • 0 avatar
      Syke

      Most Ford dealers in the Richmond area are also Lincoln/Mercury. Already a done deal. It’ll probably happen in other areas real soon now.

  • avatar
    Thomas

    Thanks for the mention Ed!

    Interesting.

    I tallied up the following numbers for May. (plus Jaguar’s 962 units and Hummer’s 1290 units, the others not listed are tiny)
    I got a total of 1102236 sold units for May 2010.

    So Ford’s market share is 15.9% in May by itself, versus 17.4% with Mercury and Lincoln combined.

    Toyota’s market share is 12.3% by itself, versus 14.7% with Scion and Lexus included.

    And Chevrolet’s market share is 15.2% versus GM’s 20.2 share as a whole (I counted Hummer as well as the key 4 brands)

  • avatar
    Steven Lang

    This to me is the real shocker.

    Subaru is now one of the top ten brands in the US market.

    Fifteen years ago and near oblivion…they crack the top ten.

  • avatar
    Geo. Levecque

    There has been many rumours here in Canada that Suzuki would soon be leaving the North American Car Market, in every annual issue of Consumers Reports there quality is right at the bottom for being reliable, I suspect time will tell!

    • 0 avatar
      Brian E

      Those quality numbers are on the strength (or lack thereof) of the rebadged Daewoo products that they no longer sell.

      The SX-4 and Kizashi are solid cars. With better marketing, they could be doing quite well. Personally, I’d give the Kizashi a try if I need to replace my current car, but how many other people are aware of it?

    • 0 avatar
      brandloyalty

      Truedelta does not rate Suzuki quality at the bottom of the pile, as does CR. The Truedelta results are average.

    • 0 avatar
      GarbageMotorsCo.

      “Those quality numbers are on the strength (or lack thereof) of the rebadged Daewoo products that they no longer sell.”

      Sure gives me hope for the Cruze and the new Aveo replacement :)

  • avatar
    thornmark

    Considering, that, except for the Mustang, Ford sells crap, that’s quite an accomplishment. As for Chevy, the Equinox is quasi crap. Check out real v. epa est. C & D describes the Equinox as thirsty and worse than competition. Others agree.

    • 0 avatar
      John Horner

      The F150 isn’t crap, the Fusion isn’t crap, the Taurus isn’t crap, the Transit Connect isn’t crap. In fact, nothing Ford makes is amongst the worst vehicles in a given segment. Even the ancient Ranger and Crown Vic hold their own in their chosen markets.

  • avatar
    John Horner

    It looks like the old 80/20 rule of thumb works here as well. 20% of the brands sell 80% of the vehicles.

    Scion, Suzuki and Saab all stand out as brands which need to just quit. Scion and Suzuki are moderate priced brands selling at luxury car volumes. Saab is just silly. 174 units? What is that, three per dealership?

    • 0 avatar
      Roundel

      With Saab you do have to remember that with the impending shutdown… they literally ran out of cars. I looked a couple months ago at the Saab website for kicks to see what was available near me. Within a 200 mile range there were less than 10 new Saabs available…. 1 9-5 and the rest 9-3s. With production just starting again… I can see why they have low numbers… they have nothing to sell.

    • 0 avatar
      Steven Lang

      Hmmm… the nearby Saab dealer still has 19 of them left. I think the majority of them are 2009 models.

      Here’s one I found to be pretty interesting. Saab is not my cup of tea. But I can see someone taking this over an Altima or Accord.

      http://www.jimellissaabatlanta.com/new/Saab/2009-Saab-9-3-6cf5b8590a0a0064003474484f8ccf2e.htm

      I believe the 174 total reflects less than one per month… per dealership.

  • avatar
    brandloyalty

    Suzuki is the 9th largest car manufacturer globally. Not only does it have the largest share of the Indian market, it has more than half to itself.

    Suzuki needs to look at how Hyundai reinvented itself in North America and follow the example. Their current tv ads show that they have showrooms, you can take test drives, and get 0% financing. So, who doesn’t? They need to tell people why they should buy a Suzuki instead of making the same “safe” choices as everyone else.

    They need to stop experimenting with rebranding.

    They must know something about profitably selling low numbers of cars in many markets, because they seem to have a presence virtually everywhere.

  • avatar
    Dave M.

    The fact that Acura sold almost 12,000 of its angry vegimatics stuns me.

    I’m going to borrow that.

    Remember when Acura made cool cars….like the last gen TSX, TL, and Legend?

  • avatar

    What is the point of Lincoln? Sales are so bad it is beyond description.

    • 0 avatar
      Joe ShpoilShport

      I don’t understand this. Does this mean that all of the rest of the brands underneath them are worse than “beyond description”? Including Mini?

  • avatar

    BTW, remember one previous chart where BMW was outselling Merc 5 to 2, and BMWfan popped in with the comment “of course, BMWs got DA HANDLING”. As it turns out, handling is hardly everything. And I don’t think the remainder went to Sprinter.

  • avatar
    Davekaybsc

    I wonder how many of the people holding “Save Saab!” signs are actually willing to buy a Saab now that the company isn’t dead. How attractive is the new $50K 9-5 to them?

    I suspect that much of the Acura sales are due to brand loyalty. I would be very interested to know what Acura’s conquest rates are these days. Are they REALLY able to steal sales from Cadillac, or Lexus, or Mercedes with cars ugly enough to break glass?

  • avatar
    rudiger

    Does Ford still own a controlling interest in Volvo? If so, with Mercury gone, rather than diluting the Lincoln brand with thinly-disguised, higher-priced versions of Fords (in essence, what Mercury had become, and why it failed, too), I wonder how pairing Lincoln dealerships with Volvo would work out.

    For example, Volvo (apparently) got away with disguising the humble Ford Focus origins of the upmarket C30 and S40. Lincoln buyers wouldn’t be too keen on a Focus-based Lincoln – it would seem to be too close to the Cadillac Cimmaron fiasco.

    But Volvo C30s and S40s sitting on a Lincoln showroom next to MKZs wouldn’t offend anyone’s sensibility and sell just fine.

    • 0 avatar
      getacargetacheck

      Volvo’s dead. So is Saab. Swedish ownership/management knew both brands didn’t have a chance without a big automaker behind them to control costs. That’s why the car companies were sold. Flash forward 10 years and now every make has safety and decent ride/handling (without the high cost of Swedish parts and service). Ford and GM made the best Volvos and Saabs ever, and the market said that wasn’t good enough.

  • avatar
    NickR

    Hate to jump on the bandwagon, but seriously, Lincoln? Well, let’s hope they convert all the Mercury intenders to Lincoln, then they’d be ahead of Buick and Cadillac and be snapping at the heals of BMW.

    As for Scion…good riddance.

  • avatar
    mtymsi

    I don’t think SAAB will ever return to the sales numbers they had prior to GM’s we’re closing/selling it fiasco. I don’t have a clue as to how their dealers remain viable selling virtually no cars. In my area the local SAAB dealership is in a facility built just a couple of years ago. Coincidentally the same dealer also owns the Jaguar/Land Rover store next door also brand new a couple of years ago. With the dismal volume of all three of those brands I highly doubt either dealership has ever turned a profit. With Spyker/Tata ownership I don’t think the Ford/GM employee purchase plans are available any longer and that was 90%+ of their sales. Wonder how much longer these stores will be open.

    • 0 avatar
      snabster

      Sadly, you have a point. A huge number of SAAB owners in the last ten years came in because of ultra-cheap GMAC financing. I leased mine at $150 a month (large trade in allowance for older SAAB).

      And SAAB dealers still are not competitive on servicing prices. In areas where there are Saabs, very good and much cheaper (and in some ways better) independent shops.

      However, the new 9-4 might buy dealers a year or two. They’ve already cut sales staff, live off used cars, and 9-4 should be solid sales.

  • avatar
    mtypex

    Subaru outsold both Volkswagen and Mazda, which have larger product lineups, but according to buyers, not more attractive!

    The reality of both Mazda and VW in the US is that they sell a few compact and midsize sedans. The overall appeal of Subaru’s wagons (including the Forester with the Outback) plus some Legacys and Imprezas is greater than the entire VW lineup! haha!

  • avatar
    mtypex

    I like how the Lexus brand outsells the Chrysler brand (with all of its 4 lackluster products in the lineup). It’s not surprising, but it is amusing.

  • avatar
    John Horner

    I wonder how many of those Cadillac were DTS models pumped into the rental fleets.

  • avatar
    getacargetacheck

    I understand the rationale for keeping GMC, i.e., the marginal profit Sierra sales provide from an additional channel. BUT, just looking at these sales numbers GM could easily capture a minimum 1/3 of GMC intenders as Chevrolet buyers (maybe 90% of Sierra and Savana buyers). To bounce Ford off the number one selling spot for the first time in decades(?) would be a huge psychological positive for GM. Combining Cadillac and Buick dealers without GMC would give GM a chance to provide a luxury feel and experience comparable to other luxury makes too.

  • avatar
    drifter

    Subaru now outsells overrated VW


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