By on May 1, 2012

All results of April are in, and large parts of Detroit are unhappy. Sales of GM and Ford declined, the formerly torrid gains of Chrysler slowed down a bit. Reborn Toyota posted another double-digit gain and came within touching distance of outselling Ford, while Volkswagen continues its winning streak.

GM’s April sales dropped 8 percent, and Ford’s 5 percent, generally in line with analysts’ expectations. For Chrysler, analysts had expected a gain of 16 percent, Chrysler exceeded with 20 percent.

Toyota reports a 12 percent increase, following a 15 percent gain in March. Deliveries at Volkswagen show a 27 percent gain for the group.

For the first four months, sales of General Motors show no growth. In a growing market, this signals a further erosion of GM’s slipping market share.

Total sales rose 2 percent in April, the seasonally adjusted annual rate stands at 14.4 million, same as in March, and up from 13.1 million a year earlier.

Automaker April 2012 April 2011 Pct. chng. YTD 2012 YTD 2011 Pct. chng.

BMW Group
26,825 25,277 6% 102,650 90,324 14%
    BMW division 21,062 18,801 12% 82,611 71,417 16%
    Mini 5,731 6,446 –11% 19,911 18,787 6%
    Rolls-Royce 32 30 7% 128 120 7%

BMW Group
26,825 25,277 6% 102,650 90,324 14%

Chrysler Group
141,165 117,225 20% 539,216 404,175 33%
    Chrysler Division 31,879 20,379 56% 111,217 63,175 76%
    Dodge 45,248 44,320 2% 171,470 146,297 17%
    Dodge/Ram 66,753 63,580 5% 262,470 222,381 18%
    Fiat 3,849 882 336% 12,699 1,382 819%
    Jeep 38,684 32,384 20% 152,830 117,237 30%
    Ram 21,505 19,260 12% 91,000 76,084 20%

Chrysler Group
141,165 117,225 20% 539,216 404,175 33%

Daimler AG
25,070 19,626 28% 91,995 76,892 20%
    Maybach 4 3 33% 16 12 33%
    Mercedes-Benz 24,302 19,156 27% 88,951 75,146 18%
    Smart USA 764 467 64% 3,028 1,734 75%

Daimler AG
25,070 19,626 28% 91,995 76,892 20%

Ford Motor Co.
179,658 189,284 –5% 717,480 684,792 5%
    Ford division 173,350 182,048 –5% 690,336 657,301 5%
    Lincoln 6,308 7,236 –13% 27,144 27,243 0%
    Mercury –% 248 –100%

Ford Motor Co.
179,658 189,284 –5% 717,480 684,792 5%

General Motors
213,387 232,538 –8% 821,707 825,083 0%
    Buick 15,446 18,413 –16% 52,782 63,152 –16%
    Cadillac 9,851 13,127 –25% 40,817 53,639 –24%
    Chevrolet 155,487 169,794 –8% 603,621 586,299 3%
    GMC 32,603 31,204 5% 124,487 121,993 2%

General Motors
213,387 232,538 –8% 821,707 825,083 0%

Honda
122,012 124,799 –2% 442,177 432,777 2%
    Acura 12,175 11,604 5% 42,980 42,972 0%
    Honda Division 109,837 113,195 –3% 399,197 389,805 2%

Honda
122,012 124,799 –2% 442,177 432,777 2%

Hyundai Group
109,814 108,828 1% 411,447 356,221 16%
    Hyundai division 62,264 61,754 1% 225,837 204,374 11%
    Kia 47,550 47,074 1% 185,610 151,847 22%

Hyundai Group
109,814 108,828 1% 411,447 356,221 16%

Jaguar Land Rover
4,365 4,231 3% 18,352 14,999 22%
    Jaguar 1,073 1,249 –14% 4,401 3,750 17%
    Land Rover 3,292 2,982 10% 13,951 11,249 24%

Jaguar Land Rover
4,365 4,231 3% 18,352 14,999 22%

Maserati
232 229 1% 834 702 19%

Maserati
232 229 1% 834 702 19%

Mazda
21,506 20,638 4% 103,529 85,197 22%

Mazda
21,506 20,638 4% 103,529 85,197 22%

Mitsubishi
5,280 8,081 –35% 21,887 28,248 –23%

Mitsubishi
5,280 8,081 –35% 21,887 28,248 –23%

Nissan
71,329 71,526 0% 393,690 356,884 10%
    Infiniti 7,129 6,761 5% 33,349 34,597 –4%
    Nissan Division 64,200 64,765 –1% 360,341 322,287 12%

Nissan
71,329 71,526 0% 393,690 356,884 10%

Porsche
3,437 3,172 8% 10,596 10,179 4%

Porsche
3,437 3,172 8% 10,596 10,179 4%

Saab Cars
696 –100% 2,765 –100%

Saab Cars
696 –100% 2,765 –100%

Subaru
26,310 24,762 6% 106,878 92,219 16%

Subaru
26,310 24,762 6% 106,878 92,219 16%

Suzuki
1,774 2,132 –17% 8,336 8,835 –6%

Suzuki
1,774 2,132 –17% 8,336 8,835 –6%

Toyota
178,044 159,540 12% 665,327 593,464 12%
    Lexus 17,551 17,576 0% 66,647 64,932 3%
    Scion 5,503 5,710 –4% 20,674 18,469 12%
    Toyota division 154,990 136,254 14% 578,006 510,063 13%
    Toyota/Scion 160,493 141,964 13% 598,680 528,532 13%

Toyota
178,044 159,540 12% 665,327 593,464 12%

Volkswagen
49,249 38,679 27% 173,542 131,421 32%
    Audi 11,521 10,018 15% 40,991 35,401 16%
    Bentley 203 119 71% 653 439 49%
    VW division 37,525 28,542 32% 131,898 95,581 38%

Volkswagen
49,249 38,679 27% 173,542 131,421 32%

Volvo Cars NA
4,848 6,404 –24% 21,265 21,844 –3%

Volvo Cars NA
4,848 6,404 –24% 21,265 21,844 –3%
Other (estimate) 262 256 2% 1,048 1,021 3%
TOTAL 1,184,567 1,157,923 2% 4,651,956 4,218,042 10%

Table courtesy Automotive News [sub]

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76 Comments on “April Sales: Bad News For Detroit, Good News For Toyota City...”


  • avatar
    stars9texashockey

    And the Lincoln death watch continues…

  • avatar
    PenguinBoy

    I think the “April Sales: Bad news For Detroit, Good News For Toyota City” headline is misleading, since a Detroit based automaker posted higher sales growth than Toyota both in unit sales and percentages, and both year to date and month over month.

    From the chart above:
    Chrysler Group 141,165 117,225 20% 539,216 404,175 33%
    Toyota 178,044 159,540 12% 665,327 593,464 12%

    • 0 avatar
      threeer

      As much as I’ve tried to fight it, I can’t anymore. TTAC really does come across as being biased against Detroit (ok…so “Detroit” is a tad confusing to say when Chrysler is in the hands of Fiat…but still). Chrysler makes larger gains over the same time period as Toyota, but the wording to describe it makes it sound like Toyota took off like a rocket ship while Chrysler slammed on the brakes. A 33% gain is a heck of an accomplishment. Period. End. YTD, they show the largest percent gain (yes, a 1% edge over VW isn’t a large lead, but it IS a lead in percent gain nonetheless). How about simply reporting the numbers without the editorial spin. I’m quite happy that Chrysler is showing these gains, and quite a few of their products would not be sneezed at sitting in my garage…

      • 0 avatar
        SherbornSean

        Just so we are clear:
        Ford: -5%
        GM: -8%
        Toyota: +12%

        What on earth is biased about the headline: “Bad news for Detroit; good news for Toyota City”? Where is the bias?

        Talk about over-sensitive.

      • 0 avatar
        tuffjuff

        I agree.

        TTAC comes off as disliking Detroit and hating General Motors.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        threer, viewing ttac as biased is a subjective observation on your part. You are mistaking the gains-percentages for actual numbers sold in the whole context of the global auto industry as it applies to the North American market and Japan.

        Sure, Chrysler made huge gains — I own a 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee and Chrysler cannot build them fast enough — but the gains made by Toyota after the string of disasters far outweigh the gains made by Chrysler.

        How many Chrysler products are sold in Japan and around the world? How many Toyotas are sold in North America and around the globe? Vastly different comparisons.

        Chrysler had lost the capacity to excel and went bankrupt. Chrysler was the bottom of the barrel, there was no way for them to go but up. And they did so, successfully. Welcome them back!

        Toyota was hamstrung by various problems but they never lost the capacity to excel.

        What Toyota lost was the capacity to produce. Now they are back to producing and as long as they can keep the quality up on their vehicles made in the US of A, there’s no reason why Toyota can’t increase sales across the board, here, in Japan and in every other market where they compete.

        That doesn’t smack of bias. That smacks of profitability.

      • 0 avatar
        mike978

        Highdesertcat – I agree with some of what you said but if coming back from the tsunamis/natural disasters was so epic then surely coming back from the depth of bankruptcy and being written of by a lot of people (me included) is just as epic.

        Also Toyota does not excel everywhere – look at their European sales (a much bigger car market than the US) and they have a 4% market share and no market share growth. They have followed the same pattern as the US, with building local factories and being around many decades yet they have lost ground to VW and Hyundai/Kia.

        I am glad to see Toyota regaining some sales but against last years numbers from April onwards they should do.

        I also note Lexus had no sales growth this year and has lost market share to Audi and BMW.

      • 0 avatar
        bd2

        No, threeer is correct – TTAC has a history of taking it to the domestics, esp. GM.

        Aside from overlooking the good news for Chrysler (still part of “Detroit”), TTAC overlooks the fact that Toyota’s growth is in comparison to last April’s post-tsunami nos. (while supply wasn’t yet really an issue last April, Toyota did cut back on incentives which hampered sales).

        Toyota has the new Camry and Lexus GS to while GM is still waiting on the full launch launch of the Malibu, as well as the launch of the XTS and ATS.

        In addition, Toyota increased incentive spending over the previous month while GM and Ford cut back on incentive spending and in all likelihood, Toyota sold a significant no. to fleet (in March, 20% of Camrys went to fleet and the Corolla was a big fleet model as well) while GM and Ford having been cutting back on fleet.

        While both GM and Ford have some issues right now, the picture is a bit more complicated than simply Toyota is up while “Detroit is down.”

        And as already stated, Toyota is losing marketshare in Canada, Europe and Australia.

      • 0 avatar
        jimmyy

        This is very bad news for Detroit and the Obama administration. On wall street, analysts were floating reports showing Detroit is losing market share to the asians, in the 1% range. This is an epic fail, and this fail could contribute to putting a Republican in the white house.

        This is also a solid vote against the Detroit strategy of loading up vehicles with a bunch of useless technology, jack up the sticker, then generate enough revenue to pay the UAW bills. FAILED.

        Instead, people are flocking to Toyota and Honda to get vehicles WITHOUT touch screens, WITHOUT dual clutch transmissions, WITHOUT park assist, and WITHOUT blind spot warning systems, but WITH a low low price tag and WITH reliability.

        Detroit needs to start pumping out low sticker priced low optioned vehicles, then figure how to cut costs quickly, or it will be game over.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        mike978, let me clarify my sentiment: were I to invest money in an auto manufacturer today, I would choose Toyota over GM because Toyota’s potential in the global market for the next 3, 5, 7 years if infinitely greater than that of GM. It is doubtful that GM as we know it today will even exist in 5 years.

        I know that Toyota does not excel equally everywhere on the planet, but overall Toyota is in a much better, and stronger, position than GM presently, and for the foreseeable future.

        Also I believe that Toyota’s prudent allocation of resources is what’s going to carry the day for Toyota over GM. GM is having a hell of a time trying to remain upright and functioning.

        GM’s return from the dead was wholly funded by the government and there was no risk of failure, ever, because the government would have pumped in as much money as GM needed to keep the lights on and the UAW working. With that kind of backing GM and the UAW could easily sing “Don’t worry, be happy!” and live large. And they do.

        Neither assumed any risks. The risks and losses were nationalized and the burden was transferred to the taxpayers.

        Toyota’s problems were initiated by accusations and alleged safety issues that proved false, all in order to sell more GM cars. The natural disasters were just more of the same, but you can’t fight nature.

        The US government never took the same stance against any US automaker who experienced the same problems as those alleged against Toyota, i.e the same CTS accelerator pedal assemblies used by Ford.

        I can see Toyota slowly increasing sales in the future months and years, at the expense of GM sales and market share.

        Don’t forget, Toyota never lost the capability to excel and bring reliable products to market. They were hamstrung by the US government and the disasters.

        Both GM and Chrysler died because they had lost their ability to excel at anything but failure, with the abundant help of the UAW whose negotiations just nailed shut the coffins.

        All that’s behind us now. Chrysler is owned by Fiat and Fiat provides jobs to Americans in America, building cars for Americans. Just like Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Hyundai, etc, and the profits from Chrysler go to Italy, just like Toyota profits go to Japan. No different.

        Did you know that the plug-in Prius outsold the Volt and the Leaf last month? For a newcomer, that’s potent! But not surprising, because it is a Toyota. People are more inclined to bet on Toyota than on GM.

      • 0 avatar
        carbiz

        Toyota exists in 2 markets that count: the United States/Canada and Japan. Nowhere else in the world does it come close to dominating. As has been pointed out, in Europe it’s sales are negligible. In Brazil, now the 4th largest market and climbing, its sales are negligible. In Russia, India and elsewhere, it is barely a blip.
        If you took away the recent American obsession with eating its own, and MITI’s residual success with blocking ‘foreign’ cars from Japan’s shores, Toyota simply would not exist.
        In China, Brazil (and, yes, even North America), GM continues to dominate.
        Some people will never accept that and will always cheer over every hiccup, every stumble GM makes, while dismissing Toyota’s obvious disappointments.
        It’s why the West is failing and deservedly so………

      • 0 avatar
        mike978

        Highdesertcat – I agree with a lot of what you say including that Toyota has a prudent manner with resources and is a more steady company (partly cultural). I disagree that the rash of recalls were all bogus and malicious. My Sienna had two recalls for a potentially rusting spare tire cage and a fuel system issue. Both real. The incident with four people dying because of a floor mat was real and I haven`t heard of people dying because of badly installed or designed floor mats in other none Lexus vehicles.

        Jimmy – I don’t normally feed trolls but your comment that people are flocking to Toyota and Honda because of a desire to not have high tech stuff. I can partially agree, however Honda did have -3% this month. They gained 2% for the year in a market that grew 10%. They lost market share faster than Fiord and only slightly slower than GM. Not good for the three of them. So people are not exactly flocking to them. I will give you Toyota, since they don`t seem to have lost their way like Honda have.

      • 0 avatar
        wsn

        carbiz “In China, Brazil (and, yes, even North America), GM continues to dominate.”

        1) In China, no one dominates (i.e. over 50% market share).
        2) VW sold the most cars in China.
        3) GM outsold Toyota due to the GM WuLings.
        4) Toyota, however, soundly outsold GM at higher price points (such as Carmy vs. Buick something.)

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        mike978, the four people who died in the loaner ES on I-15 north of San Diego, CA, did not die because of something that Toyota did. The floor mats did not belong to that ES, and subsequently all the sudden-unintended-acceleration claims were proven bogus.

        My 2011 Tundra was also recalled. It was recalled so they could put another sticker on it to lower the ratings. They downloaded the data from the OBDII port, read the O2 data and told me I did not need to use Premium gas in the 5.7. I told them it ran much better on Shell Premium gas. It’s amazing what the OBDII data can tell them.

        My wife’s 2008 Japan-built Highlander was also recalled and upon inspection it was found that it was not part of the recall after all. I think the dealer just wanted to download the data from the OBDII port since we never came in for routine service. I do all my own.

        My perception of the Ray LaHood debacle was that it was a concerted government-led effort to discredit the best-selling brand in America. And they succeeded, but they didn’t sell more GM products because of it. They sold more F150s.

        In America we pride ourselves on fair play. We demand it! What Toyota got from Ray LaHood, the DOT and Congress was anything but. It was foul. At least Toyota is making a comeback now.

        I admire Akio Toyoda for taking it on the chin before Congress. Had I been the one in charge, I would have closed all the American Toyota plants, fired all the American workers and packed up all my toys and moved South of the Border down Mexico way and use NAFTA to the full extent.

      • 0 avatar
        Ubermensch

        @highdesertcat
        “In America we pride ourselves on fair play.”

        Thanks, I needed a laugh today.

        While wrapping yourself in jingoistic platitudes may keep you warm at night, it has no basis in reality.

    • 0 avatar
      tikki50

      I used to come here for a more real scoop on car news, but lately Im tired of the domestic bashing. About done with the site guys, you’ve about killed a good thing with all your domestic bashing its quite childish and definately not the truth about cars.

      • 0 avatar
        jeoff

        The Buick numbers are the only ones that seem pretty bad, relative to product available. The Verano and Regal are pretty new, and you would not expect such a drop after adding less expensive cars to their line-up. Maybe their cross-overs are taking a hit.

        Between the Tsunami and Toyotas all-new Camry going against the departing Fusion, it is not a shock that Toyota did relatively well.

        The real suprise is how well Chrysler is doing.

      • 0 avatar
        geeber

        There’s too much overlap among the Buick cars. Get rid of the Regal…no matter how much posters here like, the Regal really doesn’t fit Buick’s image. There is no need for it with the Verano and LaCrosse on the showroom floor.

    • 0 avatar
      ranwhenparked

      No, it was an accurate headline. General Motors is the only automaker based in Detroit, just like Toyota is the only automaker based in Toyota City, so it was a one-on-one comparison of those two. GM – down 8%, Toyota – up 12%.

    • 0 avatar
      billfrombuckhead

      Don’t worry sports fans, the Detroit 3 have an avalanche of new volume products on the way such as Edge, Fusion, Dart, Pentastar Ram, Malibu, Impala, ATS, XTS, Encore, next generation C/K series trucks, 9 speed Grand Cherokees and Durangos………………….Toyota? They have a new Avalon with 99 model Chrysler Concord grille and a low volume sports car that won’t beat a minivan light to light

    • 0 avatar
      CJinSD

      Chrysler isn’t good news for Detroit any longer, as they are owned by FIAT. This headline isn’t misleading.

      • 0 avatar
        PenguinBoy

        Although Fiat owns a majority share of Chrysler, they are still a Detroit based company, and Detroit certainly benefits from their improved fortune.

        Jaguar is owned by Tata, and Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund owns a big chunk of VW – yet those are considered to be UK and German companies…

      • 0 avatar
        SherbornSean

        Penguinboy,
        I own shares in Honda. Does that mean I’m turning Japanese? I don’t think so.

      • 0 avatar
        PenguinBoy

        @SherbornSean -
        My point exactly, you own shares in Honda – and I presume you yourself are not Japanese – but Honda remains a Japanese company.

        Even if you bought a controlling interest in Honda, they would still be Japanese in my books as long as they didn’t move their head office and the majority of their employees elsewhere.

      • 0 avatar
        golden2husky

        The headline is a bit misleading because to the average person, “Detroit” means GM, Ford, and Chrysler. Period. You can argue who owns what and who builds where, but Detroit is still defined as the old Big Three. In that light, the headline should read GM and Ford slide against onslaught from Toyota and Chrysler. But that would have eliminated quite a few clicks….

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        Historically, when Detroit shills defended vehicles that were a matrix of Korean engineering, Mexican assembly, and Chinese components, they did so by saying the companies were American owned. That is no longer true of Chrysler. I don’t care much about the symbolism, which is apparently all that is left.

      • 0 avatar
        carbiz

        At my last assignment, an office full of women needed some pretty strong proof that Toyota was not #1 in Canada and the world. With headlines like these, they were convinced Toyota had been #1 in Canada for some time, not the distance 4th that is has always been….
        As I’ve said before, it has taken the relentless, combined effort of most of the media to push GM over the cliff.
        I just don’t understand what satisfaction, or benefit, the media thinks they are receiving by contributing to the destruction of the home team.
        If only the media spent the same money and effort dissecting what is really happening in Toyota City and elsewhere, then we’d see some very juicy stories. Like perhaps an expose on the meetings Iaccoca refers to in his first books that went on in Japan. I wonder just what those top auto company executives were discussing in the late ’70s and early ’80s….

  • avatar
    Marko

    VW – holy moly. Though to be fair, they didn’t even offer a Passat in the US this time last year, save for leftover 2010 models.

    • 0 avatar
      Ubermensch

      All I can think is there is going to be a lot more disappointed VW owners in about 3 years when their Toyota replacement isn’t so Toyota-like in the dependability department. To use a war time analogy, I feel like a battle hardened veteran watching shiploads of wide-eyed green recruits coming off the boat. As a potential future GTI owner, I hope for their sake and mine that I am wrong.

      • 0 avatar
        hubcap

        As a potential future GTI owner, I hope for their sake and mine that I am wrong.

        Why put yourself through the worry if you think something bad will happen. Your a V.W. doom and gloom prognostication machine, but, it doesn’t need to be this way.

        If you’re so concerned that a V.W. will leave a hole in your wallet while simultaneously leaving you stranded on the side of some god forsaken highway then don’t buy one.

        You may feel like a battle hardened veteran but you sound like a clucky middle aged woman.

      • 0 avatar
        rnc

        Toyota like in dependability? Like the 2001 camry I bought (took freaking student loans to buy a car at low rate, bought based on co-workers previous generation camry). Year 3, a main drive bearing disentigrates, valves have carbon caked on so thick and hard couldn’t chisel it off (despite having the records of oil being changed every 3,000 miles (brother owns large successful shop), it was my fault (nothing to do with oil sludging related to a little hole one size to small, by year four, after the speed sensor failed for the third time (nothing like the sensation of your car shifting from 5th to 2nd at 70mph), realized why during the test drive the sales man told me atleast 6 times not to turn the overdrive off. The car was crap, will never buy another toyota product, traded to my brother for parts in exchange for future repairs, got a 98′ Jeep Cherokee, damn thing lasted until 216k miles before the engine gave, 216k miles from a 98′ Chryco product. Toyota’s been living off reputation for along time now.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    Wait, Toyota hits double-digit growth YoY against tsunami eviscerated numbers and a 12% gain is nothing but good news? Shouldn’t Toyota have double-digit growth YoY for the rest of the year with one steering wheel tied behind its back given the inventory reduced numbers it is up against?

    Toyota’s April 2011 sales were down 2.4% from April of 2010, so sayeth Toyota last year.

    http://pressroom.toyota.com/releases/toyota+reports+april+2011+sales.htm

    Now a 2.4% decline may not seem so bad but lets remember, that YoY is against April of 2010, where you needed to know Jesus, personally, to get a new car loan and U6 unemployment was over 17%. Then lets go back one more year to April of 2009, during the heart of the UA witch hunt.

    I don’t think Toyota 12% gain is much, “news,” given the fear in the market in 2009, the financial markets climate in April of 2010 and their massive production issues in April of 2011. Lexus remains flat after years of decline and Scion went backwards.

    The bar is “low.”

    • 0 avatar
      SherbornSean

      A year ago, Ford outsold Toyota in its home market by 30,000 units. Last month, it was 1,6500 units. That’s called gaining share.

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      “Toyota hits double-digit growth YoY against tsunami eviscerated numbers and a 12% gain is nothing but good news? Shouldn’t Toyota have double-digit growth YoY for the rest of the year with one steering wheel tied behind its back given the inventory reduced numbers it is up against?”

      Last year, you were one of those guys who kept claiming that the tsunami was being used as an excuse to disguise a fundamental loss in market share.

      Now that you’ve been proven wrong, you want to change your story to claim that TMC should have a greater rebound because the tsunami so greatly depressed sales.

      So you’ve done a 180 in an effort to perpetuate your spin. Pretty shameless on your part; you can’t possibly reconcile the comments that you’ve made in the past with the comments that you’re making now.

  • avatar
    Volt 230

    Yes it does look bad for Detroit, Chrysler went up due to Fiat, both Ford and GM went down, the one I don;t get is VW, just wait till those horrible reliability studies come out, it will come to a screeching halt as well

    • 0 avatar
      Ubermensch

      I recall this happening several times before in decades past with VW in N.A. They gain huge market share, horror stories start getting shared and their sales plummet. A new generation comes along and the cycle repeats.

    • 0 avatar
      mike978

      When you say due to FIAT do you mean the FIAT sales (all 21K of them for the year) or FIAT buying the company?
      Because all brands within the group went up by at least 17% so it was a broad based gain for Chrysler group.

  • avatar
    ponchoman49

    Go Japan…..

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    Is Kia/Hyundai throttled by production capacity, have they hit a brick wall, or have overly-optimistic MPG ratings caught up with them? Surprised to see they are basically flat.

    • 0 avatar
      KixStart

      They’re flat this month, with 24 selling days vs last year’s 27. By the DSR, they’re up a few per cent. And they’re up 22% YTD.

      I’m curious to see Hyundai’s numbers.

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      Hyundai is limited by its production capacity which is why they announced a full 3rd shift at their Alabama facility.

      As for their MPG ratings, both Popular Mechanics and Consumer Reports back it up.

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        The Consumer Reports test that I saw more or less confirmed that they performed the worst of any brand relative to their ratings.

        http://news.consumerreports.org/cars/2012/02/reality-check-will-your-car-actually-achieve-the-advertised-40-mpg.html

      • 0 avatar
        bd2

        CR for the Elantra, Sonata and Sonata Hybrid pretty hit or exceeded the EPA ratings – that’s all that Hyundai needs to do.

        Also, in the Popular Mechanics test, the Elantra got 47.6 MPG on the highway at 55 MPH and at 70 MPH, still nearly hit 40 MPG, which was a lot better than the Focus SFE that PM also tested.

        http://www.popularmechanics.com/cars/news/fuel-economy/mileage-moment-of-truth-we-put-40-mpg-claims-to-the-test-6651300-2

  • avatar
    SherbornSean

    The most impressive numbers come from Mercedes. I suspect the new ML is driving the volume.

    • 0 avatar
      MBella

      Especially Maybach, 33% increase.

      Yeah, the new ML is selling well, we can’t keep them in stock.

    • 0 avatar
      MusicMachine

      Nah. The 1% is driving the volume. Look at Bentley, Maserati, Land Rover, Maybach.

      My question:

      How much of the shift in percentage gains are NOT due to customers shifting from one brand to another????

      How much of the decrease in GM / Ford percentages are due to GM / Ford loyalists (i.e. average rural/suburban lower middle income buyers) flat lined income and inability to borrow??

  • avatar
    NJRide

    GM deserves what it gets. This company had 29% in 2002 (famously) and 44% in 1980! They are lucky to hit 18% now. The reality is we spent a ton of money on bailouts only to see dealerships and brands shuttered. Product development has also been absurd. How can Cadillac, Buick and Chevy all not have full-size cars right now? This company knew what it was doing for so long (picking up market share in the 1970′s even), but completely fell apart between 1980 and now. The Regal is an excellent car for instance but you cannot compete against Acura and BMW with such a shrunken dealer network and diversity of options.

    Killing Pontiac was insanely stupid. It was the one brand in Detroit that had a younger following.

    And VW’s quality has been on the upswing. It’s a very different mentality than in the past. In fact, I would say VW and Hyundai continue to nip on Honda’s heels.

  • avatar
    gmichaelj

    It’s kind of hard to see how this one month data translates to any kind of long term trend analysis. Do the manufacturers release sales by model by year? Seems that if, say Ford, is holding a fire sale on 2012 mustangs that that would juice sales for the month, conversely if they blew through that inventory last month than their overall vehicle sales would be down this month if there aren’t enough 2013s on the lot. Where can we see sales by model for all manufacturers? And there is no estimate of fleet sales % right? oh and how much of this is temporary sales incentives? Seems like we are missing too much info to draw any meaningful conclusions.

    • 0 avatar
      NulloModo

      Manufacturers post the data, but I haven’t found anyplace that centralizes links to all of it.

      For Ford the biggest drops were mostly vehicles going out of production:

      Crown Vic: 6,586 in ’11, 372 in ’12 (out of production, so it makes sense, and the Taurus Police Interceptor is just now making its way onto lots and into fleets)

      Ranger: 5,370 in ’11, 1,990 in ’12 (again, out of production)

      Town Car: 943 in ’11, 74 in ’12 (same story)

      The Escape dropped from 21,240 in ’11 to 16,986 in ’12, and from what I’ve been seeing from customers a lot of that is due to people holding off for the redesign due in the next couple months (no ’13s on lots yet for the Escape)

      The mystery drop is for the Fiesta which went from 9,147 in ’11 to 5,135 in ’12. With the rising gas prices this past month I would have expected that to be higher, but at least on my lot we suffered from a bad inventory mix – too many loaded models and not enough cheap entry level ones. I’m seeing the people who were previously buying the loaded Fiestas now bumping themselves up to the Focus, where last April the new Focus wasn’t out in large enough numbers to cannibalize Fiesta sales as much. The people going for Fiestas now are mainly doing it for pure price reasons, so my guess is Ford will switch production to more lower trim models to meet that demand. The Fiesta also had no incentives for much of April – no rebates and no finance deals that were better than what you could get from your bank with good credit, so that didn’t help.

      Redesigned models for 2013 that were actually available on lots all did well and went up: Taurus, Flex, MKS, and MKT all saw increases. Recently refreshed or redesigned models like the Edge, Explorer, F-150, Focus, and MKX also had strong months. The word about the eminent arrival of the redesigned Fusion is out, but the Fusion also grew in sales this month.

      EcoBoost engines had a 77% increase in take rate year over year, and made up 43% of F-150 sales.

      So, yes, Ford lost a bit year over year, but most of the loss came from vehicles no longer in production. Overall the Mulally-era Ford vehicles gained in sales.

      • 0 avatar
        gmichaelj

        Thanks for the response. This is the kind of analysis I was looking for. Too bad we don’t have a GM, Chrysler and Toyota guy to give us insights there as well.

        I appreciate your comments overall and look for them when on this site.

      • 0 avatar
        bd2

        Also, much of Toyota’s gain in sales is via FLEET sales.

        15% of April sales for Toyota was to fleet (for the industry as whole, it was 20% for the month), so that’s more Toyotas to fleet than Mazda sales for April and nearly as much as Subaru’s sales.

  • avatar
    Good ole dayz

    If my 2006 Jeep is any indication (and I think it is), the quality of “Detroit” products are still far behind the Asians. I read once that in order to cover the higher costs of having the UAW on the premises — wages, work rules – inefficiency, legacy costs of health care and pensions — the Detroit automakers have to specify lower mean-time-to-failure in design and lower spec components from suppliers. If true, this would explain much. And since even after the taxpayer bailouts the UAW is still on the premises, and the legacy costs (at least pensions) are still in place, it appears that “Detroit” will never be able to catch up to the Asians (or other UAW-free manufacturers) when it comes to quality.

    • 0 avatar
      NulloModo

      Six years makes a lot of difference. The ’06 JGC was an ‘Old Chrysler’ vehicle. Sit in a ’12 JGC and you’ll see the quality.

      We’ve taken in several late model Honda Pilots and Toyota Highlanders recently on trade, and the interiors don’t compare well to the JGC, Explorer, or Durango. Sit in a Pilot or Highlander and you’ll see many of the things Detroit used to get pounded about – hard cheap looking plastics, large panel gaps, and chintzy feeling switchgear are all there in spades.

      • 0 avatar
        Good ole dayz

        I’m talking more than interior appearance: 1) wiring harness installed incorrectly at factory, causing chafing and intermittent engine dying while driving; 2) multiple and repetitive window regulator failures on all four windows, sometimes multiple times per window (window drops w/o warning, fortunately SO FAR for me it hasn’t happened on a rainy night when I wouldn’t discover my flooded vehicle until morning); 3) ball joints replaced (recall), ditto heater fan switch (recalled due to fire hazard as I recall); 4) steering rack at about 50k (the vehicle isn’t off-roaded); 5) rear end failure at about 70k. Vehicle now has about 75k and I’m cringing regarding what might be next (with 25k on the steering rack it’s starting to make some of the same noises as the other one did before it failed). Oh, and the vinyl on the driver’s seat if peeling (apparently not uncommon). I’ve always maintained the vehicle at (if not better than) “by the book,” serviced by the dealer to boot, and it has always had relatively light duty (me commuting to work).

        This all for a 2006 — at which time we were being told that “Detroit” had caught up on quality, and we consumers were merely suffering from a “perception gap.”

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        Take a look at True Delta results for the 2011 JGC. Not only was it towards the ‘most trips’ required end of the spectrum, the list of repairs attempted paints a picture of a car with any number of engineering and quality lapses compounded by a dealer body that knows not what they’re doing. The only thing that has changed is nothing. Chrysler and GM have been just starting to make good cars since the late ’70s.

    • 0 avatar
      PenguinBoy

      “If my 2006 Jeep is any indication (and I think it is), the quality of “Detroit” products are still far behind the Asians.”

      Why did you buy the Jeep in the first place then?

      “Six years makes a lot of difference. The ’06 JGC was an ‘Old Chrysler’ vehicle. Sit in a ’12 JGC and you’ll see the quality.

      We’ve taken in several late model Honda Pilots and Toyota Highlanders recently on trade, and the interiors don’t compare well to the JGC, Explorer, or Durango. Sit in a Pilot or Highlander and you’ll see many of the things Detroit used to get pounded about – hard cheap looking plastics, large panel gaps, and chintzy feeling switchgear are all there in spades.”

      @NulloModo – I would agree with this. Last week I took another long trip over unpaved roads in changing weather in a JGC and once again was impressed by the overall capability and lack of perceived quality problems. I neither need nor want an SUV for my personal vehicle, but if I did the JGC would certainly be on my shopping list – it might even be the only one on the list.

      I’ve also recently done a ~3 hr trip in a current Highlander Limited, and noticed that some of the silver paint was already coming off the plastic on the gearshift – something you would expect to see in a Jeep circa 2006…

      • 0 avatar
        Good ole dayz

        >>Why did you buy the Jeep in the first place then?

        Because at that time: 1) the Jeep Liberty was offering a small diesel, the only one on the market (perfect engine for an SUV / small SUV), and ironically I was looking for diesel longevity and a vehicle I could operate for a long, long time; 2) I know that manufacturers all purchase each others vehicles, calculate mean-time-to-failure and so thought that after decades of lagging the “Detroit” manufacturers must by now have finally at least come close to the Asians, out of sheer desire to survive in a competitive market in spite of corporate cultures that don’t really care about quality; 3) the Liberty had been in production for a few years by then, the diesel in its second year, so presumably the bugs were worked out.

        I’m now in my fifties, and this was the first domestic I’d ever purchased new, because (as said) I still thought that the domestics were behind the Asians, but that the gap should have closed enough to make the cost-benefit of the diesel worth taking a chance on “Detroit.”

        As I’ve learned (and Consumer Reports / True Delta attest), “Detroit” is still lags significantly behind the Asians. Since this has been the case since the 1970′s, it’s fair to conclude that “Detroit” will never catch-up.

    • 0 avatar
      Ubermensch

      You are aware that imported Asian vehicles are union made as well, right? Might want to look to another scapegoat for Detroit executive’s failures.

  • avatar
    Pig_Iron

    Suzuki is in really big trouble. They are being outsold by Porsche. I’m worried they’re going the way of SAAB. (Here in NA anyway…)

  • avatar
    Adub

    All these people whining about bias in the headline need to realize the simple truth: GM sold the most cars in March, followed by Ford, Toyota, and Chrysler. So, those are the four companies the headline should focus on, and GM and Ford posted sales decreases compared to the previous year, while Toyota and Chrysler were up. Seeing as how Chrysler is in fourth place, it is fair to say that April was bad news for Detroit and good news for Toyota.

    All these people who want to obfuscate reality… they sound like the cowards who worked at GM during the past decade when the writing was on the wall but nobody had the guts to call a spade a spade. But maybe I am being harsh: there’s always money to be made selling upgrades on the Titanic while it sinks…

  • avatar
    carbiz

    In a society dominated by ‘what have you done for me lately,’ (with apologies to Janet), GM’s Cruze, Spark, Equinox, etc. are old. As was mentioned earlier, with the Malibu, Impala and others in the wings, GM should be able to hold onto its 18-20% market share, which is a very strong showing in any other market.
    Notice how there is no alarm at Toyota’s 50% market share in the homeland? The usual suspects are so intent on gloating over GM’s apparent stumbling in North America, that not a single pixel is spent wondering if the object in the mirror is really larger than it appears…..

  • avatar
    Junebug

    We have a 2008 Toyota Highlander Limited, 63K miles, gets 23mpg and looks as good as it did the day we bought it. Maybe the fact that my wife and I are serious about maintaining our cars and not using them as pick-up trucks, kitchens, or just appliances makes the difference. Now, I will say having owned a RAV4 with the Sport package that to get a nice interior, you have to get the Limited. maybe not so much now, but in 2006 you sure did. Also, I detail cars on the side (hey – got a kid going to college) and I can tell you horror stories about how normal looking people treat their cars. It’s no wonder why they have problems and complain, like when you leave bird poop on your paint so long it eats through the clear coat and you complain about the “cheap” paint on your car. Or you spill coffee, soda, nail polish remover, etc on the interior and oh look Fred, this cheap carpet/dash/console is all messed up. And they think I’m Jesus, just spread the holy water on it and heal the wounded beast. Yeah right, that’s why we have a little “come to Jesus” talk about what can and what can’t be fixed BEFORE I agree to bust my balls on some turd car for 10-12 hours. sorry for the rant, just needed to say it.

  • avatar
    Zackman

    I suppose when the Big Three are trashed into oblivion, and nothing but foreign products are available whether assembled here or not, we can all thank our lucky stars that domestic industry, except for military death machines, is finally dead and we’ll all be content collecting our scrip welfare checks, crying all the way to the dollar store…

    That’s sad…

    • 0 avatar
      bikegoesbaa

      That is sad. It’s also inaccurate.

      What makes you think that American industry is “dead” with the exception of MI-Auto and military hardware?

      The US manufactures significantly more now than at any point in the past, including the heyday of Detroit. We just do it with a lot fewer people due to better equipment and processes leading to much higher efficiency.

      I’ve been in half a dozen huge modern American plants in the last couple months that each manufacture upwards of a million dollars a day of products that have nothing to do with cars or the military.

      I’d submit that the manufacture of “foreign products” in America can support a large functional economy long-term. Take a look at the number of people and businesses that depend on the Honda plants in southern Ohio, for example. Does it matter to them whether their paycheck comes from a “foreign” company? Should it?

      • 0 avatar
        Zackman

        I was being sarcastic, but for many consumer goods, it’s true. TVs, many appliances, audio/visual components, cameras, cell phones and other gadgets – all made elsewhere. That’s a sad thing, in my opinion.

      • 0 avatar
        golden2husky

        ZAckman, I agree with you, but take solace in the fact that when it comes to cost-not-an-object products (High end electronics, aircraft, medical equipment, tools, etc) American products are among the world’s best. We can’t compete with dirt cheap Chinese labor, so there will never be entry or mid level products made here in serious numbers again. And that does cost jobs. “Comparative advantage” only means something if there is something of value on both sides of the trading partners. We simply have nothing to offset the horrible standard of living Chinese workers have to endure while making iPads that should be built in America.

  • avatar
    Domestic Hearse

    From the Farago GM Death Watch onward, this site has been accused of anti-GM bias. I disagree.

    For American car enthusiasts, watching the Wagner-led, pre-BK General Motors decline was akin to watching a family member suffering from untreated alcoholism….

    You love him/her, but you hate the behavior.

    This site took up the cause of calling out the unsustainability of GM’s business practices long before mainstream news sources began paying attention. It predicted, correctly, that it would end badly. The perfect economic storm saw to that. Today, when GM falters, and it will, as all businesses sometimes do, the writers here will point that out. Given recent events, and taxpayer/government interests, this is not anti-GM bias, it’s pro-Stop-Doing-Stupid-Sh**-GM reporting.

  • avatar
    Gregg

    Ford and GM sales did not actually decrease. You need to look at the daily sales rate. April 2011 had 27 sales days, and April 2012 had only 24. Usually, there is only a one day difference at most. Looking at it this way, both GM and Ford saw sales increases, and Chrysler saw a huge jump.

  • avatar
    raph

    America’s patriotic love affiar with domestics over? The cynic in me suggests yes. Can’t wait to read all those posts on Autoblog wishing the domestic auto industry would implode so completely not even dust would be left.

    Anyways hopefully the trend doesn’t continue (altough GM getting rid of some R&D folk doesn’t bode well to me – even if it was just a smattering of people – couldn’t they have gotten rid of some bean counters and repurposed the R&D guys into finance? As I read some comments engineers make great financial guys).


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