By on May 1, 2014

2014_Jeep_Cherokee_North_4x2_Edition_Canada_Rear

With a SAAR of 16.2 million (up from 15.2 million in April, 2013), May was a strong month, with sales up 8 percent.

Mitsubishi and Subaru posted big year-over-year gains (47 percent and 22 percent respectively), while Jaguar Land Rover, Nissan, Chrysler Group and Mazda all posted solid double-digits gains. Ford and Volkswagen Group were both down one percent.

At the brand level, Volkswagen slid 8 percent while Audi jumped by 19 percent. Chrysler brand, Mini and Scion saw the biggest losses, while Jeep brand posted a 52 percent gain. Full table available at Automotive News. Check back next week for more sales insights.

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63 Comments on “April 2014 Sales: SAAR At 16.2 Million, Sales Up 8 Percent...”


  • avatar
    IndianaDriver

    Good to see a pick up in sales for most brands. Chrysler seems to keep gaining and gaining and even Mitsubishi seems to be having a revival of sorts lately. Subaru’s big sales gains seem to be the norm these days too. Look closely at Ford and you’ll see that even though overall sales were down a little, one of their big moneymakers, the Explorer, had a record month.

  • avatar

    Are those FCA gains all Jeep (especially Cherokee) or is Dodge gaining too (Dart?) or Chrysler (new 200 making an impact yet?)? If Cherokee was the one lifting Jeep it seems the new style is a hit.

    • 0 avatar
      LeadHead

      The Cherokee is starting to pick up steam now, at 15k units last month, and the whole Jeep brand itself is up.

      Dodge is up too, but Dart is floundering quite badly. Not sure why. It’s fairly competent, but I guess just not enough “wow” factor in this ultra competitive segment.

      New 200 really isn’t at dealers yet, a few dealers have them, but its far from nationwide.

      Ram is on fire, as well, since they’ve knocked the past few refreshes right out of the park.

      • 0 avatar

        Thanks for the info! I don’t really think the 200 is going to do much for FCA, but I think the Charger will be a hit. It’ll be interesting to watch, especially to see if growth can come from other FCA brands besides Jeep.

        • 0 avatar
          LeadHead

          They actually sold a ton of 200s and Avengers. 2014 200 inventories are dwindling at the moment, so sales are down from 12,000 to 4,000 units per month. I expect that to drop to around ~1000 units next month, and then start to pick up as the 2015s hit the lots.

          So for them to be up despite loosing nearly 11,000 sales/month combined between the Avenger an 200 is petty impressive.

        • 0 avatar
          danio3834

          If the customers drive the new 200 and compare it directly with the competition, it will do well. The key is to get asses in the seats.

      • 0 avatar
        heavy handle

        The Dart is floundering because it doesn’t come across as a modern competitive car, even though it is under the sheet metal. It feels like a Neon on the inside (fake vinyl stitching!), and it’s got that dated low-rent Dodge look on the outside.

        I think Chrysler was over-sensitive to the fact that reviewers might call it a “Fiat”, so they went all 1992 on the design. New car customers want new cars (not cars that look like they could be up on cinder blocks on a redneck’s lawn), so it’s getting killed by the Cruze, Focus, Civic, Mazda3, and whatever Kia-Hyundai offers.

        FCA should re-skin, re-name and re-launch. There’s no saving the current Dart.

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          heavy handle, we’re in the market for a car in that size/class for my 22-yo grand daughter who is graduating from college at the end of this month.

          It appears that she will get her first job in a metropolitan environment, probably Denver, Santa Fe, Albuquerque or the Phoenix area. A compact sedan seems prudent.

          So this pretty much decides what kind of car we will get her, if her job is mainly going to be in a city instead of the mountains or countryside.

          We have had an excellent ownership experience with the 2011 Elantra we bought for her as her HS graduation present and to commute to college with and may buy a replacement, although the Mazda3 appears to be the best of the bunch you listed.

          The Dart? Not even a contender.

        • 0 avatar
          danio3834

          Those aren’t the reasons at all. The Camry is loaded with injection molded fake stitching and is the best selling car. The interior of the Camry is worse than the Dart. I say that with a straight face, compare them.

          The exterior of the Dart is in line with current trends in that segment. It follows the form of cars like the Civic, Corolla, Forte, and Elantra and isn’t a bad looking car.

          The problem is an image and marketing problem. Dodge has pushed the muscle car performance image so hard in the past few years that the average person looking for an economy car would never think to include the Dart on the list. The marketing for the car itself pushes enthusiasm for the car, but doesn’t promote the economy of it like it’s competitors do. It promotes the boldness when a huge chunk of buyers in the segment want bland.

          The customers who have bougth Darts really like them. It rates among the highest in owner satisfaction in the segment. It’s a good car, it’s just not seen as a mass market viable alternative to the beige Corolla.

          • 0 avatar
            heavy handle

            I cross-shopped the Dart last year, and the interiors were all one shade of “diesel grey,” which they may as well call dirty grey. The Corolla may be bad (had one briefly as a rental at the time), but at least they use multiple shades of grey. The Civic is 10 years ahead of either.

            There were some multi-toned interiors in the brochure, but not in stock, and they only came on fully-loaded automatics. Like someone is going to special-order a fully loaded Dart for the price of an Accord.

            The Dart drives nice enough but, as I said, it doesn’t look or feel like a 21st century car.

          • 0 avatar
            APaGttH

            …The problem is an image and marketing problem. Dodge has pushed the muscle car performance image so hard in the past few years that the average person looking for an economy car would never think to include the Dart on the list…

            I would agree with this. When I think of Dodge I think of minivans (irony) and muscle. I don’t think C-segment (the Caliber cured me of that)

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            I still think the Dart should have been the Chrysler 100.

          • 0 avatar
            danio3834

            “I would agree with this. When I think of Dodge I think of minivans (irony) and muscle. I don’t think C-segment (the Caliber cured me of that)”

            This too, the lack of any real entry into the segment for so long doesn’t help at all either.

    • 0 avatar
      SayMyName

      I’ve actually noticed a marked uptick in the number of Darts around my city. I assume it has something to do with members of the lower economic strata receiving their EIC-assisted tax “refunds,” and then proceeding to make only the latest in a long string of poor economic decisions to endlessly perpetuate their diminished class status.

      Even at a Fiatsler store, ya gotta have cash in hand to offset that sub-600 beacon…

      • 0 avatar
        KixStart

        People qualifying for EIC aren’t going to be buying new cars in any significant numbers.

        But thanks for contributing to the class war.

        • 0 avatar
          Wheeljack

          KixStart, don’t mind him – he’s just an elitist douchebag.

          • 0 avatar
            SayMyName

            Better that than… well, a Dart driver.

            Rather than using the term as a pejorative, perhaps we’d all be better served if society would stop fetishizing mediocrity, and if more of the unwashed and ill-educated masses were willing to go through the educational and professional steps necessary to become “elite.”

            Just a wild idea.

          • 0 avatar
            Wheeljack

            More elitist BS. So you’re better than me because of the car you drive – very evolved. I doubt you’ve ever even driven a Dart – it’s really a very nice car if you give it a chance, but your elitism won’t allow you to do that. Does having a master’s degree make me ill-educated?

            People with your mentality is why our society and our species is on the decline (not numerically, mind you).

      • 0 avatar
        ajla

        @Saymyname:

        Remember when you wrote this comment:

        http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/07/in-which-we-bid-a-fond-farewell-to-our-former-editor-reinstate-banned-commenters-and-welcome-all-of-you-back-home-to-ttac/#comment-2074760

        I guess it is right back to the old ways for you?

        I would rather be “mediocre” forever than be infected by whatever compels you to constantly put people down over an internet car forum.

  • avatar

    MOPAR or NO CAR…

  • avatar
    Z71_Silvy

    Ford’s numbers were abysmal. Once again, they are only surviving on one (mediocre) product…the F-Series.

    Every single one of their cars was DOWN for April and DOWN year to date.

    The Escape, Explorer, and Edge are all DOWN year to date…while the oldest vehicles are picking up the slack.

    Then you scroll down to Lincoln where they should just have a white flag…because they have just given up on this glorified trim level of a brand. The Fusion clone was DOWN almost 24%. The only glimmer of hope is the ancient Edge clone.

    And between the Taurus clone, Flex Clone, and Navigator, they didn’t manage 2,000 units.

    Big Al leaving is a massive blessing for Ford.

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      “Every single one of their cars was DOWN for April and DOWN year to date.”

      The Mustang is up YTD by 7.1%.

      “The Escape, Explorer, and Edge are all DOWN year to date”

      Edge YTD deliveries are up by 3.1%.

      “The Fusion clone was DOWN almost 24%”

      YTD, the MKZ is up 58%.

      Next time, be sure to remind me to not depend upon you for accurate information.

      • 0 avatar
        jimmyy

        With the exception of the Mustang, all Ford cars are down YTD. The Mustang is up YTD.

        The Edge is down YTD … -3.1% 40612 YTD 2014, 41891 YTD 2013.

        In my opinion, two things are hurting Ford.

        1) Prices are higher than many other brands.
        2) According to Consumer Reports brand report card, Ford ranks near the bottom, largely because of reliability.

        A third issue, real world MPG might hurt them, but I do not think as much as the above 2.

        If I was a Ford executive, I would be rolling heads in engineering to fix the reliability, then I would roll heads in finance to get those price tags down while maintaining profit margins. In my opinion, if those two items were addressed, Ford sales would surge, but only after their reliability improvements were published by Consumer Reports.

        While I don’t care for Ford styling, I do not think that is what holds Ford sales down.

        • 0 avatar
          hreardon

          It’s all a balancing act and no doubt everyone at Ford is on notice about their problems. Same goes for Volkswagen: you don’t think they aren’t aware of the problems in their North American operations?

          The real question is: what’s the hangup? Is it the finance guys holding the line on margins and the engineering team can’t get the improvements they know they need? Is it because of incompetence? Is it a corporate decision to damn the surveys and charge ahead into oblivion?

        • 0 avatar
          danio3834

          ” I would roll heads in finance to get those price tags down while maintaining profit margins.”

          So cost cutting. They’ve tried the bean counter approach before. No one wants to go back there.

        • 0 avatar
          APaGttH

          …If I was a Ford executive, I would be rolling heads in engineering to fix the reliability, then I would roll heads in finance to get those price tags down while maintaining profit margins…

          I just don’t understand why people can’t grasp this.

          Folks like Consumer Reports are in the “business” to sell subscriptions. If vehicles were rated on say their 1990 methodology, there likely will only be a couple of black dots in the annual reliability survey.

          In 1990 issues at the bottom of the pile were my paint peeled off of Lumina, my Iron Duke blew up in my Fiero, and then it burned to the ground, and my Chrysler just ate its third turbo. At the high end of the spectrum it was my Camry just rolled over 100K miles – and I think I can get another 25K to 50K out of it.

          Today, the “problems” are I can’t connect my Bluetooth phone, my climate control system had to reboot, and this dual-clutch transmission shifts weird. I had to take my cute ute back to the dealer because they had to reprogram my transmission. Bastards!

          The “problems” of today, with some outliers (Range Rover comes to mind) are really, in the big scheme of things, not major problems.

          The quality issues we see in a lot of vehicles today are because computer programmers are the lowest common denominator, farmed out, and the lowest bidder. (Jack wrote a great piece on this).

          As seems to be the case many times – the quality issues are more bean counter driven.

          On the other hand if the engineers could do it 100% their way, an A-Segment econobox would probably cost $100,000. It would last 50 years and you could drive it into a brick wall going 200 MPH, but it would be utterly unaffordable.

      • 0 avatar
        Z71_Silvy

        Show me where my information was wrong? It came directly from media.ford.com.

        -Ford cars are DOWN YTD almost 10%
        https://media.ford.com/content/dam/fordmedia/North%20America/US/2014/05/01/april14sales.pdf

        —————————–

        -The Edge is DOWN 3.1% YTD
        https://media.ford.com/content/dam/fordmedia/North%20America/US/2014/05/01/april14sales.pdf

        —————————–

        The Fusion clone was down almost 24%. Why would you dispute that?
        https://media.ford.com/content/dam/fordmedia/North%20America/US/2014/05/01/april14sales.pdf

        Or are you just that bent on making Ford look better than they do that you will dispute their own sales report?

  • avatar
    billfrombuckhead

    Over 26,000 Mopar minivans last month! Jeep close to passing Hyundai as 6th best selling brand with very little money on the hoods!

    Imagine the profitability of CDJR stores right now. One can see chains pulling resources from other brands and throwing it into their Chrysler stores to gets into the white hot Ram and Jeep markets.

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      In March, Chrysler Group incentives averaged $3,052, above the industry average of $2,317. Chrysler brand incentives were $4,058, the highest of any mainstream car brand; only Cadillac had higher incentives.

      (Gee whiz, these fanboys really do have selective reading skilz, don’t they?)

  • avatar
    highdesertcat

    But overall, this is great news! Makes you want to rush out there and trade that old jalopy for something brand new.

    It’s good to see Fiatsler has winners in its lineup. Chrysler was the bankrupt American automaker that wasn’t good enough to keep. GM was the one that was kept and now we find out that GM has been fudging safety issues they knew existed for more than ten years. How about an ignition switch killing you, eh? We didn’t see that one coming but GM knew about it all along.

    Maybe we should have kept Chrysler instead of GM.

    • 0 avatar
      thornmark

      GM may not be doing so well:

      GM channel stuffing:
      http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2014/04/GM%20channel%20stuffing.jpg

      • 0 avatar
        APaGttH

        Meh – I take it with a grain of salt.

        The same cries were going on about 15 months ago when GM was cranking out 2013 GMT900s as fast as they could. Dire predictions from the former EIC and lots of B&B head nods of the death of GM and how they’ll be selling 2013 trucks into 2015 with all that channel stuffing they did.

        There have been reports of other auto makers with bloating inventories – with, back just two months ago only Nissan not having an over 60 day supply of vehicles on the lot, of the big eight makers. Even Honda was sitting on an 80 day plus supply of vehicles.

        http://www.ibtimes.com/us-new-auto-inventories-highest-09-gm-volkswagen-top-list-kia-hyundai-most-toyota-stock-healthiest

        I am not defending GM’s inventory level sitting at around 100 days – no bueno – but the picture is likely not as dire as it appears. That’s all.

        Overall inventories appear to be going down – so GM is bucking that trend – here is a December 2013 story showing the big eight maker inventories at 76 days.

        http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-12-02/most-autos-on-u-s-lots-since-05-has-ford-leading-cuts.html

        • 0 avatar
          Pch101

          Yes, the previous editor was more than a bit off.

          No, I wouldn’t rely upon Zero Hedge as a source of information.

          But if Zero Hedge’s inventory data is correct (and I’m not sure where it’s coming from), then that would suggest that more incentives are coming. Building inventory without adding customers is a recipe for rebates.

          If one were to dig deeper, I would presume that Silverado sales are below target, and that much of the inventory build reflects that. GM truck buyers might want to wait a month or two to see whether the discounts really start getting turned on.

          (That doesn’t look like channel stuffing, which is a deliberate effort to inflate reported revenues, but some combination of poor pricing and/or product planning.)

          • 0 avatar
            APaGttH

            Agreed that Silverado/Sierra/Tahoe/Suburban/Yukon inventories are likely very high.

            On the other hand when GM released their numbers with a surprise profit (albeit a tiny one) the analysts all said it was huge profit margins on the new trucks driving that.

            On the other hand I’ve always scratched my head on GM in particular – price it unreasonably high and then throw a ton of cash on the hood to create the illusion of a “value.”

            Meh, guess it moves metal and they’re making a profit (which is what really matters) but it doesn’t seem the best way to run a business.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            The trucks are high margin. They are profitable on a per-unit basis, no doubt.

            That doesn’t mean that they haven’t been overbuilt. And if discounting is needed to move excess inventory, then margins will have to fall accordingly, since incentives come out of the OEM’s pocket.

          • 0 avatar
            geeber

            Given the sales numbers of the Silverado and Ram for March, I thought GM would have already poured on the incentives in April.

    • 0 avatar
      Ubermensch

      Chrysler is putting it’s gains on the backs of the highest incentives in the industry. Is sacrificing profits and resale value a good formula for success? Ask old GM.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        mensch, it appears to work for Sergio. In business, you gotta do what you gotta do to make the bucks.

      • 0 avatar
        thornmark

        Nissan can’t be far behind. I’m surprised Walmart isn’t selling them. They appear to be flooding the market w/ Altimas.

      • 0 avatar
        billfrombuckhead

        45,000 Jeeps were sold with few incentives.ram truck is one of the most profitable vehicles in the industry both for FCA and dealers. Help is on the way for Chrysler cars and Renegade will help build twenty something and teenager floor traffic.

        What about Honda’s sorry performance, maybe incentives are in order for them?

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        “Chrysler is putting it’s gains on the backs of the highest incentives in the industry. ”

        GM is one of the highest volume producers in the world, which chased market share to its detriment. It needs to build margin.

        But Chrysler, being smaller, has to build volume in order to get the scale that is necessary to go the distance. In essence, the company is too small and needs to sell more vehicles, sometimes at the expense of margin.

        I can’t fault Chrysler for pushing incentives and fleet for the moment (although the fanboys should be reminded of the fact that this is indeed happening.) That approach can’t be taken into perpetuity. But for now, it’s probably necessary.

        • 0 avatar
          billfrombuckhead

          Virtually no incentives last month on 45,000 profitable new Jeep Cherokees, Grand Cherokees and Wranglers. Ram trucks and Grand Cherokees are among ten of the most profitable vehicles in the world.

          http://www.eurocarsdiary.com/top-10-the-most-profitable-cars

          Chrysler rental sales are their lowest in years and many of these fleet sales are profitable cop cars or construction trucks.

          For years now the Greek Chorus of TTAC posters have rooted against Chrysler and has been proved wrong over and over. I do appreciate the olive branch Derek threw out to Mopar supporters by putting a picture of the Cherokee at the top of the article.

          If one adds minivans and Wrangler together, they outsold media darling Subaru all by themselves or the well amortized Chrysler minivans outsold Mazda by 4000 units all by themselves!

          If some AsiaInc manufacturer was up 65,000units and 46.5% year to year like Jeep is now, the AsiaInc fanbois would raving about the death of Detroit.

          BTW, no comments on the poor performance of Honda last month

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      thornmark, you’ll never convince the GM fan club of that! One of my longtime buds (who also posts on ttac BTW) was telling me just yesterday how good GM is doing (in spite of the fact that GM withheld safety information on ignition lock switches for more than ten years).

      The fact that people died is no big deal to GM. My bud drives a 2012 Silverado and when I jokingly asked him if he worried about what hidden problems lurked under that sheetmetal, he replied, “I ain’t gonna keep it long enough to find out. I’m gonna trade it when the trading is good and buy another new one.”

      Personally, if I wanted to buy an “American” car, I’d buy a Ford, since Chrysler is now a foreign-owned brand, like Toyota, Honda, Nissan, et al.

      GM died, and should have stayed dead. This from a guy who drove nothing but GM until buying a Highlander in 2008.

  • avatar
    doug-g

    I can remember when GM held 45-50% of the market. Ford usually about 25% and Chrysler ran around 17%. Now? GM: 18.3%; Ford: 15.1%; Chrysler (the 4,298 Fiats subtracted): 12.5%. Seems like the old Chrysler has held up the best, maybe because they had the least to lose. I NEVER thought I’d see GM sink so severely.

    • 0 avatar
      geeber

      Neither did I. The other day was I talking with a friend from my high school class. In the 1970s, his family loyally drove Plymouths, and my family was loyal to Oldsmobile. We agreed that it’s hard to believe that both marques are long gone.

    • 0 avatar
      Syke

      I can remember GM having 52% of the market. And the Feds were seriously considering forcing the breakup of the company because it was too big for the competition. Of course, back in those days, Volkswagen was the only import with numbers that were even noticeable, Japanese cars hadn’t hit our shores yet, and in western Pennsylvania imports were Beetles, Renaults, Opels, a few BMC and Standard-Triumph sports cars, and the very occasional Mercedes, Volvo and Saab.

      Not only has times changed, so have the availability of brands. I believe the times you’re talking about are when the Japanese first started showing up in areas other than the coasts.

  • avatar
    GoFaster58

    Why is that Jeep parked in a no parking zone?

  • avatar
    BuzzDog

    Two observations:

    1. Mitsubishi’s “47 percent increase” amounted to less than 2,000 vehicles, which is not nearly as impressive.

    2. Ford sales appears to be flat, but I wonder if retooling of some plants could be a factor. Also, I’d be curious if the margin-per-vehicle was significantly higher for Ford, given the perceived higher prices of the vehicles.

  • avatar
    elimgarak

    Do these numbers reflect actual sales to customers from dealers or how much the mfg has sold to dealers?

    How much does channel stuffing/longer turnover time for inventory play in these numbers?

    Lastly, as i’ve commented on here before, VAG needs to pull out VW from the US and use the savings to invest in their other portfolio brands.

  • avatar
    billfrombuckhead

    To all the Mopar, FCA and Marchionne haters mark down May 6th on the calendar because that’s when the battle really begins. Mopar uber alles!

    BTW, when FCA is listed on the NYSE and most of the company run from Auburns Hills, it’s hard to say it’s not American, you really are showing you have a axe to grind or a teabag to throw when you throw out that tired meme. BTW, Fiatsler? They have earned the right to be called FCA.

    • 0 avatar
      geeber

      I have yet to meet a real-world customer (most of whom do not post on automotive blogs) who cared about this particular issue one way or another.


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