By on January 4, 2017

2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee OverlandGeneral Motors, Ford Motor Company, and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles all ended 2016 selling fewer new vehicles in the United States than the traditional Detroit Three managed one year earlier.

Yet for a second consecutive year, U.S. auto sales improved to record levels, shooting past 17.5 million units thanks to an end-of-year push that propelled December to a 3-percent increase, not the 2-percent decline forecasted.Compared with 2015, Jaguar and Volvo were the fastest-growing auto brands in America in calendar year 2016. Ram, Jeep, and Subaru posted the best percentage improvements among volume brands, with Ram and Jeep standing out as overall FCA numbers declined (Chrysler, Fiat, and Alfa Romeo were among the most rapidly declining auto brands). With the 200’s slow departure, Chrysler sales slid 27 percent in 2016. Fiat plunged by nearly a quarter.

The Toyota Camry turned 2016 into its 15th consecutive year as America’s best-selling car, just ahead of the arrival of a new Camry at this month’s North American International Auto Show. With the 2016 model year marking the end of the outgoing model’s tenure, the Honda CR-V nevertheless ended 2016 as America’s top-selling SUV/crossover — its fifth consecutive year on top of the leaderboard. The Ford F-Series, America’s top-selling vehicle line, topped the pickup truck category for a 40th consecutive year.

The big story of 2016, however, was the steady decline of passenger cars. By the end of 2016, SUVs/crossovers were consistently outselling cars, which are now producing only four out of every ten U.S. new vehicle sales.

Auto Brand December 2016 December 2015 % Change 2016 2015 % Change
Acura
 17,148 16,823 1.9% 161,360 177,165 -8.9%
Alfa Romeo
52 56 -7.1% 516 659 -21.7%
Audi
23,195 20,399 13.7% 210,213  202,202 4.0%
BMW
32,835 34,625 -5.2% 313,174 346,023 -9.5%
Buick
21,288 20,708 2.8% 229,631 223,055 2.9%
Cadillac
 21,446 20,787 3.2% 170,006 175,267 -3.0%
Chevrolet
 212,959 188,794 12.8% 2,096,510 2,125,347 -1.4%
Chrysler
16,776 24,554  -31.7% 231,972 317,923 -27.0%
Dodge
 36,329 46,210 -21.4% 506,858 527,295 -3.9%
Fiat
 2,606 5,619  -53.6% 32,742 42,922 -23.7%
Ford 224,994 226,746 -0.8%  2,487,487  2,501,855 -0.6%
Genesis
1,733 6,948
GMC
63,415 59,941 5.8% 546,628 558,697 -2.2%
Honda
143,329 134,070  6.9% 1,476,582 1,409,386 4.8%
Hyundai
60,572 63,508  -4.6% 768,057 761,710 0.8%
Infiniti
18,198 15,093 20.6% 138,293 133,498 3.6%
Jaguar
4,294 1,197 259%  31,243 14,466 116%
Jeep
83,159 88,868  -6.4% 926,376 872,908 6.1%
Kia
54,353 54,241 0.2% 647,598 625,818 3.5%
Land Rover
8,279 8,441 -1.9% 73,861 70,582 4.6%
Lexus
41,182 41,380 -0.5% 331,228 344,601 -3.9%
Lincoln
 12,791 10,860 17.8% 111,724 101,227 10.4%
Maserati
 1,694 1,069 58.5% 12,534 11,693 7.2%
Mazda
28,754 29,294 -1.8% 297,773 319,183 -6.7%
Mercedes-Benz °
32,011  34,203  -6.4%  340,237  343,088  -0.8% 
Mercedes-Benz Vans °
 3,860 4,046  -4.6%  34,304  29,889  14.8% 
Total Mercedes-Benz °
 35,871 38,249 -6.2% 374,541 372,977 0.4%
Mini
4,658 5,009 -7.0% 52,030 58,514 -11.1%
Mitsubishi
 7,383 7,887 -6.4% 96,267 95,342 1.0%
Nissan
134,545 124,207 8.3% 1,426,130 1,351,420 5.5%
Porsche
4,015 3,936 2.0% 54,280 51,756 4.9%
Ram
 53,597 48,616  10.2% 545,851 491,170 11.1%
Smart
1,186 669 77.3% 6,211 7,484 -17.0%
Subaru
63,177 56,274 12.3% 615,132 582,675 5.6%
Scion °
102  1,872  -94.6%  12,028 32,958  -63.5% 
Toyota °
 201,945 195,100  3.5%  2,106,374  2,121,760  -0.7% 
Toyota
202,047 196,972 2.6% 2,118,402 2,154,718 -1.7%
Volkswagen
37,229 30,956 20.3% 322,948 349,440 -7.6%
Volvo
 10,129 9,341 8.4%  82,724 70,047  18.1%
 —
BMW-Mini
 37,493 39,634 -5.4% 365,204 404,537 -9.7%
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles
192,519 213,923 -10.0% 2,244,315 2,252,877 -0.4%
Daimler AG
 37,057 38,918 -4.8% 380,752 380,461 0.1%
Ford Motor Co.
237,785 237,606 0.1%  2,599,211 2,603,082  -0.1%
General Motors
319,108 290,230 10.0% 3,042,775 3,082366 -1.3%
Honda Motor Co.
160,477 150,893 6.4% 1,637,942 1,586,551 3.2%
Hyundai-Kia
116,658 117,749 -0.9% 1,422,603  1,387,528 2.5%
Jaguar-Land Rover
 12,573 9,638 30.5% 105,104 85,048 23.6%
Nissan Motor Co.
152,743 139,300 9.7% 1,564,423 1,484,918 5.4%
Toyota Motor Corp.
243,229 238,352 2.0% 2,449,630 2,499,319 -2.0%
Volkswagen Group *
 64,846 55,872 16.1%  590,022 606,084 -2.7%
Industry Total
1,688,368
1,638,618
3.0%
17,539,052
17,482,841
 0.3%

Source: Manufacturers

[Image Source: FCA]

* Volkswagen Group includes sales figures for Audi, Bentley, Porsche, and Volkswagen brands

° Mercedes-Benz USA releases sales figures for the Mercedes-Benz brand in the conventional sense, vans excluded, as well as totals for the Metris and Sprinter vans. The complete picture is included here.

° Scion’s sales figures are now folded into Toyota’s, but the Scion brand here includes sales of outgoing Scions as well as Scions that are becoming Toyotas. We have included the complete picture for clarity’s sake.

** Industry total takes into account Automotive News figures/estimates for brands such as Tesla (2,250 December units; 26,725 in 2016) and other low-volume, high-priced manufacturers.

Timothy Cain is the founder of GoodCarBadCar.net, which obsesses over the free and frequent publication of U.S. and Canadian auto sales figures.

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63 Comments on “U.S. Auto Sales Brand-By-Brand Results: December 2016 And 2016 Calendar Year...”


  • avatar
    FreedMike

    Alfa Romeo poised for the biggest jump EVAH.

  • avatar
    JimZ

    looks like Lincoln might be doing something right.

    and I’m surprised VW is up that much.

    • 0 avatar
      hreardon

      Dealer friend said that the buybacks are translating into significantly more replacement VW sales than they expected.

      I too am shocked. Had Volkswagen had the new Tiguan or Atlas in showrooms, I suspect sales would have been substantially better even.

      Anecdotal, but goes to show that the mass market really doesn’t care about ‘scandals’, especially when they’re not safety related.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        The giveaway pricing isn’t hurting VW either.

        (It’s the reason a Jetta’s sitting outside my place as this is written…well, that, plus I love driving the thing.)

      • 0 avatar
        VoGo

        VW sales rep’s dream come true. VW loyalists are forced into a VW showroom (6th circle of hell), have tons of cash from the buyback, and suddenly need a ride ASAP.

        • 0 avatar
          Rick T.

          My local dealer near Nashville said they had 900 plus buybacks potentially. They are getting about half retention rate. The nearest other dealer is over an hour away.

      • 0 avatar
        OldManPants

        “the mass market really doesn’t care about ‘scandals’”

        Tim’s work is an excellent counter to the reality distortion field surrounding car blogs.

      • 0 avatar
        nels0300

        “Anecdotal, but goes to show that the mass market really doesn’t care about ‘scandals’, especially when they’re not safety related.”

        VW December YOY looks good, but they’re down 8% for 2016. And about that old sales goal of 800K vehicles by 2018? Uh, yeah.

        Is December and/or the buyback period an outlier or is this a trend?

        • 0 avatar
          brettc

          They’re still going to hit 800000 per year in the U.S., the deadline has just been extended to 2025 now. No big deal. /s

          I have seen posts from a lot of former TDI drivers that have ended up getting Alltracks or GTIs, so I guess that accounts for VW’s surprising uptick.

    • 0 avatar
      EBFlex

      “looks like Lincoln might be doing something right.”

      Where are you getting that from? Lincoln is doing one thing right and that’s rebadging the Edge. Nobody is interested in any of their other rebadges.

      Removing only the increase in Lincoln Edge sales over last year, Lincoln was up about 1%. And that includes the 5K sales from the new Lincoln Azera.

  • avatar
    xflowgolf

    Tim, I was curious if you have ever done a year end chart like this, based on manufacturers as a whole (volkswagen group, gm, etc.) based on global sales? While the U.S. sales results are certainly interesting, I’m curious to see how market share is being earned/lost in the global market that these companies exist. Not sure if that data is as readily available though.

  • avatar
    VoGo

    In an up year, the 3 biggest sellers: GM, Ford and Toyota were all down. Interesting – I wonder if there are limits to scale economies in this industry.

    • 0 avatar
      NormSV650

      Probably a product mix heavily focused on cars. Since they are heavier volume it’ll be slower to change.

      • 0 avatar
        mike978

        Good question. I didn’t think any of those three were car heavy since they all sell trucks and multiple crossovers unlike say VW or Mazda. So they should be doing well. You would think economies of scale should help them be even more competitive on pricing and hence more successful.

    • 0 avatar
      OldManPants

      “I wonder if there are limits to scale economies in this industry.”

      That’s a great question and rife with implications for all kinds of stuff. Where’s Pch101, anyway?

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      GM and Ford have the largest crossover, SUV and pickup line-ups, as well as Toyota by far among the import brands.

      The issue for these 3 is that they have yet to switch-over to producing even more of their crossovers, SUVs and pick-ups (notwithstanding Toyota’s ability to pump out over 350k of the RAV-4).

      • 0 avatar
        mike978

        You are not arguing, again, that it is capacity constraints are you? If capacity was constrained and they could therefore easily sell each of their crossovers without trouble then why are they giving large incentives and below MSRP pricing?

  • avatar
    NormSV650

    Acura who?

  • avatar
    Vetteman

    GM is still losing market share 2015 was 17.63 percent and 2016 is 17.35 percent I know I know this is by design . They are cutting back unprofitable rental fleet sales They have been saying this for ten years Company executives and Mary Barra have to have a story for the Board and shareholders to disguise the weak product lineup and overpriced cars and trucks they try so hard to get someone to buy . Yesterdays cars and trucks at tomorrows prices Thats the new GM s mantra

    • 0 avatar
      NormSV650

      It doesn’t look like they have a difficult time finding someone to buy GM cars. Older news,from October:

      http://www.freep.com/story/money/cars/general-motors/2016/10/25/gm-earns-28b-q3-led-higher-prices-us/92690126/

      • 0 avatar
        VoGo

        GM would buy a lot of credibility if they broke out retail vs. fleet sales.

        • 0 avatar
          NormSV650

          So would HMC!

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            The difference is that HMC has been pretty consistent at 99% retail. They simply don’t court the fleet market. You will occasionally see an oddball leftover as a rental car, but in much smaller numbers than any competitor.

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            a large portion of fleet sales for the D3 are trucks and vans. the Ford Transit is almost 100% fleet (so there’s 150,000 units right there,) the Super Duty pickup is IIRC around 50-60% fleet, most Transit Connects are fleet, all chassis-cabs are fleet, and so on. Honda does not sell ANY of those kinds of vehicles here.

            can you please get out of the mindset that “fleet” automatically means “rental cars?”

        • 0 avatar
          philadlj

          GM’s 2016 fleet mix was 19.6%, down 2.4% from 2015. Not that detailed, but it’s something.

          gm.com/content/dam/gm/mol/docs/Deliveries-December-2016.pdf

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            JimZ
            You make a good point that there are fleet sales of trucks to businesses that are profitable, and then there is dumping your leftovers at Budget, which is not. I am just asking automakers break out there sales, so investors can understand whether they are high quality or not.

            All I have to go on for rental car fleet sales is my own experience at Hertz, where I’ve mostly seen Toyota, Hyundai/Kia, FCA and Mazda. Occasionally Ford or Chevy.

        • 0 avatar
          jjster6

          Ask and ye shall receive. Go to gm.com –> Investors –> Sales –> Deliveries.

          or

          http://www.gm.com/investors/sales/us-sales-production.html

          Click on the PDF for Deliveries

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    We’re at Peak Market, and now the incentives game will begin hurting vulnerable players like Mazda and BMW-Mini.

    FCA is being carried by Jeep and RAM, Acura is being carried by Honda, Lexus is being carried by Toyota. I suppose VW, GM, and Ford are cash-rich and can survive a modest downturn.

    • 0 avatar
      mike978

      Good points. Mazda has problems because even though their MSRPs are competitive they cannot put $4K on the hood like Honda or Toyota (or others) can. They need increased North American production so CE manufacturing in Japan then shipping over to here has got to be more expensive than making in say Ohio (like Honda).

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      Lexus is doing fine with their crossovers and the lower-priced FWD sedan, the ES; it’s their mid-upper RWD sedans (GS and LS) which are hurting.

      Acura’s problem is their sedans (even the TLX isn’t selling as well as Honda hoped and the ILX and RLX are unmitigated disasters).

  • avatar
    philadlj

    2009 Jeep Sales: 231,701
    2016 Jeep Sales: 926,376

    Yowza, that’s a lotta Jeeps!

  • avatar
    jthorner

    Very interesting. Jaguar, Land Rover and Volvo are all on very positive upswings. I remain skeptical of Ford’s decision to ditch them during the troubles. Volvos will soon be made in China for the US market. If priced aggressively in the US they could become a huge factor.

    For all the **** they take on TTAC, Fiat-Chrysler is holding its own during a huge market shift. Owning the Jeep brand when SUVs are hot has been a good ticket, and FCA hasn’t been afraid to offer bargain prices to keep the metal moving. How many people realize that FCA sold only 15% fewer vehicles than Ford did last year?

    Cadillac’s Extreme Makeover isn’t working, and isn’t going to.

    FCA should probably ditch either the Dodge or Chrysler nameplates and put all of their non-Jeep, non-truck products under one badge.

    Mazda’s inexorable slide into US market oblivion continues with little hope for the volumes necessary in their price band on the horizon. They might as well hire some ex-Suzuki people to manage their retreat.

    In a similar vein, why is Mitsubishi still in the US market?

    Honda is showing no signs of understanding how much trouble Acura is in and/or how to fix it. Move the TLX, MDX and RDX into Honda showrooms and call the experiment off. Lexus is really the only one that did it right.

    • 0 avatar
      Speed3

      I think Ford was right to ditch JLR, Volvo, and Aston Martin. They really needed to focus on the Ford brand and its served them good enough. Also, JLR and Volvo have really done well with better management.

      I think a big part of the sales figures for FCA is that they got called out on bogus reporting – you see that suddenly their amazing sales growth come to a halt when they had to report accurately. You are right. There really is no reason for the Chrysler brand, and any non-RWD Dodge. Keep the Dodge RWD vehicles as a boutique brand and consolidate everything else.

      Mitsubishi is still in the Market because Nissan acquired it. Also, Nissan is REALLY close to overtaking Honda in the sales race. Its almost a 3 way tie for 5th place.

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      Ford had no choice but to sell; they needed the cash badly and they were extremely fortunate to have hit the credit markets before they froze (GM and Chrysler were not so fortunate).

      Even then, Ford came very close to running out of cash (the C4C program really helped saved Ford).

    • 0 avatar
      87 Morgan

      We here on TTAC question why Acura is still around, yet Infiniti seems to get get a pass. Why is that?

      Both should should fold up their tents and move on IMHO.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Infiniti until recently didn’t carbon copy it’s base parent’s models and add better materials.

        • 0 avatar
          bd2

          True that, but Infiniti’s best sellers aside from the G/Q50 (which has always been a great value) have been the Nissan-derived JX/QX60 and QX56/QX80 of late.

          And now Infiniti is taking Mercedes components and giving them new sheetmetal with better interior materials.

          But yeah, at least Nissan still attempts to differentiate their luxury brand’s line-up (esp. if that new flagship “sedan” comes to fruition).

          As for Lexus, their “bread & butter” are their Toyota-derived models (RX, ES and NX, along with the GX.

          Lexus’s mid-high end RWD sedans (GS and LS) only did about 20k combined in sales (compare that to 110k in RX sales).

          Higher-end RWD luxury sedan sales are a tough go for anyone who isn’t German.

          • 0 avatar
            sportyaccordy

            Even the Germans are having a hard time. The only large luxury sedan doing numbers worth discussing is the benchmark S-Class. People want SUVs.

        • 0 avatar
          sportyaccordy

          Why is that a problem? Lexus’ 2 top sellers have applied that strategy successfully for 2 decades and counting. Average luxury shopper does not give a crap about bespoke platforms.

          Plus RLX aside Acura’s lineup makes good on the mission of delivering value. Compared to the Hondas they are based on the additional content is reasonably priced, and compared to the bespoke platform competition the content/$$$$ ratio is through the roof.

          Acura’s problem is one of image/branding. They’d be in a much better space selling Vigors and Legends instead of the indecipherable alphabet soup they have now. And it seems like they only get it right every other generation…. the early 90s were awesome, but the late 90s were abysmal. Mid aughts were excellent, late aughts were terrible. They seem to be back on a roll now.

          • 0 avatar
            bd2

            It is a problem if sales can’t support future investment.

            There’s a reason why Toyota has been so slow in bringing to market the LS460 replacement and why Akio Toyoda wanted to discontinue the GS (and why the GS and LS have lagged behind the competition when it has come to power-plants).

            Look at Infiniti – Nissan looked to partner up with Daimler in order to save in development costs, but as it turns out, that wasn’t the answer as Infiniti can’t command the higher prices that Mercedes-components derived Infinitis would require.

            And even with the turn to crossovers, Mercedes has done really well with the S Class and C Class the world over and likely will follow suit with the new E Class.

            And it’s even Mercedes’ AMG that is doing well (for instance, AMG outsold Porsche in Australia) and overall, MB crushed BMW down under and in other markets like Japan.

  • avatar
    Tstag

    If Jaguar added a couple more SUVs to their line up their sales might almost double….

    TATA got two luxury brands for less than the price of one. Bad business by Ford when you consider JLRs global business is growing even faster than the US arm in percentage terms.

  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    Looks like aluminum bodies and turbo engines have really hurt F Series sales.

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      the whole “turbo” fearmongering was stupid on its face. you’ll find at least one turbocharger under the hood of every single class 5-8 diesel truck.

      Every.
      Single.
      One.

      yet somehow, they’re supposed to be some fragile disaster waiting to happen if bolted to a gas engine in an F-150.

  • avatar
    stingray65

    Toyota beats Chevrolet for number 2 among brands – has that ever happened before? Lexus is only slightly below Buick and Cadillac combined – remind me again how GM is back?


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