The Truth About Cars » Sales http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Thu, 18 Dec 2014 19:02:27 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0.1 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars editors@ttac.com editors@ttac.com (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars » Sales http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/themes/ttac-theme/images/logo.gif http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/category/news-blog/sales/ Peak MKC? Lincoln’s MKC Sales Growth Finally Suspended In November http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/12/peak-mkc-lincolns-mkc-sales-growth-finally-suspended-november/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/12/peak-mkc-lincolns-mkc-sales-growth-finally-suspended-november/#comments Thu, 18 Dec 2014 13:30:15 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=962090 After increasing sales of the brand’s new Escape-related small crossover in five consecutive months, Lincoln MKC volume levelled off in November 2014 at 2152 units. This represents a 2% drop from the total achieved by the MKC in its best month, October, when 2197 were sold. America’s new vehicle market was 2% larger in November […]

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Lincoln MKCAfter increasing sales of the brand’s new Escape-related small crossover in five consecutive months, Lincoln MKC volume levelled off in November 2014 at 2152 units. This represents a 2% drop from the total achieved by the MKC in its best month, October, when 2197 were sold. America’s new vehicle market was 2% larger in November than it was during the prior month.

Have we therefore reached the MKC’s maximum monthly volume? Dealers have plenty of copies to sell: there was a 116-day supply at the beginning of November. 2150 sales per month would put the MKC in the same territory as the much larger and more costly Mercedes-Benz GL-Class, ahead of the smaller BMW X1 and also-ex-PAG Volvo XC60, but well back of class leaders like the Acura RDX, Audi Q5, Mercedes-Benz GLK, and BMW X3. This year, the latter four are generating 3610, 3443, 3013, and 2820 average monthly sales, respectively.

We don’t yet know how strong the full force of Lexus’s NX will be. The first 22 NXs were sold at the end of November. It’s also far too early to label the MKC as a hit or miss, regardless of what the mainstream media coverage of Matthew McConaughey advertisements said. (We fully expected to see more and more MKCs on the road as the launch took hold, and thus more Lincolns overall, regardless of whether it was marketed by McConaughey or Megan Mullally.) And if we were going to say the McConaughey ads worked, shouldn’t we now say they stopped working?

Of greater interest to the Ford Motor Company may be the MKC’s ability to generate a good deal extra volume even as the Ford Escape reports improved sales, as well. 2013 was a record sales year for the Escape, and after falling 3% through the first one-third of 2014, Escape sales have increased 7% over the last seven months, the time period in which the Lincoln MKC has been available.

Lincoln sales chartAs for the Lincoln brand itself, sales were up 21% to 8113 units in November 2014. Non-MKC volume was down 11%, however, as the Navigator’s 88% increase was more than offset by a 29% drop in car sales, the consistent decline of the MKT, and the gradual disappearance of the first-generation MKX, a vehicle which will soon be replaced.

Total Lincoln volume through the first eleven months of 2014 is up 15%, an 11,074-unit improvement. The MKC has added 10,767 of those extra sales. MKZ sales are up 6% to 31,373 units – the MKZ and MKS (down 26%) account for 46% of Lincoln’s year-to-date volume – and the MKX’s 4% improvement is accompanied by a 13% boost in Navigator volume.

Obviously the MKC is more than capable of bringing more buyers into Lincoln showrooms. Reigniting interesting in the brand’s other vehicles may be too great an ask. After recording year-over-year increases in 13 of the 14 months leading up to the MKC’s release, MKZ sales decreased in June, July, August, September, and October before falling to a 21-month low in November. Is the MKC stealing some sales from the Cadillac SRX? Perhaps. But it may be impacting the MKZ, as well, just as many a small crossover is disrupting many a midsize car.

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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The Ford Transit: America’s Best-Selling Commercial Van In November 2014 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/12/ford-transit-americas-best-selling-commercial-van-november-2014/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/12/ford-transit-americas-best-selling-commercial-van-november-2014/#comments Wed, 17 Dec 2014 13:21:54 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=961817 In November 2014, for the first time in its six-month North American existence, the full-size Ford Transit was America’s best-selling commercial van. A number of special circumstances made the Transit’s sudden rise to the top of the leaderboard possible, besides an increase in the number of available Transits and, yes, increased demand for the Transit […]

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2015 Ford TransitIn November 2014, for the first time in its six-month North American existence, the full-size Ford Transit was America’s best-selling commercial van.

A number of special circumstances made the Transit’s sudden rise to the top of the leaderboard possible, besides an increase in the number of available Transits and, yes, increased demand for the Transit itself.

First, sales of its predecessor, the traditional best-selling Ford E-Series, declined 59% from November 2013 to just 4151 units in November 2014. The E-Series’ decline was an anticipated one, but it had been averaging 7748 monthly sales over the Transit’s first five months.

Second, the Chevrolet Express slid 23% to just 4478 units. Had Express volume remained level – it’s up 3% year-to-date – at 5779 units, it would have clearly been the top seller for the fourth consecutive month. Sales of the Express’s twin, the GMC Savana, fell 53% to just 716 units.

Third, the attention typically generated by the Transit’s top-selling rivals was more divided than usual. Ram had its best ProMaster month in that van’s 14-month tenure with 3290 sales, 76% better than its previous best month. Mercedes-Benz Sprinter volume was up 26%.

U.S. commercial van sales chartFinally, the smaller quartet of vans, which for the first time included the Nissan NV200-based Chevrolet City Express, was up 36% to 5050 units, thereby grabbing 19.3% of the overall category, up from 14.9% a year ago.

Yet while the stars aligned for the Transit’s best-selling performance, we must expect that any Ford commercial van will become a dominant commercial van. Still, does the Transit have what it takes to pick up where the E-Series left off? The E-Series has been a massive seller for Ford in the United States, and even in this surprisingly fruitful month for the Transit, total full-size Ford commercial van sales slid 11%. Transit Connect included, Ford van sales were down 10%. The Transit has a long way to go if it’s to ever sell like the E-Series. The old van averaged 138,000 annual sales in the decade leading up to 2014.

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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Study: Only Five Countries Sold Over 10K PEVs In 2014 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/12/study-five-countries-sold-10k-pevs-2014/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/12/study-five-countries-sold-10k-pevs-2014/#comments Tue, 16 Dec 2014 14:00:17 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=961801 Plug-in vehicles may be doing well as of late in the sales game, but a study by The Research Capsule says their gameplay needs more work. According to AutoblogGreen, the group says only five countries have sold over 10,000 PEVs in 2014, which are likely the United States, China, Japan, Norway and France, respectively; the […]

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BMW_i3_–_Frontansicht,_14._September_2013,_Frankfurt

Plug-in vehicles may be doing well as of late in the sales game, but a study by The Research Capsule says their gameplay needs more work.

According to AutoblogGreen, the group says only five countries have sold over 10,000 PEVs in 2014, which are likely the United States, China, Japan, Norway and France, respectively; the report costs $7,000 for a site license, so AutoblogGreen relied on sales blog EV Sales for its information regarding those countries.

The one useful (free) information from the press release focuses on geographic distribution of overall PEV sales. For example, 50 percent of the 100,000-plus plug-ins sold through November in the United States are in California. Meanwhile, Norway adopts technology left and right, while Sweden is still trying to figure out how to flat-pack a PEV for sale at IKEA, with an appropriate all-caps Viking name to match.

As for when things may improve, The Research Capsule forecasts it would take 10 years or more for PEVs to go mainstream, and that only one country “will break 10 percent of all vehicle sales during the coming five years.” The forecast is an extrapolation of one made by the group regarding sales through 2017.

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Tesla’s Tanking U.S. Sales And The World Of Automakers Falsifying Sales Numbers http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/12/teslas-tanking-u-s-sales-world-automakers-falsifying-sales-numbers/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/12/teslas-tanking-u-s-sales-world-automakers-falsifying-sales-numbers/#comments Tue, 16 Dec 2014 13:00:55 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=958665 The auto journo world is in a tizzy because electric automaker Tesla refuses to post its car sales numbers on a monthly basis and the numbers they do divulge are suspicious as they are without detail and they vary widely from actual registration numbers. Our friends at Jalopnik ranted about it last week, calling on Tesla to start […]

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Teslas in a row Courtesy ibtimes.com

Tesla’s first fleet deal? Around 100 Model S’s were sold to a Las Vegas startup taxi service.

The auto journo world is in a tizzy because electric automaker Tesla refuses to post its car sales numbers on a monthly basis and the numbers they do divulge are suspicious as they are without detail and they vary widely from actual registration numbers. Our friends at Jalopnik ranted about it last week, calling on Tesla to start reporting sales consistently. They based their story on a report by Seeking Alpha that deduced that Tesla may have as many as 12,000 unsold Model S’s, based on registration figures and the automaker’s quarterly financial reports.

We say congratulations, Elon Musk, you truly are the head of an American car company now, as reporting bogus sales numbers to the press is a normal part of an automaker’s modus operandi. Auto manufacturers claiming they sold more cars than they actually did is nothing new.  Sales numbers in the US are based on those deliveries reported by dealers, not when the automakers wholesale the vehicles to the retailers as some believe. Carmaker execs at times may be motivated to look good to their bosses or shareholders or to outsell a rival. They will then pressure, coerce and bribe dealers with one-time cash incentives to have them report bogus sales at month or year-end, often to the dealer themselves as loaner or demonstrator cars.  The vehicles are never driven and then sold as new, ideally as quickly as possible as their warranty clocks are ticking. Dealers who do not comply are thus put in an unfavorable price disadvantage with competing same-brand stores.

The Japanese automakers pioneered this practice during the high-demand, low supply days. At American Honda from the 1970s to the early 1990s, dealers reported every unsold car as sold at the end of each month or they risked losing precious future allocations. Those were the days when every Honda dealership employee “bought” a dozen cars a year and then the dealer would turn to the white pages of the phone book to find more “buyers.” It is not an urban car legend that a California Honda dealer once sold Accords to customers named “Mickey Mouse” and “Donald Duck.”

In December 2012 BMW North America, in their zeal to beat Mercedes-Benz in the US, reported 37,399 vehicles sold, an amazing 69% higher than their 2012 average monthly sales rate, thus claiming the US luxury brand crown. That December the industry rose 21% over the 2012 average due to it being the heaviest incentive month of the year and this no doubt contributed to the rise in Bimmer sales. However, BMW dealers that I spoke with in January 2013 complained that half of their inventory had been reported as sold in December.  BMW got tons of pub for beating Benz but few noticed that when actual registration numbers came out a few months later it was revealed that Mercedes-Benz outsold BMW for 2012. Incredibly, in one of the few occasions where the media sniffed out this practice, the Wall Street Journal had reported about BMW’s shady sales numbers just months before.

It was one thing to report cars sold as loaners or demonstrators under the direction  of the factory; it is another to do report ghost sales when your dealership needs the incentive cash to stay afloat. We covered the story of a South Carolina Suzuki dealer who was convicted of fraud earlier this year for doing just that. It probably did not help his case that he was also convicted of a cornucopia of illegal advertising and finance practices.

As far as Tesla sales this year, here are the facts as near as we can determine: Automotive News has estimated Tesla’s reported sales in the US through October were 19,530 units. Actual registration numbers for the same period were 11,731 cars, a full 40% below the sales figures.  Further, these registration figures show Tesla off 22% from the same period in 2013.  Other sources have pegged the drop off at 26% this year.  This may explain why Tesla may be dabbling in the fleet market for the first time, as pictured above.

Elon Musk responded to these reports by saying they are selling every car they build and his team issued a response saying that don’t report monthly sales because, “the media tends to read all sorts of nonsense into deliveries.” They also pointed out that a car could be sold one month and not registered until the next. Why, yes, just like every other automaker.

 

Elon Musk Courtesy static1.businessinsider.com

If GM or Ford stopped reporting monthly sales and started spewing such drivel, the press would vilify them but the rules are different for Musk.  If he told the media that Tesla sold 200,000 cars one month, outsold all the other luxury carmakers combined and that he personally just got back from Mars, the slobbering press would not question him and resultant news stories would send Tesla stock into orbit.

Don’t get us wrong. We think that a new auto company selling 15,000 high dollar electric cars annually in the US through a unique, direct sales channel is an incredible accomplishment.

The Tesla Model S is one of the most innovative cars available today and Musk is one of this century’s greatest entrepreneurs, not to mention an amazing PR man. Who cares if can’t tell us the truth about how many cars his company sells?

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Honda Civic Sales Are Steadily Declining; Corolla’s Rising http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/12/honda-civic-sales-steadily-declining-corollas-rising/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/12/honda-civic-sales-steadily-declining-corollas-rising/#comments Tue, 16 Dec 2014 12:42:42 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=961385 American Honda’s Civic posted decreased sales volume in each of the last five months. After claiming the title of America’s best-selling small car in two consecutive years, it’s highly unlikely that the Civic will be able to catch the Toyota Corolla with just one month of sales reporting remaining in calendar year 2014. U.S. Civic […]

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2015 Honda Civic American Honda’s Civic posted decreased sales volume in each of the last five months. After claiming the title of America’s best-selling small car in two consecutive years, it’s highly unlikely that the Civic will be able to catch the Toyota Corolla with just one month of sales reporting remaining in calendar year 2014.

U.S. Civic sales through the first six months of 2014 increased 5% compared with the same period one year earlier. While the Civic trailed the Corolla at the halfway point in 2014, that second-place status was actually in keeping with the results from 2013, a year in which Honda’s compact sedan and coupe ended 34,000 sales ahead of the venerable Toyota compact. (Note: Corolla sales reported by Toyota USA always include the Matrix.)

But from July 2014 onward, the Civic did not prove capable of matching 2013’s impressive second-half sales rate, a period which saw Honda generate 53% of its 2013 Civic volume, sufficient for Honda to post the highest level of Civic sales since 2008.

July volume in 2014 slid 7% before August’s 14% plunge, September’s 3% dip, and 12% declines in both October and November. In the July-November period of 2013, Honda sold 148,476 Civics in the United States, but that figure dropped by nearly 15,000 units to 133,547 in 2014.

We can’t deny the impact of outside forces. The traditional top-selling car in America, the Corolla, was redesigned more recently than the Civic. (Corolla volume has increased in seven of the last eight months.) Manufacturers are always working to strike the right balance between chasing volume (with incentives, for example) and protecting long-term profits (by linking OTD prices more closely with MSRPs.) Honda is also well-known for generating the lion’s share of its volume from retail customers.

Honda Civic sales chartYet any dismay over the Civic’s recent decline can cause us to forget the fact that it’s still a wildly popular car, just not as popular as it was a year ago. Through the end of November, Honda topped the 300,000-unit barrier for the third consecutive year and for the seventh time in the last decade. It’s America’s second-best-selling small car by a wide margin, leading the Chevrolet Cruze by more than 45,000 units.

Meanwhile, north of the border, the Civic has secured a 17th consecutive victory as Canada’s best-selling car overall and will report in 2014 the nameplate’s best year since 2008. Back in the U.S., Honda’s good news is plentiful, though it’s not necessarily Civic-related. The CR-V outsold all utility vehicles and all cars in November 2014. The Accord, up 7% through the first eleven months of 2014, was America’s best-selling car in August and September.

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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Volvo Entering Digital Sales, Limiting Show Appearances http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/12/volvo-entering-digital-sales-limiting-show-appearances/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/12/volvo-entering-digital-sales-limiting-show-appearances/#comments Tue, 16 Dec 2014 11:00:20 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=961729 Volvo may not be ready to directly sell its models to the public in the same way Tesla does, but the automaker is ready for online orders. Reuters reports Volvo will gently wade into Internet sales around the globe, and increase spending on digital advertising, though consumers will still need to visit their nearest dealer […]

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2015-Volvo-V60-R-Design-main

Volvo may not be ready to directly sell its models to the public in the same way Tesla does, but the automaker is ready for online orders.

Reuters reports Volvo will gently wade into Internet sales around the globe, and increase spending on digital advertising, though consumers will still need to visit their nearest dealer to complete the transaction for now, per sales boss Alain Visser. He adds that around 80 percent of the automaker’s base are already well-versed in online shopping, and believes the habit will transfer into cars soon enough.

Just as Volvo adjusts its backwards cap and velcro sneakers before rolling out onto the information superhighway upon its magic keyboard, however, the automaker will not be attending as many auto shows as it once did. Instead, it will hit a single show per year in Asia, Europe and North America — specifically, Shanghai/Beijing, Geneva and Detroit — preferring to produce its own annual global event for the latest and greatest.

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Surprise: The New Ford Mustang Is A Hot Ticket http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/12/surprise-new-ford-mustang-hot-ticket/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/12/surprise-new-ford-mustang-hot-ticket/#comments Mon, 15 Dec 2014 13:09:51 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=960753 Ford reported in November 2014 the largest number of Mustangs sold in any November since 2006. With 8278 sold last month, year-over-year Mustang volume jumped 62%. It was also the best month for the Mustang since May of this year, when monthly U.S. Mustang volume jumped beyond 9000 units for just the third time in […]

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2015 ford mustang at factoryFord reported in November 2014 the largest number of Mustangs sold in any November since 2006. With 8278 sold last month, year-over-year Mustang volume jumped 62%.

It was also the best month for the Mustang since May of this year, when monthly U.S. Mustang volume jumped beyond 9000 units for just the third time in 23 months.

Yet, “best since 2006,” doesn’t sound nearly as good to the Mustang fan base as, “nearly twice as popular as Camaro,” does it?

Although sales of the Chevrolet Camaro are up 5% through the first eleven months of 2014 and will rise beyond 80,000 units for the fifth consecutive year, Camaro volume slid 13% in November as the Mustang’s big gains were accompanied by a 51% Dodge Challenger sales increase.

2014 looks to be the Camaro’s year again – the Mustang hasn’t outsold the Camaro since 2009 – as the Ford would need to outsell the Chevrolet by nearly 6600 units in December to top the year-end standings.

Auto
November
2014
November
2013
%
Change
11 mos.
2014
11 mos.
2013
%
Change
Chevrolet Camaro
4,385 5,068 -13.5% 79,669 75,552 5.4%
Dodge Challenger
4,157 2,757 50.8% 46,673 48,590 -3.9%
Ford Mustang
8,728 5,376 62.4% 73,124 71,459 2.3%
Total
17,270
13,201 30.8% 199,466 195,601 2.0%

The Camaro’s 13% November decline resulted in 4385 sales, just 228 more than the Challenger managed. The Mustang didn’t quite double up the Camaro’s total – the Ford’s sales were only 89% stronger than the Chevrolet’s.

But the conclusion, a predictable one, is obvious: a brand-new new sixth-generation Mustang was wildly more popular than a fifth-generation Camaro that’s been around since 2009. Inevitably, the Mustang is a hot ticket: Ford says Mustangs spent an average of just eight days on dealer lots in November 2014. It’s currently America’s 29th-best-selling car. The Camaro ranks 26th.

And what about those eight-year-old figures? Ford sold 10,230 Mustangs in November 2006, a 7% decline from the 11,030 sold in November 2005. Oh, the blissful state of going it alone. The Camaro and Challenger were nonexistent back then.

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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November 2014 Was The Dodge Dart’s Best Month Ever http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/12/november-2014-dodge-darts-best-month-ever/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/12/november-2014-dodge-darts-best-month-ever/#comments Sun, 14 Dec 2014 13:36:13 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=960497 The Chrysler Group reported the Dodge Dart’s best-ever sales month in November 2014 as year-over-year volume jumped 39% to 9012 units. This was the first time Dart volume climbed beyond 9000 units in a single month. The previous top month for this modern incarnation of the Dart was May of this year, when 8644 were […]

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2015 Dodge DartThe Chrysler Group reported the Dodge Dart’s best-ever sales month in November 2014 as year-over-year volume jumped 39% to 9012 units.

This was the first time Dart volume climbed beyond 9000 units in a single month. The previous top month for this modern incarnation of the Dart was May of this year, when 8644 were sold.

Yet at best, a best-ever month from the Dart still represents nothing more than a mid-pack performance.

Toyota sold 2.8 Corollas for every Dart sold by Dodge in November. (Year-to-date, Corolla volume is four times stronger.) The Honda Civic and Chevrolet Cruze both sold more than twice as many copies as the Dart did last month. By large margins, the Dart was also outsold by the Volkswagen Jetta, Ford Focus, Hyundai Elantra, and Nissan Sentra.

Through the first eleven months of 2014, Dart volume is down 1% compared with the same period one year ago. However, the trend has been much more favourable since the beginning of May. Over the last seven months, year-over-year Dart volume is up 17%, an 8K-unit gain.

The Dart’s November performance was especially strong in a particularly healthy month for the compact car segment as a whole. Sales of Corolla-class cars are up just 3% this year but jumped 8% in November thanks in large part to big gains from the Corolla (up 14%, equal to 3175 units), Chevrolet Cruze (up 26%, 4657 units), Volkswagen Jetta sedan (up 32%, 3440 units), and the Dart. Nissan Sentra sales jumped 16% and the Kia Forte was up 14% for a combined 2490-unit improvement.

As for its impact on the overall Chrysler Group, the Dart generated 5.3% of Alfa/Chrysler/Dodge/Fiat/Jeep/Ram sales in November of this year, up from 4.6% in November 2013. Chrysler says their four car-selling brands generated a combined 26% year-over-year car improvement last month, although pickup trucks, SUVs, crossovers, and minivans still accounted for 76% of the company’s total volume.

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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Lower Fuel Prices Not Slowing U.S. Car Sales At BMW http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/12/lower-fuel-prices-not-slowing-u-s-car-sales-bmw/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/12/lower-fuel-prices-not-slowing-u-s-car-sales-bmw/#comments Sat, 13 Dec 2014 13:01:10 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=958529 Passenger car sales in the United States are up just 1% as the overall industry has grown more than 5% through the first eleven months of 2014. America’s two best-selling premium brands, however, are enjoying more encouraging passenger car numbers in 2014. Quickly decreasing fuel prices are not, as of yet, slowing car volume at BMW […]

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Mercedes-Benz BMW USA sales chartPassenger car sales in the United States are up just 1% as the overall industry has grown more than 5% through the first eleven months of 2014. America’s two best-selling premium brands, however, are enjoying more encouraging passenger car numbers in 2014. Quickly decreasing fuel prices are not, as of yet, slowing car volume at BMW in the least.

BMW car sales are up 12% through the first eleven months of 2014 on the strength of the 3-Series and 4-Series, which account for more than six out of every ten BMW passenger car sales. As the chart’s red line shows, the percentage of BMW’s volume generated by cars was as low as 59% in March, as high as 77% in July and 76% in October, but slid back somewhat to 67% in November.

Mercedes-Benz car volume is up 4.4% this year, although the brand’s cars tumbled 18% in October and 7% in November. Again, as the chart shows in the green line, Mercedes-Benz’s SUVs and crossovers accounted for 36% of non-Sprinter Mercedes-Benz volume in March, a figure which rose as high as 38% in May and 39% in October but fell to 37% in November.

We were clear about the reasoning behind charts like this a week ago, so we won’t go into the justification for displaying figures like these again. Are fuel prices a factor in pushing luxury SUV/crossover sales upward? Perhaps, but the numbers for these two top-selling luxury brands manifest little change.

And there are other contributing factors. Mercedes-Benz now sells their most affordable crossover, the GLA, which didn’t go on sale until September, and the new C-Class is only just beginning to play a role. Meanwhile, X6 volume dried up in August, September, and October as BMW USA waited for the new model to arrive.

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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November 2014: The Worst Sales Month For The Chevrolet SS Ever http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/12/november-2014-worst-sales-month-chevrolet-ss-ever/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/12/november-2014-worst-sales-month-chevrolet-ss-ever/#comments Thu, 11 Dec 2014 14:41:13 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=958489 November 2014 U.S. sales of the Chevrolet SS fell to the lowest full-month total in the model’s 13-month history with General Motors reporting just 105 units. SS volume peaked at 350 units in March of this year. Last November, in the SS’s first full month, 178 were sold. Year-over-year, SS sales slid 41% twelve months later. […]

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2015 Chevrolet SS redNovember 2014 U.S. sales of the Chevrolet SS fell to the lowest full-month total in the model’s 13-month history with General Motors reporting just 105 units.

SS volume peaked at 350 units in March of this year. Last November, in the SS’s first full month, 178 were sold. Year-over-year, SS sales slid 41% twelve months later.

We knew the SS would be a rare car as it’s basically a competitor for the lower-volume V8-engined versions of Chrysler Group’s two big cars, the Dodge Charger and Chrysler 300. (Sales for those cars aren’t reported by specific trim lines. Cars.com’s inventory shows 13,349 Chargers in stock at dealers now. 4711 of those Chargers are fitted with V8 engines. A smaller percentage of those V8 cars are SRT models.)

Chevrolet SS sales chartBut it wasn’t supposed to be this rare. According to Automotive News, GM dealers had around 800 SS sedans in stock at the beginning of November.

By the standards of rare cars, the SS is frighteningly exclusive. It was outsold in November by cars like the Honda CR-Z, Mercedes-Benz’s electric B-Class, Nissan Cube, Volvo S80, BMW i8, Nissan GT-R, Volkswagen e-Golf, and the Cadillac ELR.

Yes, even by the standards of rare GM products, the SS is dangerously approaching near nonexistence. The ELR has outsold the SS in three of the last four months; tying the Chevy with 111 sales in September. Speaking of the SS nomenclature, the SSR convertible/truck/thing, in its best years, generated 9648, 8107, and 3803 sales. Chevrolet will struggle to top 2500 sales with the SS in 2014.

Nevertheless, this isn’t just a failure by General Motors to keep the (admittedly tepid) enthusiasm alive after a first half in which 1662 SSs were sold. It’s also a sign that American car buyers may have moved on.

Surely this $45,000 sedan could have performed better in a different time, in an era when $50,000 didn’t buy a Porsche SUV, when $33,000 didn’t buy a Mustang with more horsepower, when the 38,433 buyers who wanted a rear-wheel-drive Holden sedan hadn’t already bought their Pontiac G8. Surely it would have. Probably. Maybe. Perhaps?

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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Surging Small Luxury SUVs Aren’t The Major Players Yet http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/12/surging-small-luxury-suvs-arent-major-players-yet/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/12/surging-small-luxury-suvs-arent-major-players-yet/#comments Wed, 10 Dec 2014 13:34:06 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=957530 The rise of the small luxury crossover is undeniable, not just based on the most recent evidence available. U.S. sales of premium brand small utility vehicles rose 17.9% to 23,776 units in November 2014, an increase of 3615 units compared with November 2013. Much of that improvement was powered by the smallest of small luxury […]

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2015 Lexus NXThe rise of the small luxury crossover is undeniable, not just based on the most recent evidence available. U.S. sales of premium brand small utility vehicles rose 17.9% to 23,776 units in November 2014, an increase of 3615 units compared with November 2013. Much of that improvement was powered by the smallest of small luxury brand crossovers: the Audi Q3, BMW X1, and Mercedes-Benz GLA, sales of which grew to 4963 units from the 2364 generated by the X1 a year ago.

Up a notch in size/price/prestige, the Acura RDX-led category (which was topped by the Audi Q5 in each of the last three months) was up just 5.7% in November 2014, not hugely superior to the gains made by the overall industry, which rose 4.6%. But this class of SUV/crossover is up 17.8% over the span of the last eleven months. Combined with the aforementioned trio of underlings, they’ve grown 17.7% to 222,844 units.

Clearly, this is a growth market with untapped potential. These are the ess-you-vees of tomorrow, despite lacking (for the most part) off-road credentials, significant ride height, or superior utility compared with conventional, nearly nonexistent small wagons.

Skewed by the freshness of the small luxury crossover idea and the inherent eye-catching nature of new product entrants, your eyes tell you that these vehicles are popping up on every street corner with alarming frequency, but their four top-selling big brothers are still selling more often.

More often than all the small luxury crossovers combined. In November, the Mercedes-Benz M-Class enjoyed its best month since December 2011 with 5190 sales, 1006 more than the figure generated by the top-selling small luxury crossover, the Audi Q5. But the M-Class was by no means the top-selling premium brand utility vehicle. Acura sold 5210 copies of their MDX. Lexus, during a month in which the NX debuted with its first late-in-the-month 22 sales, sold 9592 RXs in November. Throw in the BMW X5 and we have a total of 24,549 sales, 773 more than the total achieved by 15 different small luxury crossovers: RDX, Q3, Q5, X1, X3, X4, QX50, LR2, Evoque, NX, MKC, GLA, GLK, Macan, and XC60.

U.S. best-selling luxury suvs chartThrough the first eleven months of 2014, the larger quartet (up just 1% in November) is up 7.3% to 234,741 units. The smaller roster is up 17.7% to 222,844 units, powered forward by new additions like the Q3, X4, MKC, GLA, and Macan.

The long-established RX has historically not been much larger or much more expensive than the “traditional” small players – it’s only 5.2 inches longer than the Audi Q5 and its base price is only 5.3% higher at this moment – but it offers far greater cargo capacity than the Audi. On the same note, the Cadillac SRX (which trailed the M-Class and X5 in November but leads both Germans through eleven months) is only a half-foot longer than the BMW X3. But the SRX comes standard with a 308-horsepower V6, while four-cylinder turbos are the norm in the smaller group.

Regardless of whether the dimensional differences are modest or massive, we have an established group which has slowed considerably and an ankle-biting group full of relative newbies capable of grabbing attention. The newcomers are surging, but they’re not yet as popular. Not nearly as popular, in fact, as we haven’t even taken into account a flock of extras which add a large number of sales to the larger institution. The Audi Q7, Infiniti QX60, Land Rover Range Rover Sport, Lexus GX, Lincoln MKX, and Porsche Cayenne combined for another 11,089 November sales.

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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Equifax Now Reporting On How Rejected Loans Perform http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/12/equifax-now-reporting-rejected-loans-perform/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/12/equifax-now-reporting-rejected-loans-perform/#comments Tue, 09 Dec 2014 22:59:13 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=957458   Credit Unions will now be able to follow up with applicants who were unable to procure loans, and see if they pursued credit at other institutions, thanks to a new service from Equifax. The new Lost Sales Analysis tool is designed to show credit unions which borrowers received loans from other institutions, and how […]

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Click here to view the embedded video.

 

Credit Unions will now be able to follow up with applicants who were unable to procure loans, and see if they pursued credit at other institutions, thanks to a new service from Equifax.

The new Lost Sales Analysis tool is designed to show credit unions which borrowers received loans from other institutions, and how they performed. Although no personal or identifying information is said to be divulged, it is detailed enough for financial institutions to identify whether the loan in question should have been approved or if it was indeed a risk that they were wise to avoid.

While the product is ostensibly pitched as a way to give credit unions a deeper look at their lending business, the implication seems to be “look at all the loans you didn’t make that could have been profitable – no matter how dreadful the credit score or the terms of the loan.

 

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Toyota Increasing Mirai Production To Meet Strengthening Demand http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/12/toyota-increasing-mirai-production-meet-strengthening-demand/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/12/toyota-increasing-mirai-production-meet-strengthening-demand/#comments Tue, 09 Dec 2014 14:00:14 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=957394 Its looks leave the B&B cold, and is powered by a fuel whose infrastructure leaves a lot to be desired. So, how popular could the Toyota Mirai possibly be? Better than you’d expect. Nikkei Asian Review reports Toyota will be investing ¥20 billion ($165 million USD) to triple local production in order to meet corporate […]

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Toyota Mirai in Red

Its looks leave the B&B cold, and is powered by a fuel whose infrastructure leaves a lot to be desired. So, how popular could the Toyota Mirai possibly be? Better than you’d expect.

Nikkei Asian Review reports Toyota will be investing ¥20 billion ($165 million USD) to triple local production in order to meet corporate and public-sector demand, which is likely to exceed the 700 units currently planned for assembly by the FCV’s showroom debut December 15.

The investment will allow for increased fuel stack and hydrogen tank production at its main factory in Toyota City, with upgrades planned at a nearby facility where final assembly of the Mirai is conducted. In turn, the move could spur on related investments in infrastructure and other products by interested companies.

Toyota expects to sell 400 Mirais in its home market by the end of 2015, with 3,000-plus moved in the United States by the same period in 2017, and around 50 to 100 in Europe in 2016. Exports to the U.S. and Europe are set to begin next summer.

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Cherokee Is Jeep’s Best Seller Three Months Running http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/12/cherokee-jeeps-best-seller-three-months-running/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/12/cherokee-jeeps-best-seller-three-months-running/#comments Mon, 08 Dec 2014 16:28:44 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=956922 In each of the last three months, the Cherokee has been the best-selling model at America’s fastest-growing volume brand. Jeep sales are up 44% in the United States through the first eleven months of 2014, an improvement of 191,895 units. Excluding the Cherokee, which wasn’t on sale until the fourth-quarter of 2013, Jeep sales are […]

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2014 Jeep Cherokee LimitedIn each of the last three months, the Cherokee has been the best-selling model at America’s fastest-growing volume brand. Jeep sales are up 44% in the United States through the first eleven months of 2014, an improvement of 191,895 units.

Excluding the Cherokee, which wasn’t on sale until the fourth-quarter of 2013, Jeep sales are still up 10% in 2014 and 15% in November. Those Cherokee-less increases still far outpace the auto industry as a whole, which is up a little more than 5% this year; a little less than 5% in November.

Yet even before Jeep once again broadens its lineup with the subcompact Renegade, the Cherokee helped power the brand to new heights. The Jeep brand last topped the 500,000 mark in calendar year 1999. Jeep sold 629,074 utility vehicles during the first eleven months of 2014.

During the September-to-November period, however, the Cherokee’s importance was revealed with greater clarity. It led all Jeeps with 14,639 sales in September, equal to 26.5% of the brand’s total. In October, the Cherokee accounted for 28.5%, or 15,715, of Jeep’s 55,198 sales. Last month, the Cherokee rose to fifth place in overall SUV/crossover rankings with 16,945 sales, 29.5% of all Jeep sales.

So far this year, the Cherokee ranks third in Jeep sales with 160,793 units, behind the Grand Cherokee’s 166,610 units and the Wrangler’s 161,325. Grand Cherokee volume is up 6%; Wrangler sales are up 12%. Jeep sold 84,028 Patriots, a 21% increase, over the first eleven months of 2014. Compass sales are up 14% to 56,318. 33% of FCA’s U.S. sales are Jeep-derived this year, up from 27% in 2013. Jeep was the company’s top-selling brand every month this year except for February and March.

Together, the Jeep brand and Dodge’s Durango and Journey generated 772,504 SUV/crossover sales through the end of November 2014. That’s well ahead of Ford/Lincoln’s 681,670; well back of GM’s 896,371.

As for specific models, six specific SUV/crossover nameplates outsell the leading Jeep. Eight different utilities, including two Jeeps, outsell the Cherokee. For every Cherokee sold this year, Honda sells 1.9 CR-Vs. Keep in mind, however, that the CR-V is yet to be challenged in Honda’s own showrooms by the HR-V. The Cherokee, Patriot, and Compass combined for 301,139 sales through the end of November, very nearly on par with the CR-V’s 302,650-unit total. Then again, when Honda begins selling HR-Vs, Jeep will be marketing Renegades, as well.

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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America’s 10 Best-Selling SUVs & Crossovers In November 2014 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/12/americas-10-best-selling-suvs-crossovers-november-2014/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/12/americas-10-best-selling-suvs-crossovers-november-2014/#comments Sun, 07 Dec 2014 13:37:29 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=955794 If ever there was a month to highlight the popularity of America’s best-selling SUVs and crossovers, November 2014 is it. The Honda CR-V, the top-ranked utility vehicle in each of the last three months, didn’t just outsell all SUV and crossover nameplates, it outsold all passenger car nameplates, as well. CR-V sales improved by 8869 […]

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2014 JEep CherokeeIf ever there was a month to highlight the popularity of America’s best-selling SUVs and crossovers, November 2014 is it. The Honda CR-V, the top-ranked utility vehicle in each of the last three months, didn’t just outsell all SUV and crossover nameplates, it outsold all passenger car nameplates, as well.

CR-V sales improved by 8869 units as the four cars which sold more often one year ago – Camry, Accord, Civic, Altima – all registered fewer sales this November than last, combining for 8359 fewer total sales. During a month in which passenger car sales held steady, utility vehicle sales jumped 9.5%.

The CR-V was by no means the only popular utility vehicle to post major gains in November 2014. All of the ten top sellers shown here (indeed, all 14 top-selling SUVs and crossovers) reported increased volume, year-over-year. The second-ranked Ford Escape was up 22%. Jeep’s Cherokee, still new at this time a year ago, was up 67% in November 2014. Nissan Rogue volume jumped 44%.

Rank
SUV/Crossover
Nov.
2014
Nov.
2013
%
Change
11 mos.
2014
11 mos.
2013
%
Change
#1
 Honda CR-V 32,378 23,509 37.7% 302,650 275,145 10.0%
#2
 Ford Escape 25,528 20,988 21.6% 280,609 271,531 3.3%
#3
 Toyota RAV4  21,108 19,447 8.5% 244,701 197,279 24.0%
#4
 Chevrolet Equinox  18,536 18,397 0.8% 220,944 220,980 -0.02%
#5
 Jeep Cherokee  16,945 10,169 66.6% 160,793 10,748 1,396%
#6
 Ford Explorer  16,382 14,268 14.8% 191,530 175,490 9.1%
#7
 Jeep Grand Cherokee  15,307 14,798 3.4% 166,610 157,758 5.6%
#8
 Nissan Rogue  15,067 10,487 43.7% 184,320 148,075 24.5%
#9
 Subaru Forester 13,879 13,410 3.5% 144,790 110,363 31.2%
#10
 Jeep Wrangler  13,592 11,753 15.6% 161,325 143,474 12.4%

For this KL Cherokee, November’s fifth-place result was its best finish since arriving in North America more than a year ago. This was also the third consecutive month in which the Cherokee was Jeep’s best-selling model. For the ninth consecutive month, there were three Jeeps in the top ten.

After sitting in the tenth spot in each of the previous six months, the Subaru Forester’s move up to ninth came as year-over-year volume increased 3.5%. The Forester is Subaru’s best-selling model through the first 11 months of 2014, but not in November. For those who see the Outback as an SUV of some kind and not a wagon, its 14,128 November sales would have placed it ninth, knocking the Forester down to the tenth spot. Perhaps the Outback is simply the true crossover, capable of competing in one category or another, not unlike Kemba Walker’s ability to cross over to the right, then the left, then the right, before pulling up and nailing the three.

Click here to view the embedded video.

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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Chart Of The Day: U.S. Auto Market Share – November 2014 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/12/chart-day-u-s-auto-market-share-november-2014/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/12/chart-day-u-s-auto-market-share-november-2014/#comments Sat, 06 Dec 2014 12:59:59 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=955762 Compared with the previous month, November 2014 saw smaller automakers pick up market share at the expense of America’s largest automobile manufacturers. General Motors and Ford Motor Company combined to lose nearly a full percentage point in November even as the Volkswagen Group, Subaru, and Daimler AG combined to equal that in terms of gains.  […]

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Auto brand market share chartCompared with the previous month, November 2014 saw smaller automakers pick up market share at the expense of America’s largest automobile manufacturers. General Motors and Ford Motor Company combined to lose nearly a full percentage point in November even as the Volkswagen Group, Subaru, and Daimler AG combined to equal that in terms of gains. 

Year-over-year, Volkswagen brand sales have now increased in two consecutive months, a distinct turnaround after 18 consecutive months of decline. Of course, sales at the VW brand are really up (+3% YOY) because they were down. Compared with November 2012, sales last month were off 14%. Volkswagen was America’s 14th-best-selling auto brand in November 2014, up from 15th in November 2013 but down from ninth in November 2012. 2.4% of the new vehicles sold in the United States in November of this year were Volkswagen products. Audi chimed in with another 1.3%, up from 1.1% a year earlier.

Long-term gains in 2014 don’t belong to Volkswagen of America, of course, nor do large sales volumes. On the other hand, FCA’s wide-ranging family of brands – Alfa Romeo, Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat, Jeep, Maserati, and Ram – have produced 12.7% of America’s new vehicle sales during the first eleven months of 2014, up from 11.6% during the equivalent period one year ago. Alfa sold their first 24 4Cs in November; Maserati sold 11,531 cars between January and November of this year. This month’s chart reflects the input of those two brands, having in previous months only taken Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram, and Fiat into account.

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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Question Of The Day: Are Small Crossovers Stealing Midsize Sales Because Of Fuel Prices? http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/12/question-day-small-crossovers-stealing-midsize-sales-fuel-prices/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/12/question-day-small-crossovers-stealing-midsize-sales-fuel-prices/#comments Fri, 05 Dec 2014 13:07:05 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=955602 After climbing above $3.50/gallon for much of the spring, the average U.S. retail price for regular gasoline began to decline in mid-July before rapidly plunging throughout the fall of 2014, sliding to around $2.70/gallon by the beginning of December. Have consumer tendencies been altered as a result? We’re not on a mission to suggest they […]

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2015 honda cr-vAfter climbing above $3.50/gallon for much of the spring, the average U.S. retail price for regular gasoline began to decline in mid-July before rapidly plunging throughout the fall of 2014, sliding to around $2.70/gallon by the beginning of December.

Have consumer tendencies been altered as a result?

We’re not on a mission to suggest they have, nor is our aim to support the belief that they haven’t. Any change would be both slight and gradual, and not without other possible causes. (Indeed, if it is slight, it means the vast majority of buyers aren’t changing their ways at all.) But if there is a band of consumers which makes new vehicle purchase decisions based on a brief period of less costly fuel, how many consumers are in such a band, and how different is the new track they follow?

One-month snapshots don’t tell a full story. An examination of long forgotten history won’t answer the immediate question, either: is the current price decline changing consumer behaviour?

Sure, consumers aren’t buying full-size SUVs like they used to, but showcasing that trend in a chart that’s full of other moving parts ignores a multitude of other social, economic, and technological changes which will interfere with our ability to spot recent changes. We want to reduce, not increase, the number of variables.

If our goal is to determine what, if any, changes are made by the buying public as a result of this recent fuel price dive, one surefire way to reduce variables is to examine consumer behaviour only during this recent fuel price dive. This way, our figures will not be skewed as severely by automaker bankruptcies, government-infused purchase incentives, variances in the number of offerings, or major changes to specific high-volume vehicle lines.

Do buyers reconsider the type of vehicle they’ll pay for over the next three or six or eight years based on the price of fuel over the span of four or five months? We’ll attempt to find the collective consumer response to that question by looking at the overall share of the U.S. auto industry gleaned by different vehicle types, but we’ll remember that this is only one factor: out-the-door pricing, recalls, our culture’s constantly revamped palate, and significant product introductions play vital roles, as well.

One chart won’t sufficiently display all the information we wish to make manifest – this will be an ongoing process. The mission TTAC’s Managing Editor set out for these charts is to track. Not to reach a conclusion. Not to build a case. But to track. Together, we’ll discover that which is worth examining on a deeper level, or if anything at all warrants such an examination.

TTAC COTD Midsize Cars vs Small CrossoversFirst up, the Honda CR-V-led small crossover segment and the Toyota Camry-controlled midsize car class. With the CR-V having just outsold every passenger car nameplate on its way to ending November as America’s fourth-best-selling vehicle, this seemed like a fair place to start our journey. Yet the extent to which fuel prices play a role in this discussion at all is up for debate, as one key reason leading to increased small crossover popularity is believed to be fuel efficiency, which doesn’t go hand in hand with a reckless disregard for the price of fuel.

The fact that today’s chart shows small crossovers outselling midsize cars is all but a moot point. After all, by reorganizing vehicle classifications to suit your preferences – we did the math with the 15 core midsize car nameplates and 19 core small crossovers and did not include subcompact utilities like the Buick Encore – you could rejig the numbers slightly. This isn’t about the totals, however, but the trend, where one grey line has steadily risen by claiming more and more U.S. market share. And while the cause of the shift is debatable, the trend itself is not.

Could midsize buyers be heading elsewhere? Of course. We’re not implying that a few thousand potential midsize buyers, without exception, all opted to buy a small utility vehicle instead. Nevertheless, it’s worth pointing out that the share of the market owned by compact cars has decreased from 14.5% in March to 13.7% in November, while larger and more costly volume brand cars have seen their share of the overall industry fall to 3.2% in November from 3.6% in March.

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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Nair: Ford Hard At Work On F-150 Hybrid http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/12/nair-ford-hard-work-f-150-hybrid/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/12/nair-ford-hard-work-f-150-hybrid/#comments Fri, 05 Dec 2014 12:00:03 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=955650 Losing 700 pounds may not be enough in the fuel economy for the 2015 Ford F-150, as plans are being made to add hybridization to the mix. Detroit Free Press reports global product development boss Raj Nair stated the automaker was “working very hard” on the hybrid system for the F-150, but that it was […]

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2015 Ford F-150

Losing 700 pounds may not be enough in the fuel economy for the 2015 Ford F-150, as plans are being made to add hybridization to the mix.

Detroit Free Press reports global product development boss Raj Nair stated the automaker was “working very hard” on the hybrid system for the F-150, but that it was too soon to go into detail on when it would hit showrooms or how the system functioned.

Regarding diesel, Nair said that fuel prices — already falling below $2/gallon in a few spots in the United States — are making such a thing tough to bring about, that even a hybrid system would pay for itself long before a diesel F-150 could. That said, if the demand is there, Nair believes Ford could tap into its diesel portfolio to make that model happen.

Speaking of fuel prices, truck marketing chief Doug Scott said he didn’t think sales of EcoBoost models would be dampened by cheap fuel, citing customers’ choice to buy an EcoBoost F-150 for the performance as well as fuel economy.

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November 2014 Scion Sales Hit 34-Month Low, 18 Consecutive Months Of Decline http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/12/november-2014-scion-sales-hit-34-month-low-18-months-decline/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/12/november-2014-scion-sales-hit-34-month-low-18-months-decline/#comments Thu, 04 Dec 2014 14:00:37 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=955137 For the 18th consecutive month, the Scion brand’s U.S. volume declined in November 2014. The streak has reached a special low point, however, with the worst percentage decline since June and the lowest sales total since January 2012, when the iQ had only just arrived and the FR-S wasn’t yet on sale. We’re long past […]

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Scion brand sales chart 2014For the 18th consecutive month, the Scion brand’s U.S. volume declined in November 2014. The streak has reached a special low point, however, with the worst percentage decline since June and the lowest sales total since January 2012, when the iQ had only just arrived and the FR-S wasn’t yet on sale.

We’re long past expecting Scion to be capable of selling 14,400 cars a month as they did when the brand peaked in 2006. In 2012, Scion sold an average 6125 cars per month, an average which climbed to nearly 6700 monthly sales in the final seven months of that year.

But with just 3907 November 2014 sales, a 21.4% drop compared with November 2013 and a 30.3% decline compared with November 2012, the brand’s 18-month streak has tumbled to new lows.

Only in June of this year, when Scion sales slid 27.3%, or 1728 units, has the monthly decline been more drastic. As in June, the Scion brand’s November decline was sharper than any other automaker’s. But for a number of November’s declining brands, recent history suggests that last month’s results aren’t in keeping with the overall trend.

Land Rover, for instance, was down 20.6%, yet Land Rover sales are up 3.3% this year. Smart volume plunged 15%, but Smart sales are actually up 12.7% this year. Infiniti volume was down 13.3%, but Infiniti volume is up 2% in 2014. Volvo was down 14.4%, but they’re hoping, somewhat reasonably, that the second-generation XC90 is the brand’s saviour in North America.

2014 Scion iM conceptThe XC90’s pedigree and potential are unquestionable: it’s a vehicle that in 2004 sold nearly 40,000 copies for a brand which currently needs nine months to achieve that total across all nameplates. At Scion, are we to believe that the iM is the car that will restore the brand’s fortunes?

Scion initially rocketed to impressive heights with very small, very space-efficient vehicles like the first xB, a 28-mpg car that was bizarrely replaced by the 24-mpg second-gen xB. They sold 61,306 of those first-gen xBs in 2006. Scion’s whole product range – FR-S, tC, iQ, and slowly dying xB and xD – won’t top the 60K mark in 2014.

To put that figure into perspective, consider some of the brands which currently outsell Scion in the United States – Infiniti, Lincoln, Mitsubishi – all of which were roundly outsold by Scion in 2006, when Scion’s lineup featured only three nameplates.

Aging products are a problem. Post-hype, sports cars like the FR-S rarely prove capable of maintaining the early sales levels, nor are they expected to. But setting aside the core attributes that first made the automaker a success is perhaps Scion’s most egregious sin.

There is new product on its way, but a significant Scion rebound still seems unlikely. Fans can hope that new products will lift Scion out of its current situation, a situation which hardly seems tenable in the long-term.

Scion was America’s 28th-best-selling auto brand in November 2014, behind Mini and Porsche. Scion was responsible for just 2.1% of all Toyota MoCo sales last month, making less of an impact than 13 of the company’s nameplates, from the Camry, Corolla, and RAV4 to the Lexus ES, Avalon, and Lexus IS.

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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Cain’s Segments: Full-Size Trucks In November 2014 – GM Twins Outsell F-Series Again http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/12/cains-segments-full-size-trucks-november-2014-gm-twins-outsell-f-series/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/12/cains-segments-full-size-trucks-november-2014-gm-twins-outsell-f-series/#comments Wed, 03 Dec 2014 14:00:15 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=955089 Full-size pickup trucks generated 13.1% of all U.S. new vehicle sales in November 2014, up from 12.5% in November 2013 thanks to a 10% volume gain. That 10% segment-wide increase occurred despite a 10% decrease from America’s best-selling vehicle line, the Ford F-Series. New F-150s are arriving at dealers now, but overall F-Series volume will […]

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2015 GMC SierraFull-size pickup trucks generated 13.1% of all U.S. new vehicle sales in November 2014, up from 12.5% in November 2013 thanks to a 10% volume gain.

That 10% segment-wide increase occurred despite a 10% decrease from America’s best-selling vehicle line, the Ford F-Series. New F-150s are arriving at dealers now, but overall F-Series volume will be volatile for a few months as the aluminum F-150 takes over from the outgoing model.

The F-Series’ share of the full-size category slid from 42.2% in November 2013 to 34.6% last month.

GM and Chrysler Group’s Ram more than picked up the slack, while the Toyota Tundra and Nissan Titan stumbled. Chevrolet’s Silverado soared to its highest November total since 2006. GMC Sierra sales climbed to the highest November level ever. The same best-ever label can be applied to Ram’s November.

Truck
November
2014
November
2013
%
Change
11 mos.
2014
11 mos.
2013
%
Change
Ford F-Series
 59,049 65,501 -9.9% 679,496 688,810 -1.4%
Chevrolet Silverado
 42,799 34,386 24.5% 471,918 437,821 7.8%
Ram P/U
 35,865 29,635 21.0% 395,567 322,268 22.7%
GMC Sierra
22,544 14,362 57.0% 188,397 166,535 13.1%
Toyota Tundra
 9,580 10,010 -4.3% 107,974 101,744 6.1%
Nissan Titan
 972 1,180 -17.6% 11,658 14,407 -19.1%
Total
170,809 155,074 10.1% 1,855,010 1,731,585 7.1%

GMC has already sold more Sierras through the first eleven months of 2014 than in all of 2013, or any year going back to 2007, for that matter.

With 395,567 sales through the end of November, the Ram pickup range has already exceeded the year-end totals it achieved in any of the preceding eight years. 2014 should end as the Ram’s best year since 2004, if not 2003.

Truck
November
2014
Share
November
2013
Share
11 mos.
2014
Share
11 mos.
2013
Share
Ford F-Series
34.6% 42.2% 36.6% 39.8%
Chevrolet Silverado/GMC Sierra
38.3% 31.4% 35.6% 34.9%
Ram P/U
21.0% 19.1% 21.3% 18.6%
Toyota Tundra
5.6% 6.5% 5.8% 5.9%
Nissan Titan
0.6% 0.8% 0.6% 0.8%
Full-Size Share Of
Total Pickup Truck Market
88.1% 88.4% 89.1% 87.7%
Full-Size Pickup Share
Of Total Industry
 13.1% 12.5% 12.3% 12.2%

November also marked the fourth consecutive month in which the full-size GM twins outsold the F-Series. Undoubtedly, it helps to be at different life stages, but GM still needed to make a conscious effort to take advantage of a unique opportunity to cash in on some available volume. (Or, with incentives assisting, is it time to cash out?)

Through the first eleven months of 2014, Ford has sold 679,496 pickup trucks. Pickup sales at General Motors totalled 665,961 units over the same time period, including 3966 Colorados, 1537 Canyons, 90 Avalanches, and 53 Escalade EXTs.

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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Ford: Market Share Declines Will Continue Near-Term http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/12/ford-market-share-declines-will-continue-near-term/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/12/ford-market-share-declines-will-continue-near-term/#comments Wed, 03 Dec 2014 13:00:44 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=955033 Things are rough for Ford on Truck Mountain, with ground lost for the fourth consecutive month in November in a market-share situation that isn’t about to improve any time soon. Automotive News reports sales fell 2 percent last month compared to the same time in 2013, with its market share in the United States diving […]

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2015-ford-f-150-front-side-view-in-snow

Things are rough for Ford on Truck Mountain, with ground lost for the fourth consecutive month in November in a market-share situation that isn’t about to improve any time soon.

Automotive News reports sales fell 2 percent last month compared to the same time in 2013, with its market share in the United States diving to 14.3 percent from 15.3 percent in November 2013. The 2014 average holds at 15 percent, compared to 2013’s 15.9 percent through the first 11 months, while Ford experienced declines year over year every month this year except July.

One of the hardest-hit models was the F-150, which is undergoing its transition to aluminum, and affecting market share in so doing. 2015 models began shipping the week prior to Thanksgiving, with a handful arriving garages thus far. Vice president for U.S. marketing John Felice says inventory of the outgoing model remains sufficient, but adds that the company is maintaining a “delicate balance” with incentives until enough of the new trucks arrive on the lot. Overall inventory is at 79 days, down from 88 in October, and 89 in November 2013.

Throughout the range, every car model posted a decline in November except for the Mustang, whose sales jumped 62 percent that month, and the Police Interceptor Sedan. SUV sales fared better, with a 15 percent increase, while Lincoln posted a 21 percent boost, linked completely to the success of the MKC. Finally, the Transit reclaimed Flower Shop Lane this month, moving 373 more units over the Chevrolet Express.

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U.S. Auto Sales Results: November 2014 YTD http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/12/u-s-auto-sales-results-november-2014-ytd/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/12/u-s-auto-sales-results-november-2014-ytd/#comments Tue, 02 Dec 2014 20:03:16 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=954857 New vehicle buyers registered 1.3 million cars, SUVs, crossovers, vans, and pickup trucks in November 2014, a 57,000-unit improvement compared with November 2013. No volume brand accelerated at a faster rate in November than Ram, which shot up 31%. Scion sales, on the other hand, plunged 21%. Land Rover, Cadillac, Smart, Infiniti, and Jaguar all […]

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2015 toyota camryNew vehicle buyers registered 1.3 million cars, SUVs, crossovers, vans, and pickup trucks in November 2014, a 57,000-unit improvement compared with November 2013.

No volume brand accelerated at a faster rate in November than Ram, which shot up 31%. Scion sales, on the other hand, plunged 21%. Land Rover, Cadillac, Smart, Infiniti, and Jaguar all posted double-digit losses, as well. Ford is America’s top-selling auto brand, both in November and the first eleven months of 2014. With a 10% decline in F-Series sales last month, however, Ford was down 2.6%. Total GM sales are up 4.1% this year and rose 6.5% in November, spreading the manufacturer’s lead by 39,484 units to nearly 409,000 units.

As for premium brands, Mercedes-Benz claimed a broad victory in November but trails BMW by 1830 sales heading into 2014’s final month. Lexus, the third-ranked premium automaker, is almost 25,000 sales back of Mercedes-Benz, but the first 22 NXs were sold in November. We also saw the arrival last month of the Chevrolet City Express and Alfa Romeo 4C, both of which produced their first 24 sales. The Toyota Camry was America’s best-selling car; the Honda CR-V led all utility vehicles.

Automaker November 2014 November 2013 % Change 2014 YTD 2013 YTD % Change
Acura
 14,857 14,559 2.0% 150,034 149,685 0.2%
Alfa Romeo
 24 24
Audi
 16,650 13,636 22.0% 162,773 141,048 15.4%
BMW
 31,019 31,752 -2.3% 298,212 271,891 9.7%
Buick
 19,143 15,072 27.0% 208,606 190,130 9.7%
Cadillac
 13,148 16,172 -18.7% 154,600 164,378 -5.9%
Chevrolet
 149,673 145,089 3.2% 1,848,504 1,793,632 3.1%
Chrysler
 27,243 21,024 29.6% 277,855 282,222 -1.5%
Dodge
 42,108 41,506  1.5% 527,577 548,654 -3.8%
Fiat
 3,111 3,075  1.2% 42,337 39,491 7.2%
Ford  178,221  182,978  -2.6%  2,167,162  2,194,934  -1.3%
GMC
 43,854 35,727 22.7% 448,815 407,781 10.1%
Honda
 106,957 101,948 4.9% 1,253,557 1,240,372 1.1%
Hyundai
 53,672 56,005 -4.2%  661,211 657,778 0.5%
Infiniti
 11,398 13,152 -13.3% 105,323 103,223 2.0%
Jaguar
 1,253 1,446  -13.3% 14,090 15,408 -8.6%
Jeep
 57,489 45,415  26.6% 629,074 437,179 43.9%
Kia
 44,936 45,411  -1.0% 534,647 501,548 6.6%
Land Rover
 3,644 4,601  -20.8% 45,711 44,246 3.3%
Lexus
 27,472 25,611 7.3% 271,510 239,090 13.6%
Lincoln
 8,113 6,727 20.6% 84,784 73,710 15.0%
Maserati
 1,203 887 35.6% 11,531 3,715 210%
Mazda
 21,242 20,754 2.4% 280,993 260,982 7.7%
Mercedes-Benz
 34,578 34,376  0.6%  296,382  279,501  6.0%
Mercedes-Benz Sprinter
 2,532 2,010  26.0%  22,457  18,988  18.3% 
Total Mercedes-Benz
 37,110 36,386  2.0%  318,839  298,489  6.8%
Mini
 5,009 4,575 9.5% 49,497 59,910 -17.4%
Mitsubishi
 6534 6071 7.6%  71,098 55,671 27.7%
Nissan
 91,790 93,376  -1.7%  1,164,254 1,035,439 12.4%
Porsche
 4,699 3,966  18.5% 43,732 39,077 11.9%
Ram
 40,864 31,255 30.7% 420,511 331,815 26.7%
Scion
 3,907 4,968 -21.4% 54,192 63,998 -15.3%
Smart
 815 959 -15.0% 9,480 8,409 12.7%
Subaru
 45,273 36,621 23.6% 463,770 384,511 20.6%
Suzuki
 —  —  —  —  5,946 -100%
Toyota
 151,967 147,465  3.1% 1,833,012 1,742,111 5.2%
Volkswagen
 31,725 30,727 3.2% 332,911 373,689 -10.9%
Volvo
 3,623 4,233 -14.4% 51,446 56,345 -8.7%
 —
BMW-Mini
 36,028 36,327 -0.8% 347,709 331,801 4.8%
Chrysler Group/FCA
 170,839 142,275  20.1% 1,897,378 1,639,361 15.7%
Daimler
37,925 37,345 1.6% 328,319 306,898 7.0%
Ford Motor Company
 186,334 189,705 -1.8%  2,251,946 2,268,644 -0.7%
General Motors
 225,818 212,060 6.5% 2,660,525 2,555,921 4.1%
Honda Motor Company
121,814 116,507 4.6% 1,403,591 1,390,057 1.0%
Hyundai-Kia
 98,608  101,416  -2.8%  1,195,858  1,159,326  3.2%
Jaguar-Land Rover
4,897 6,047  -19.0% 59,801 59,654 0.2%
Nissan Motor Company
 103,188  106,528  -3.1%  1,269,577  1,138,662  11.5%
Toyota Motor Corporation
183,346  178,044 3.0% 2,158,714  2,045,199

 5.6%

Volkswagen Group *
 53,387  48,652  9.7%  542,007  556,336  -2.6%
Industry Total
1,302,655
1,245,189
4.6%
15,023,111
14,243,037
5.5%

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

** Industry total includes Automotive News sales estimates for ultra-low-volume automakers and their 2200-unit (November) Tesla sales estimate.

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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America’s 10 Fastest Growing Vehicles: October 2014 YTD Sales http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/11/americas-10-fastest-growing-vehicles-october-2014-ytd-sales/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/11/americas-10-fastest-growing-vehicles-october-2014-ytd-sales/#comments Sun, 30 Nov 2014 13:16:17 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=950505 The Chevrolet Corvette is the fastest growing auto nameplate in America through the first ten months of 2014. Four of the other members of this list of America’s fastest  growing vehicles are also General Motors products. Corvette volume is up 146% this year, an improvement of 17,150 units. Two other nameplates, the Lexus GX and […]

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2015 Chevrolet CorvetteThe Chevrolet Corvette is the fastest growing auto nameplate in America through the first ten months of 2014.

Four of the other members of this list of America’s fastest  growing vehicles are also General Motors products.

Corvette volume is up 146% this year, an improvement of 17,150 units. Two other nameplates, the Lexus GX and Mercedes-Benz S-Class, have both doubled their October 2013 year-to-date volume.

Thorough redesigns certainly play a big role, as the Corvette, S-Class, Lexus IS, GMC Yukon, and Cadillac Escalade are all freshly revamped models. The Lexus GX460 wasn’t a new product for MY2015, but Lexus did update the GX while making a conscious decision to more actively pursue sales in a market that’s increasingly leaning toward SUVs and crossovers. The same could be said for the Toyota 4Runner.

As for the mostly forgotten Infiniti QX50, formerly the EX, its presence in this group basically adds fuel to an embarrassing fire. The EX debuted nearly seven years ago and, aside from a single powertrain upgrade and a name change, has undergone little in terms of re-engineering. An increase of 45% in 2014 points us not to a sudden uptick in sales but 2013’s downturn. Last year, the QX50/EX tumbled 38%. Sales had fallen 42% in 2012 and 28% in 2011 and have never been higher than the 12,873 units Infiniti achieved in its first full year, 2008. Acura will sell more than 40,000 RDXs this year.

But a list of the fastest growing nameplates shouldn’t be filled with Infiniti doom and gloom. The Corvette, one of Detroit’s most iconic machines, will generate more than 30,000 sales in 2014, the first such occasion since 2007. True blue off-road enthusiasts can get excited about the surge of interest in the 4Runner – year-to-date sales have already reached a seven-year high. Ruthless executives will be pleased by the S-Class’s surge. S-Class volume hasn’t been this strong in eight years.

Rank
Auto
10 Months 2014
10 Months 2013
%
Change
+ Difference
#1
 Chevrolet Corvette  28,909 11,759 145.8% 17,150
#2
 Lexus GX460  17,935 8,603 108.5% 9,332
#3
 Mercedes-Benz S-Class  19,581 9,539 105.3% 10,042
#4
 GMC Savana  24,200 12,585 92.3% 11,615
#5
 Lexus IS  40,809 25,630 59.2% 15,179
#6
 Buick Encore  41,213 26,532 55.3% 14,681
#7
 GMC Yukon  33,661 21,928 53.5% 11,733
#8
 Cadillac Escalade (Regular Wheelbase)  15,095 10,022 50.6% 5,073
#9
 Toyota 4Runner  61,582 41,844 47.2% 19,738
#10
 Infiniti QX50/EX  2,308 1,588 45.3% 720

 We have not included vehicles which weren’t on sale throughout 2013. (The Buick Encore went on sale in January of last year.) We’ve also measured the vehicles on a percentage scale. If measured by volume, the Infiniti QX50’s paltry 720 extra sales would not be sufficient to crack a fastest-growing list. For the record, many of America’s best-selling vehicles have generated far greater additional sales in 2014’s first ten months. The Chevrolet Cruze, Chevrolet Silverado, Honda Accord, Kia Soul, Nissan Rogue, Nissan Sentra, Nissan Versa, Ram P/U, Subaru Forester, Toyota Corolla, and Toyota RAV4 have all added more sales than the Toyota 4Runner, this vehicle which, among vehicles on this list, most greatly expanded its volume.

 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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Chart Of The Day: How Many Subcompact SUVs Are Automakers Selling? http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/11/chart-day-many-subcompact-suvs-automakers-selling/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/11/chart-day-many-subcompact-suvs-automakers-selling/#comments Sat, 29 Nov 2014 13:32:26 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=950481 The Chevrolet Trax, Fiat 500X, Honda HR-V, Jeep Renegade, and Mazda CX-3 are coming. The Buick Encore, a pair of taller Minis, and the Nissan Juke are already here. It’s a burgeoning segment, silly in the eyes of many, but useful for automakers who want to cash in on consumers’ desire for fuel efficiency and […]

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subcompact SUV sales chart October 2014The Chevrolet Trax, Fiat 500X, Honda HR-V, Jeep Renegade, and Mazda CX-3 are coming. The Buick Encore, a pair of taller Minis, and the Nissan Juke are already here.

It’s a burgeoning segment, silly in the eyes of many, but useful for automakers who want to cash in on consumers’ desire for fuel efficiency and slightly higher driving positions, consumers who are forever interested in a little wheelarch cladding.

However, these vehicles don’t even combine to sell as often as the Honda CR-V, America’s top-selling SUV/crossover. That’s not to say they won’t. Nor are we suggesting that buyers of these vehicles would consider something as mainstream as a CR-V, Escape, or RAV4, America’s top-selling utilities.

But the CR-V’s numbers do provide a great deal of perspective. While the figures achieved by this latest breed of cute-ute will grow, the CR-V enjoyed a record-setting year in 2013 and will break that record in 2014.

While studying today’s chart, please don’t admit that the first question that springs to mind involves the Suzuki X-90. Mask that. Erase that question before you submit your comment. Don’t let it get the better of you. America’s torrid love affair with Suzuki, and the X-90 in particular, must surely be a distant memory.

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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Subaru’s WRX/STi Is Outselling The BRZ and FR-S Twins Combined http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/11/subarus-wrxsti-outselling-brz-fr-s-twins-combined/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/11/subarus-wrxsti-outselling-brz-fr-s-twins-combined/#comments Fri, 28 Nov 2014 13:54:01 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=950417 Through the first ten months of 2014, Subaru has sold 19,969 copies of their Impreza-based WRX and STi, 996 more than the number of Toyobaru sports cars sold in America this year. WRX/STi sales are up 35% through the end of October 2014, a 140% increase compared with the full 2010 calendar year, 45% compared […]

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2015 Subaru WRX STiThrough the first ten months of 2014, Subaru has sold 19,969 copies of their Impreza-based WRX and STi, 996 more than the number of Toyobaru sports cars sold in America this year.

WRX/STi sales are up 35% through the end of October 2014, a 140% increase compared with the full 2010 calendar year, 45% compared with all of 2011, 47% compared with 2012, and 11% compared with all of 2013.

2014, as you know, is not over yet. Subaru USA has been selling just under 2000 WRXs and STis per month.

Year-over-year volume has increased in 24 consecutive months. Nearly three out of every ten Imprezas sold is either a WRX or an STi.

The sports car market may be drying up, but it’s not dead yet. Scion, with 12,293 FR-S sales this year, and Subaru, with 6680 BRZ sales, have combined for 18,973 sales in 2014. Yes, that’s down 18% from the 23,126 sold in the first ten months of 2013. True, monthly BRZ volume peaked 20 months ago in March 2013. And no, FR-S sales haven’t topped 2000 units since the car’s first full month on sale, June 2012, and monthly FR-S volume has twice fallen into three-digits this year. Sports cars tend to do this. They surge with early interest and quickly decline with age.

But ignoring the standards set by Detroit muscle – 182,196 Camaro, Mustang, and Challenger sales this year – these are relatively popular cars, given the category in which they compete. Two-doors which sell more often than the FR-S aren’t nonexistent (Audi A5, Mini Cooper Hardtop, the three-door Hyundai Veloster, Volkswagen’s Beetle, the Chevrolet Corvette, Fiat 500, and the aforementioned trio), nor are they direct rivals for the Toyobaru twins.

Other places for sport compact-like money? Unfortunately, automakers don’t routinely release specific sales figures for models like the Civic Si, Focus and Fiesta ST, or Abarth 500s. Sales of the outgoing Mazda MX-5 Miata are down 20% to 4143 in 2014. The Volkswagen Golf GTI, however, is up 23% to 13,848 U.S. sales year-to-date.

Yet unlike the Impreza’s increasingly popular sporting iterations, the GTI isn’t outselling the combined Scion/Subaru pairing. The WRX/STi has done that in five of the last seven months; in seven of the last ten.

In 2013, the FR-S and BRZ combined for 26,914 year-end sales while the WRX/STi duo managed 17,969. In 2014, the coin has been flipped to reveal a very different side.

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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