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. Sun, 25 Jan 2015 13:30:18 +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/ Mercedes-Benz CLA And Audi A3 Are Selling At An Identical Pace In The U.S. http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/mercedes-benz-cla-audi-a3-selling-identical-pace-u-s/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/mercedes-benz-cla-audi-a3-selling-identical-pace-u-s/#comments Sun, 25 Jan 2015 13:30:18 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=988234 The Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class and Audi A3 attained almost identical levels of popularity in the United States in 2014. True, Mercedes-Benz sold 27,365 CLAs over the last twelve months; Audi sold only 22,250 A3s during that period. That’s 23% more CLA sales than A3 sales. • GLA arrival didn’t slow down CLA • A3 and CLA […]

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A3 vs CLA sales chartThe Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class and Audi A3 attained almost identical levels of popularity in the United States in 2014.

True, Mercedes-Benz sold 27,365 CLAs over the last twelve months; Audi sold only 22,250 A3s during that period. That’s 23% more CLA sales than A3 sales.


• GLA arrival didn’t slow down CLA

• A3 and CLA increasingly popular, but not yet top sellers


But you’ll remember that the CLA arrived at the end of 2013’s third-quarter. The A3 sedan, a replacement for the A3 hatch which never sold as often as this new car, began trickling into dealers in February of this year but wasn’t readily available until April.

Over the final three-quarters of 2014, Audi USA reported 21,387 A3 sales, 151 more than the figure achieved by the CLA over the same period.

CLA250With great frequency, the vehicles marketed by rival German luxury brands aren’t necessarily direct competitors. The CLS, for instance, is a $66,000 sedan with no diesel option; Audi’s A7 is a $66,000 hatchback with diesel availability. S-Class pricing starts 28% beyond the BMW 7-Series’ base MSRP. The E-Class Benz is available as a wagon; BMW’s 5-Series is sadly offered as a ghastly hatchback instead.

The members of this entry-level duo, however, could hardly target the other with greater precision. They are closely aligned in terms of pricing, are available with turbocharged four-cylinders, and send power to the front or all four wheels.The fact that they sell at the exact same pace speaks volumes about the differing tastes of consumers who are looking for the same type of car. 50.184% of the clientele goes Audi’s conservatively-designed direction; 49.82% head to the Mercedes-Benz showroom for swoopier styling.

Mercedes-Benz made greater headway at the end of 2014. Q4 sales, at 9158 units, accounted for one-third of the CLA’s year-end total. Granted, year-over-year volume in the fourth-quarter plummeted 22% compared with the same period one year earlier when the CLA was the freshest produce on the shelves. But fourth-quarter volume rose to the highest level of the year, as if to clarify that the arrival of the GLA crossover/hatch was not going to have an impact on the CLA’s success. The GLA went on sale in September. Q4 volume for that vehicle totalled 5893 units.

At Audi, the fourth-quarter also represented the best period yet for the A3, though at 7581 units, the Audi was well back of the Benz. Audi’s GLA-fighting Q3 went on sale in August. 1092 were sold in September but monthly volume in the fourth-quarter predictably fell from that high. 2319 Q3s were sold between October and December.

2015 Audi A3 sedanAs for other potential competitors, the more performance-oriented BMW 2-Series (including leftover copies of the 1-Series) earned the business of 7345 U.S. customers in 2014, the second-lowest year ever for the 1-Series/2-Series family. More than 13,000 1-Series’ were sold in 2010. Buick Verano volume slid 4% to 43,743 units. Acura ILX sales dropped 13% to 17,854.

Top-tier luxury nameplates are both more expensive and significantly more common. BMW’s wide-ranging 3-Series/4-Series family generated a 19% increase to 142,232 sales in 2014. Mercedes-Benz sold more than 75,000 C-Classes and more than 66,000 E-Classes in a down year. The Lexus ES, BMW 5-Series, Lexus IS, Audi A4, Infiniti Q50, Lincoln MKZ, Cadillac CTS, and Cadillac ATS each produced more U.S. sales in 2014 than either the CLA and A3, 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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Chart Of The Day: Auto Brand Market Share In Mexico In 2014 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/chart-day-auto-brand-market-share-mexico-2014/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/chart-day-auto-brand-market-share-mexico-2014/#comments Sat, 24 Jan 2015 14:22:50 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=987938 The Asociación Mexicana de la Industria Automotriz reported a 7% increase to 1.1 million new vehicle sales in 2014. Nissan is Mexico’s best-selling auto brand. Sales at the Nissan brand jumped 11% to 291,729 units in 2014. Combined with Infiniti and Renault volume, the Alliance owned 28% of the overall Mexican auto market, up slightly more […]

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mexico auto market share sales chart 2014

The Asociación Mexicana de la Industria Automotriz reported a 7% increase to 1.1 million new vehicle sales in 2014.

Nissan is Mexico’s best-selling auto brand. Sales at the Nissan brand jumped 11% to 291,729 units in 2014. Combined with Infiniti and Renault volume, the Alliance owned 28% of the overall Mexican auto market, up slightly more than a percentage point compared with 2013.

A larger market didn’t benefit a number of brands, however. Sales at Alfa Romeo, Chrysler, Fiat, Ford, Peugeot, Smart, and Volvo decreased in 2014. For the most part, the biggest improvements were recorded by low-volume brands. Subaru rose 165%, but only to 1410 sales. Infiniti shot up 49% to 1475. Isuzu jumped 45% to 1468. Porsche climbed 27% to 975 units.

Regardless, Mexico is known more for the size of the country’s production capacity than for the country’s consumption of automobiles.  For every new vehicle registered in Mexico, the country’s workers build 2.8 new vehicles. Production jumped 10% in 2014 to 3.2 million units. 90% of that production was powered by Nissan, General Motors, FCA, Volkswagen, and Ford. Honda, Mazda, and Toyota also assemble vehicles in Mexico.

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 Scion iQ Is Dead: Here’s Why http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/scion-iq-dead-heres/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/scion-iq-dead-heres/#comments Fri, 23 Jan 2015 13:30:50 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=987898 Reports last week that the Scion iQ is not long for this world came just weeks after Toyota USA issued a sales release showing that iQ volume was chopped in half in 2014. One year earlier, Toyota’s sales report showed iQ sales falling 54% from 2012 levels. • iQ sales decline every month • Scion […]

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2014 Scion iQReports last week that the Scion iQ is not long for this world came just weeks after Toyota USA issued a sales release showing that iQ volume was chopped in half in 2014.

One year earlier, Toyota’s sales report showed iQ sales falling 54% from 2012 levels.


• iQ sales decline every month

• Scion sales down 66% from 2006 high


More specifically, U.S. sales of the iQ tumbled in each of the last 24 months. Only once, in December 2012, the iQ’s first opportunity at posting a year-over-year improvement, did it do so, surging 32% compared with its first month on the market.

But the iQ was slow from the start and didn’t possess the kind of initial appeal we often see even from cars which eventually become wildly unpopular. For example, Mercedes-Benz’s Smart Fortwo generated 24,622 in its first year on the market before posting three rapid sales declines, but the iQ’s first full year in America resulted in only 8879 sales.

After the iQ’s best month – March 2012, when 1285 were sold – sales progressively decreased in each of the five following months. As the theory goes, those who really wanted one already had one. And rather unfortunately, there weren’t many who wanted one.

By the fourth-quarter of 2014, the worst ever quarter for the iQ, only 288 copies left Scion showrooms, a 58% year-over-year decline and an 86% drop compared with the fourth-quarter of 2012. In mid-January, Cars.com’s inventory listings show only 186 iQs available.

TTAC Toyota Lexus Scion sales chart 2014The main issues which had a negative impact on the iQ included its size, its more spacious competition, its more spacious and more affordable competition, and perhaps even the logo above its front grille. “Physics are physics,” Scion’s Doug Murtha said, “and they’re nervous about driving a vehicle that size.”

Undoubtedly, yet other tiny cars prove capable of finding greater success. The Fiat 500 was on sale nine months before the iQ, for instance, and generated more sales activity in its first ten months than the iQ has done all-time.

The Chevrolet Spark arrived eight months after the iQ. GM sold 85,674 Sparks in the nameplate’s first 30 months, nearly nine times more than the number of iQs sold in the same period.

Toyota’s own Yaris steadily became more unpopular over the last six years, but it sold nearly six times more often than the iQ over the last two years.

Yes, those cars are larger, but this isn’t Europe. The fact that the iQ is small was not to its credit in the United States. Brilliant packaging doesn’t invariably equate with sufficient space, after all.

All four of the potentially competitive cars mentioned so far are either equally affordable or distinctly less expensive. There were other knocks against the iQ. Its continuously variable transmission is poorly calibrated, rear drum brakes seem particularly antiquated when a car is charging a dimensional deficiency premium, the rear seats exist but aren’t genuinely usable, there’s very little interior storage, and fuel economy simply isn’t that impressive. At an EPA highway-rated 37 mpg, the iQ trails many compact cars.

Worst of all, the iQ was brought to America as a Scion, a brand that’s suffering as interest in their all of their products is drying up rapidly. That’s an odd trait in the current American automotive scene. U.S. consumers registered more new vehicles in 2014 than at any time since 2006. Scion sales in 2014 fell to the third-lowest full-year total in the brand’s history, down 15% year-over-year; down 66% compared with 2006.

Would the iQ have been a hit if it was a Toyota? No. But would it have flopped this hard if they’d made it a Toyota instead? No.

The iQ was an experiment, but it certainly wasn’t a brand-saving day in the laboratory.

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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2014 Canada Auto Sales Recap: Records, Records Everywhere http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/2014-canada-auto-sales-recap/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/2014-canada-auto-sales-recap/#comments Thu, 22 Jan 2015 15:58:18 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=987234 2014 was a record-setting year for auto sales in Canada, a fitting follow-up to a record-setting twelve-month period one year earlier. Auto sales in Canada jumped 6% to 1.85 million, an increase of 107,000 units. Pickup truck and minivan sales growth lagged slightly behind the overall industry’s pace, commercial van volume jumped 16%, and SUV/crossover […]

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canada auto brand market share chart 20142014 was a record-setting year for auto sales in Canada, a fitting follow-up to a record-setting twelve-month period one year earlier.

Auto sales in Canada jumped 6% to 1.85 million, an increase of 107,000 units. Pickup truck and minivan sales growth lagged slightly behind the overall industry’s pace, commercial van volume jumped 16%, and SUV/crossover sales rose 15%.


• Record sales achieved by 15 auto brands

• F-Series, Civic, Escape, Grand Caravan lead categories

• Six auto brands report YOY declines


Car sales were flat, which resulted in a market share decline from 44.6% in 2014 to 42.1% in 2014. In December, even with a somewhat impressive 11% improvement, passenger cars accounted for less than 38% of all new vehicle sales.

The fastest-growing auto brands were not so afflicted. Jeep volume shot up 58% to a record-setting 70,503 units. Jeep, of course, does not market any passenger cars.

Porsche car volume jumped 11%, but it hardly mattered, as the brand’s 53% increase in utility vehicle sales propelled the brand to a record-setting 4933 sales in 2014.

Sales of Buick’s cars, which accounted for 51% of the brand’s volume, shot up 28%; the brand’s Enclave and Encore crossovers combined for a 35% increase.

Nissan broke its Canadian sales record with assistance from cars and crossovers. The automaker says their car volume rose 18% to 51,870, less than half Nissan’s output, but the brand’s top-selling Rogue produced a 71% improvement and overall “light truck” volume was up 38%. Nissan, up 27% over the course of the year, was Canada’s sixth-best-selling brand.

Meanwhile, Land Rover, which like Jeep and Porsche and Nissan set a sales record in 2014, does not market any passenger cars. Only Maserati grew faster than the aforementioned auto brands, more than doubling its Canadian volume, year-over-year.

2014-Jeep-Wrangler-Sport-Main_rdax_646x396Joining Jeep, Porsche, Nissan, Land Rover, and Maserati in record-setting fashion were the top three premium brands – Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Audi – as well as Infiniti, Lexus, Mitsubishi, Subaru, Volkswagen, Hyundai, and Honda.

Honda Canada, which assembles a number of products in southern Ontario, made its Canadian-built Civic Canada’s best-selling car for the 17th consecutive year. In the final two months of 2014, the Honda CR-V was Canada’s third-best-selling vehicle, outsold only by two pickup trucks. The CR-V fell short of ending the year as Canada’s best-selling utility vehicle, however, as the perennial leader, Ford’s Escape, posted a 16% year-over-year increase to 52,198 units, 14,514 more than the Honda managed.

Both those CR-V-besting trucks, the top-selling Ford F-Series and second-ranked Ram P/U, set Canadian sales records during the 2014 calendar year. Combined, the GM truck twins (Sierra and Silverado) set a record of their own and outsold the Ram by a slim 1484-unit margin. Full-size trucks accounted for 95% of the pickups sold in Canada in 2014.

Ford Motor Company’s namesake brand was the top-selling auto brand in Canada in 2014, though the Ford brand’s market share fell by one half of a percentage point to 15.4%. FCA/Chrysler Group ended 2014 fewer than 2000 sales back of FoMoCo and increased their market share from 14.9% in 2013 to 15.7%. GM, the third-ranked automobile manufacturer, saw its market share level off at 13.5%.

Not unexpectedly, few automakers produced fewer sales in 2014 than in 2013, but those that did were notable for a variety of reasons. Scion’s 20% loss is not far out of line with its 15% decline south of the border. Mini’s 10% drop hides a record-setting fourth-quarter for the brand.

Dodge was down 7%, largely because of the disappearance of the Avenger. (Dodge car sales slid 43%, but the Grand Caravan which generates more than half of Dodge’s sales and is Canada’s fifth-best-selling vehicle was up 11%.)

Volvo dropped 4%, the brand’s third consecutive year of decline. Kia was down 3%, the second consecutive drop after the brand hit its own high-water mark in 2012. Chrysler sales were down 3% but were up 42% in the second-half of the year.

Although it’s unlikely that we’ll see an even more significant swing toward pickup trucks and big SUVs in 2014, the auto industry as a whole will likely be buoyed by falling oil prices. As consumers find more and more unanticipated cash in their wallets, you can safely assume they’ll be buying and leasing more Ford Escapes, Honda CR-Vs, and Toyota RAV4s. More cars? Perhaps, but Canada’s turn away from passenger cars swing into action before gas prices began their rapid decline.

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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Toyota No. 1 Global Automaker In 2014, Volkswagen Close Behind http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/toyota-no-1-global-automaker-2014-volkswagen-close-behind/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/toyota-no-1-global-automaker-2014-volkswagen-close-behind/#comments Thu, 22 Jan 2015 14:00:56 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=987066 Once again, Toyota is the No. 1 largest automaker in the world, but Volkswagen is waiting close behind for the chance to take the crown. Automotive News reports Toyota sold 10.23 million units in 2014 with help from its Daihatsu and Hino partners, the first time the automaker sold over 10 million units in a […]

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WEC 6 Hours of Fuji

Once again, Toyota is the No. 1 largest automaker in the world, but Volkswagen is waiting close behind for the chance to take the crown.

Automotive News reports Toyota sold 10.23 million units in 2014 with help from its Daihatsu and Hino partners, the first time the automaker sold over 10 million units in a single year. Volkswagen took second on the podium with 10.14 million, and General Motors took third with 9.92 million.

2014 marks the second consecutive year Toyota has held the top spot, having regained it from GM in 2012 after the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami greatly hindered production for the majority of that year. The automaker originally took the top spot from GM in 2008, the latter having dominated the podium for 80 years prior; Toyota also held the title in 2009 and 2010.

As for 2015, Toyota is forecasting deliveries of 10.15 million due to decreased demand at home and in emerging markets, as well as from falling oil prices and Japan’s increased national consumption tax. Volkswagen, meanwhile, is ahead of schedule as far as taking the crown goes, CEO Martin Winterkorn stating such a thing would occur by 2018 at the earliest before 2014’s results showed otherwise.

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Cain’s Segments: American Muscle Sales In America In 2014 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/cains-segments-american-muscle-sales-america-2014/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/cains-segments-american-muscle-sales-america-2014/#comments Wed, 21 Jan 2015 14:30:21 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=986802 2014 was the fifth consecutive year in which the Chevrolet Camaro outsold its two key rivals in the United States. 2015, however, could present far different results. Leading up to the sixth-generation Mustang’s arrival, the Camaro led the Mustang by nearly 11,000 sales through the first ten months of 2014. • Second-best year for fifth-gen […]

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USA muscle car sales chart 20142014 was the fifth consecutive year in which the Chevrolet Camaro outsold its two key rivals in the United States.

2015, however, could present far different results.

Leading up to the sixth-generation Mustang’s arrival, the Camaro led the Mustang by nearly 11,000 sales through the first ten months of 2014.


• Second-best year for fifth-gen Camaro

• Mustang was on a roll at the end of 2014

• Challenger growth continues in sixth consecutive year


But Ford sold 8728 Mustangs in America in November, a 62% year-over-year improvement, basically double the number of Camaros sold that month.

By the end of December – when Mustang sales shot up 66% to 9511 units – the gap was closed to 3662 units. That was nearly on par with 2013, when the Camaro ended the year 3381 sales ahead.

While much of the Mustang’s late-2014 success can be attributed to the hyped MY2015 car’s arrival, these big numbers did appear at the onset of winter. Prime Mustang buying season typically revolves around the months of May and June. In 2012, for instance, the last time Ford sold more than 80,000 Mustangs in America, one-quarter of the nameplate’s total year-end sales occurred during May and June.

In other words, we may not grasp the car’s full potential for marketplace success in its home market until the end of 2015’s second quarter.

Subcompact
2014
2013
% Change
Chevrolet Camaro
86,297
80,567 7.1%
Dodge Challenger
51,611
51,462 0.3%
Ford Mustang
82,635
77,186 7.1%
Total
220,543
209,215 5.4%

Meanwhile, sales of the fifth-generation Camaro climbed to the second-highest level yet: up 7% compared with 2013, down just 2% from the 2011 high-water mark. Sales of the Dodge Challenger increased for a sixth consecutive year. Admittedly, the gains were marginal. But Challenger volume was down 10% through the end of September before monthly year-over-year gains of 27%, 51%, and 72% closed out the year.

The Challenger and Mustang weren’t the only cars to power the category to a massive December, either. The Camaro, though only second in the segment at the end of the year, shot up 32% in December, indicating that if the newer Mustang and Challenger stole any sales from the Chevy, GM managed to find many more elsewhere. The trio jumped 55% to 21,077 units in December, equal to 3.1% of the overall passenger car market.

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: Subcompact Car Sales In America In 2014 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/cains-segments-subcompact-car-sales-america-2014/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/cains-segments-subcompact-car-sales-america-2014/#comments Tue, 20 Jan 2015 14:00:41 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=985618 With the hatchback Note available for the duration of the 2014 calendar year, Nissan’s Versa lineup posted huge year-over-year gains in the United States in 2014. Total Versa volume jumped 19%, or 22,429 units, to a class-leading 139,781 sales in 2014. • Segment grows in a stagnant car market • Fit ranked second in the […]

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2015 Nissan Versa Note redWith the hatchback Note available for the duration of the 2014 calendar year, Nissan’s Versa lineup posted huge year-over-year gains in the United States in 2014.

Total Versa volume jumped 19%, or 22,429 units, to a class-leading 139,781 sales in 2014.


• Segment grows in a stagnant car market

• Fit ranked second in the category in 2014 Q4

New Mazda 2 arrives this year


Had Versa volume declined 19%, it still would have ended 2014 as America’s top-selling subcompact. The Versa’s market share in the strict confines of this nine-car subcompact category grew from 23.3% in 2013 to 26.8% in 2014.

The latter stages of 2014 were slightly more difficult for the Versa, as interest in the Honda Fit continued to build and even Toyota’s revamped Yaris generated far more sales activity than is usual. The Versa’s December share slid to 22.9%.

The subcompact segment as a whole was surprisingly strong given the tendency of consumers to veer away from cars in 2014. The total car market was up less than 2%, but subcompact volume increased nearly 4%. Strong growth from the second-ranked Chevrolet Sonic was a big help. An all-new Fit produced year-end gains of nearly 6000 units.

On the flip side, the Hyundai Accent’s improvements were not sufficient to overcome the losses of its platform-mate, the Kia Rio. The ST halo hatch has not provided the Fiesta lineup with any boost: sales fell 11% in 2014, and the Fiesta fell from third place in the category in 2013 to fourth in 2014. The Fiesta ranked fifth in U.S. subcompact sales in the fourth-quarter.

Subcompact
2014
2013
% Change
Chevrolet Aveo

2 -100%
Chevrolet Sonic
93,518
85,646 9.2%
Ford Fiesta
63,192
71,073 -11.1%
Honda Fit
59,340
53,513 10.9%
Hyundai Accent
63,309
60,458 4.7%
Kia Rio
35,933
40,742 -11.8%
Mazda 2
13,615
11,757 15.8%
Nissan Versa
139,781
117,352 19.1%
Toyota Prius C
40,570
41,979 -3.4%
Toyota Yaris
13,274
21,342 -37.8%
Total
522,532
503,864 3.7%

Theorists may suggest that low fuel prices would hamper subcompacts, yet December’s 10% year-over-year improvement stands in stark contrast to that message. That said, subcompacts remain rare cars in the U.S. The larger siblings of just these nine cars – Cruze, Focus, Civic, Elantra, Forte, 3, Sentra, Corolla – combined for more than 1.7 million U.S. sales in 2014, more than triple the total number of sales achieved by these subcompacts.

Back at Nissan, the Versa’s strong performance was representative of a brand which grew at a rate that was far above average in 2014. Moreover, Nissan possesses a car lineup which expanded its sales in spite of the fact that the U.S. auto industry sourced much of its growth from SUVs and crossovers. Total Nissan brand sales jumped 12% to record highs in 2014 as industry-wide volume rose 6%.

Combined, the Versa, Sentra, Altima, and Leaf were up 17%. The Altima was America’s fourth-best-selling car; the Sentra ranked twelfth; the Versa 18th. The Altima and Versa broke their own sales records.

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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Toyota Increasing Crossover, SUV Production To Meet US Demand http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/toyota-increasing-crossover-suv-production-meet-us-demand/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/toyota-increasing-crossover-suv-production-meet-us-demand/#comments Tue, 20 Jan 2015 13:00:17 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=985474 With U.S. demand for its crossovers and SUVs expected to increase in 2015, Toyota is responding in kind by increasing production at home and in Canada. Bloomberg reports the production increase will prove challenging to president Akio Toyoda’s strategy of squeezing more vehicles — such as the RAV4, RX and NX — from the plants […]

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2014 Toyota RAV4 Exterior, Picture Courtesy pf Alex L Dykes

With U.S. demand for its crossovers and SUVs expected to increase in 2015, Toyota is responding in kind by increasing production at home and in Canada.

Bloomberg reports the production increase will prove challenging to president Akio Toyoda’s strategy of squeezing more vehicles — such as the RAV4, RX and NX — from the plants already in place before considering new construction after March 2016.

Further, Toyota North America CEO Jim Lentz says the automaker plans to add smaller crossovers and SUVs to help it gain more overall market share in the U.S. against competitors like Volkswagen, maintaining its position on the top of the global sales podium in so doing.

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Scion’s FR-S Took A Hit In 2014 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/scions-fr-s-took-hit-2014/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/scions-fr-s-took-hit-2014/#comments Sun, 18 Jan 2015 14:14:50 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=984753 The U.S. market, long in need of an affordable, compact, rear-wheel-drive sports car, allowed the hype to initially take hold. The Scion FR-S’s best ever month was its first full month of availability – June 2012 – when 2684 copies were sold. But in the second-half of the FR-S’s first full year in the U.S., […]

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2014 Scion FR-S redThe U.S. market, long in need of an affordable, compact, rear-wheel-drive sports car, allowed the hype to initially take hold. The Scion FR-S’s best ever month was its first full month of availability – June 2012 – when 2684 copies were sold.

But in the second-half of the FR-S’s first full year in the U.S., FR-S volume slid 4%.


• FR-S accounts for 24% of U.S. Scion sales

• Scion accounts for 2.4% of Toyota Motor Sales, USA, Inc. volume

• Subaru sold 25,492 WRX/STi Imprezas in 2014


The numbers weren’t terribly low. 18,327 FR-Ss were sold in the U.S. in 2013. But they weren’t terribly high, either. Nissan, for a reference point, sold 36,728 350Zs in 2003.

Regardless, only 18 months into the car’s tenure, monthly declines became notable because of their severity and consistency.

In December 2013, FR-S volume slid 31%. This year, from beginning to end, FR-S sales slid 36% in January, 30% in February, and 20% in March before falling 11%, 14%, 38%, 27%, 25%, 25%, 10%, 28%, and then plunging 19% to the car’s lowest full-month total of just 834 units in December 2014.

In the 2014 calendar year, FR-S volume slid 23% to 14,062 units, a year-over-year loss equal to 4265 fewer sales. The lower-volume Subaru BRZ fell 13% to 7504.

The demand for the newest, flashiest, fastest thing has historically limited the long-term appeal of coupes. But coupes and more genuine sports cars are not forced to sell less and less often as time goes on. The big Dodge Challenger muscle car posted its sixth consecutive year of growth in the U.S. in 2014. U.S. sales of the Chevrolet Camaro climbed to 86,297 units in 2014, the latest Camaro’s second-best year since returning in 2009. True, those cars compete in a different market, they represent true Americana, and their product ranges are broader and thus more appealing to a wider cross-section of the car-buying public. But shouldn’t that be to their credit, rather than used as an excuse for the FR-S and a wide variety of other sports cars which simply can’t appeal to a large number of consumers for more than a few months?

affordable sport compact sales chart 2014 usaEven if you’re not a Toyobaru fan – and we all know certain individuals aren’t – we enthusiasts need cars like this to succeed for a longer period of time if we’re to see potential competitors in the future. Would General Motors seriously consider building the Code 130R after seeing the rate at which FR-S volume dries up? Will Nissan bosses follow through on building the IDx in the long-term after taking a look at the FR-S’s consistent decline? Can Kia commit to an affordable GT4 Stinger with FR-S volume falling to new lows?

The answer to all those questions could be, “Yes!”, if product planners determine that the FR-S’s steady decline relates to factors beyond the car’s core format. Might the FR-S’s downturn relate as much to its Scion branding as it does to the mostly useless rear seat? Could the FR-S be turning into a truly niche player because Toyota isn’t building a convertible? Are potential FR-S buyers turned off by the low-torque four-cylinder engine?

After all, new vehicle buyers in 2014 displayed their willingness to acquire new sporting cars without Scion badges, with useable rear seats, with torque, and with different bodystyles: Subaru’s own Impreza-based WRX/STi outsold the FR-S and BRZ combined.

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: Auto Brand Market Share In The United Kingdom In 2014 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/chart-day-auto-brand-market-share-united-kingdom-2014/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/chart-day-auto-brand-market-share-united-kingdom-2014/#comments Sat, 17 Jan 2015 13:55:25 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=984393 We haven’t shied away from discussing the error of Volkswagen USA’s ways here on TTAC nor the results of those ways. Yet while the brand saw its U.S. market share fall from a measly 2.6% in 2013 to 2.2% in 2014 and group-wide market share fell from 3.9% to 3.6%, year-over-year, VW Group market share […]

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uk auto market share chart 2014We haven’t shied away from discussing the error of Volkswagen USA’s ways here on TTAC nor the results of those ways. Yet while the brand saw its U.S. market share fall from a measly 2.6% in 2013 to 2.2% in 2014 and group-wide market share fell from 3.9% to 3.6%, year-over-year, VW Group market share in the United Kingdom grew by half a percentage point to 20.7% in 2014.

True, the Volkswagen brand itself saw its market share fall despite year-over-year volume growth of 4%. Volkswagen is the UK’s third-best-selling brand behind Ford and GM’s Vauxhall.

Audi ranks fourth, 10,109 sales ahead of BMW in 2014. Skoda and SEAT generated 25% of the VW Group’s UK volume last year. Porsche volume jumped 11% to 9160 units, more than Jeep, Chrysler, and Chevrolet combined.

Yes, it’s a bit of a different market across the pond. Bentley sells half as many vehicles in the UK home market as they do in the U.S., although the U.S. market is nearly seven times the size.

The Ford Fiesta was the UK’s best-selling car in 2014, the sixth consecutive year in which the Fiesta landed atop the leaderboard. The best-selling Volkswagen was the Golf, with a 14% YOY increase to 73,880 units, 57,374 units back of the top-ranked Fiesta; 7903 sales back of the third-ranked Vauxhall Astra.

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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Lexus Tops 2014’s U.S. Luxury SUV/Crossover Race With 137,000 Sales http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/lexus-tops-2014s-u-s-luxury-suvcrossover-race-137000-sales/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/lexus-tops-2014s-u-s-luxury-suvcrossover-race-137000-sales/#comments Fri, 16 Jan 2015 13:55:32 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=984353 Curious fact: America’s two best-selling premium brands and one of the two fastest-growing premium brands are the three premium brands which rely the least upon SUVs and crossovers in the U.S. market. We correctly believe that much of the growth in the luxury vehicle sector over the coming half-decade will be in the CUV category, […]

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luxury suv market share by brand 2014Curious fact: America’s two best-selling premium brands and one of the two fastest-growing premium brands are the three premium brands which rely the least upon SUVs and crossovers in the U.S. market.

We correctly believe that much of the growth in the luxury vehicle sector over the coming half-decade will be in the CUV category, but there’s no denying that the major players established productive, popular, profit-generating passenger car lineups many years ago.


• Most new crossovers introduced in 2014 were “premium”

• Majority of Jaguar-Land Rover, Acura, Lincoln sales come from utilities

• Porsche and Cadillac generate half their U.S. volume with utilities


SUVs and crossovers are assisting these brands – BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Audi – in finding new avenues for growth, but their car divisions are large volume tools.

The same can’t be said for many of the mid-tier and low-volume luxury brands. Cars accomplish very little for Acura and Jaguar-Land Rover, generate only half of Cadillac’s volume, and produce only 45% of Lincoln sales.

Six of 2014’s seven new utility vehicle nameplates were introduced by luxury auto brands. Lincoln brought us the MKC, Porsche the Macan, Mercedes-Benz the GLA. Audi began selling the Q3 in August. Lexus introduced the NX at the end of the year. BMW’s X4 arrived mid-summer. All six are on the compact side, if not smaller.

But it’s the larger premium utility vehicles which continue to put up the biggest U.S. numbers. The Lexus RX will outsell the NX, the MDX outsells the RDX at Acura, BMW sells more X5s than X3s or X1s, the Mercedes-Benz ML easily outsells the GLK, just as a few examples.

But these newer, smaller crossovers provided a boost to utility vehicle volume that was already rising.

Lexus RX350No premium auto brand sells more SUVs and crossovers than Lexus, which saw its SUV/CUV sales rose 14% to 137,154 in 2014. While the NX contributed 2927 extra sales at the end of the year, the RX – America’s best-selling luxury SUV/crossover – generated 78% of Lexus’ utility vehicle volume.

With the GLA throwing in another 6884 sales, Mercedes-Benz’s five-pronged SUV/crossover lineup jumped 11% to 118,297 in 2014. Acura sold 110,468 MDXs and RDXs in 2014 plus 78 copies of the ZDX, enough for a 13% year-over-year improvement. BMW’s new X4 added 2709 sales to BMW’s SAV volume in the latter half of 2014, helping the brand’s utility vehicles rise 8% to 110,268. Rounding out the top five premium SUV sellers in 2014 was Cadillac. A new Escalade lineup powered Cadillac’s utility vehicle family to a 9% gain and 84,047 sales in 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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Toyota Receives Over 1,500 Orders For Mirai FCV In Home Market http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/toyota-receives-1500-orders-mirai-fcv-home-market/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/toyota-receives-1500-orders-mirai-fcv-home-market/#comments Fri, 16 Jan 2015 13:00:51 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=984281 One month after Toyota began sales of its Mirai FCV in Japan, around 1,500 have been ordered thus far, well over the 400 the automaker thought it would sell for the entirety of 2015. Carscoops reports the 1,500 orders are split 60/40 in favor of government and corporate fleets. The overall majority of the orders […]

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2016-toyota-mirai-6-1

One month after Toyota began sales of its Mirai FCV in Japan, around 1,500 have been ordered thus far, well over the 400 the automaker thought it would sell for the entirety of 2015.

Carscoops reports the 1,500 orders are split 60/40 in favor of government and corporate fleets. The overall majority of the orders come from four locations in the country: Tokyo, Kanagawa Prefecture, Aichi Prefecture and Fukuoka Prefecture. Due to its popularity, however, Toyota said it may take a while to fulfill those orders.

The Mirai is expected in the United States beginning later this year, and will sell for $57,500 before federal and state tax credits. A 36-month lease will also be available, with $3,649 due at signing, and $499 per month thereafter.

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Vive Le Quebec Special: Hyundai Accent Is Now Canada’s Cheapest New Car http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/vive-le-quebec-special-hyundai-accent-now-canadas-cheapest-new-car/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/vive-le-quebec-special-hyundai-accent-now-canadas-cheapest-new-car/#comments Thu, 15 Jan 2015 18:07:11 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=984106 The Nissan Micra has officially lost its title as “Canada’s Least Expensive New Car”. Now, the cheapest new car is now the Hyundai Accent. A new promotional program by Hyundai to celebrate the signing of a Canada-South Korea Free Trade Agreement has seen the base 2015 Hyundai Accent L Manual (aka the “Quebec Special, with […]

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quebecspecial

The Nissan Micra has officially lost its title as “Canada’s Least Expensive New Car”. Now, the cheapest new car is now the Hyundai Accent.

A new promotional program by Hyundai to celebrate the signing of a Canada-South Korea Free Trade Agreement has seen the base 2015 Hyundai Accent L Manual (aka the “Quebec Special, with no A/C or other creature comforts) priced at $9,400, or $600 less than a base model Nissan Micra. Even the Mitsubishi Mirage starts at $12,198 in the Great White North, making the Accent, and the Elantra L Quebec Special an incredible value.

Of course, two things stand in your way.

  1. While these two cars are qualitatively and quantitatively superior to the Micra and Mirage, you’ll have to find them on dealer lots first. Not an easy task outside of La Belle Province, where people demand these loss leaders in real quantities.
  2. You’ll almost certainly want to upgrade to a better trim level. No A/C is a major drag in many parts of the country.

CZ_en

 

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America’s SUV/Crossover Share Increased To 32% In 2014 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/americas-suvcrossover-share-increased-32-2014/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/americas-suvcrossover-share-increased-32-2014/#comments Thu, 15 Jan 2015 14:45:06 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=983585 U.S. sales of SUVs and crossovers grew at twice the rate of the overall industry in 2014 and at nearly three times the rate of the market for all passenger cars, pickup trucks, and vans. There’s no hiding the fact that many of these SUVs and crossovers are nothing more than cars on stilts. (And […]

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U.S. SUV market share chart 2014U.S. sales of SUVs and crossovers grew at twice the rate of the overall industry in 2014 and at nearly three times the rate of the market for all passenger cars, pickup trucks, and vans.

There’s no hiding the fact that many of these SUVs and crossovers are nothing more than cars on stilts. (And some have all but forgotten their stilts.) But consumers have drawn a line between vehicles like the Audi A3 and Audi Q3; between the Ford Escape and Ford Focus; between the Honda Fit and the upcoming Honda HR-V.


• Ten top sellers account four out of every ten utility vehicle sales

• Most all-new utility nameplates come from premium brands


Sales on the car side of the ledger expanded hardly at all in 2014; sales on the utility vehicle side jumped 12%.

Traditional SUVs weren’t left out in the dark. The Jeep Wrangler is America’s ninth-best-selling utility vehicle. Wrangler volume jumped 13% to 175,328 in 2014. Full-size, SUVs based off pickup trucks from General Motors, Ford Motor Company, Toyota, and Nissan combined for a 15% jump to 339,923 U.S. sales in 2014, equal to 6% of the overall utility vehicle market.

Each of the two brands which only sell utility vehicles, Jeep and Land Rover, set calendar year U.S. sales records in 2014. The four top-selling utility vehicle nameplates on sale in America – CR-V, Escape, RAV4, Equinox – reported record-high sales levels, as well as the sixth-ranked Nissan Rogue, ninth-ranked Wrangler; and tenth-ranked Subaru Forester.

Seven new crossover nameplates were introduced to the U.S. market over the course of 2014. Six hailed from premium automakers: the Lincoln MKC, Porsche Macan, Mercedes-Benz GLA, Audi Q3, Lexus NX, and BMW X4. Chevrolet began selling the Trax in December. These seven vehicles generated less than 1% of SUV/crossover market’s 2014 sales, however. The ten major players produced 42.5% of all utility vehicle sales in 2014, up from the 42.1% mark set by a slightly different group of ten a year earlier.

SUVs and crossovers accounted for 32.2% of all new vehicle sales in the United States in 2014, up from 30.4% in 2013 and 29.4% in 2012. With pickup trucks and vans also claiming an increased share, passenger cars paid the price. Car sales increased, but only slightly, and cars formed a smaller portion of the auto industry’s pie: down to 48% from 50% in 2013.

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 Heavy Lifters: 2014 U.S. Auto Sales Growth Was Mostly Powered By An Elite Few http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/heavy-lifters-2014-u-s-auto-sales-growth-mostly-powered-elite/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/heavy-lifters-2014-u-s-auto-sales-growth-mostly-powered-elite/#comments Wed, 14 Jan 2015 14:00:56 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=980409 Subtract the growth achieved by America’s 19 most meaningfully improved vehicles in 2014 and the U.S. auto industry was up just 1.0%, not 5.9%, last year. The Audi A3; BMW 3-Series/4-Series; Chevrolet Cruze and Silverado; GMC Sierra; Honda Accord and CR-V; Jeep Cherokee; Kia Soul; Nissan Sentra, Rogue, and Versa; Ram P/U; Subaru Forester and […]

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2014 Ram 3500Subtract the growth achieved by America’s 19 most meaningfully improved vehicles in 2014 and the U.S. auto industry was up just 1.0%, not 5.9%, last year.

The Audi A3; BMW 3-Series/4-Series; Chevrolet Cruze and Silverado; GMC Sierra; Honda Accord and CR-V; Jeep Cherokee; Kia Soul; Nissan Sentra, Rogue, and Versa; Ram P/U; Subaru Forester and Outback; and Toyota’s Camry, Corolla, RAV4, and 4Runner all produced in excess of 20,000 more sales in 2014 than in 2013, combining for 764,885 extra sales in a market which grew by approximately 927,000 units.

93,722 more sales were produced by another 18 vehicles which weren’t available in 2013: 4C, i3, i8, X4, GLA, Transit, MKC, ELR, City Express, Trax, TLX, K900, RC, NX, Q3, 918 Spyder, Macan, and V60.

Subtract the improvements produced by these 37 vehicles – which represent just 13% of the available nameplates – and America’s new vehicle industry was up just 0.4% in 2014, or basically flat.

TTAC pie chart 2014 salesCause for concern?

Hardly. But it’s a meaningful statistic, as it displays how the joint strength of many of the most popular (or increasingly popular) vehicle lines can overcome disastrous results from vehicles which buyers found far less desirable last year than in 2013. The 147 different nameplates which posted year-over-year declines in 2014 collectively produced 626,271 fewer sales in 2014 than in 2013, an 11% loss.

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 Segment: U.S. Midsize Car Sales In 2014 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/cains-segment-u-s-midsize-car-sales-2014/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/cains-segment-u-s-midsize-car-sales-2014/#comments Wed, 14 Jan 2015 13:00:59 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=980089 Growth in America’s midsize car market was slow in 2014, the second consecutive year in which the overall auto industry moved forward at an impressive rate while midsize car growth was unimpressive. • Altima and Fusion set nameplate records • Camry tops second-ranked Accord by 40K • The Big 5 grew their share of the […]

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2015 Toyota Camry XLE blueGrowth in America’s midsize car market was slow in 2014, the second consecutive year in which the overall auto industry moved forward at an impressive rate while midsize car growth was unimpressive.


• Altima and Fusion set nameplate records

• Camry tops second-ranked Accord by 40K

• The Big 5 grew their share of the segment


Yet in 2014, the most dominant midsize cars did in fact expand their sales at a healthy clip. The top-selling Toyota Camry was up 5%, year-over-year. Honda’s Accord, the second-ranked midsize car, posted a 6% improvement compared with 2013. Sales of the third-ranked Nissan Altima, America’s fourth-best-selling car overall, climbed 5% to a record-high 335,644 units.

The fourth-best-selling midsize car, Ford’s Fusion, also ascended to record highs with a 4% year-over-year increase. The fifth-ranked Hyundai Sonata, after starting slowly with the seventh-generation car in the latter portion of the year, ended 2014 up 7% compared with the 2013 calendar year.

The impressive improvements from those five top sellers resulted in a collective 5% YOY increase, equal to nearly 82,000 extra sales. Yet the midsize segment as shown here improved by fewer than 30,000 units as the five big players stole market share from many of the group’s smaller members.

Car
2014
2013
%
Change
Chevrolet Malibu 188,519 200,594 -6.0%
Chrysler 200 117,363 122,480 -4.2%
Dodge Avenger 51,705 93,842 -44.9%
Ford Fusion 306,860 295,280 3.9%
Honda Accord 388,374 366,678 5.9%
Hyundai Sonata 216,936 203,648 6.5%
Kia Optima 159,020 155,893 2.0%
Mazda 6 53,224 43,637 22.0%
Mitsubishi Galant 122 1441 -91.5%
Nissan Altima 335,644 320,723 4.7%
Subaru Legacy 52,270 42,291 23.6%
Suzuki Kizashi 1602 -100%
Toyota Camry 428,606 408,484 4.9%
Volkswagen Passat 96,649 109,652 -11.9%
Total 2,395,292 2,366,245 1.2%

In 2013, the five top sellers – the same five cars ranked in the exact same order – owned 67% of the category. In 2014, that figure grew by three percentage points to 70%.

How did it happen? Take it from the top, or rather, near the top. The Chevrolet Malibu slid 6%, ending the year with a 12% loss in the fourth-quarter. Chrysler’s launch of the new 200 brought about higher sales totals at the end of the year, but the 2014 calendar year saw total sales of the 200 (old and new) and Avenger (now defunct) fall 22%, a loss of some 47,000 sales.

U.S. midsize car sales chart 2014After following up 2012’s record-setting performance with a 6% loss in 2013, U.S. sales of the Volkswagen Passat fell 12% in 2014. The Mazda 6 and Subaru Legacy both posted large percentage increases, but their respective 22% and 24% gains, combined, generated fewer than 20,000 extra sales. (Camry volume increased by slightly more than 20,000 extra units in 2014.) The disappearance of the Suzuki Kizashi and Mitsubishi Galant resulted in 2921 lost sales in 2014, as well.

Thus, while it’s true that midsize car sales were flat in the United States in 2014, don’t confuse that overarching statement with an across-the-board assumption that all midsize nameplates were similarly affected. The rich got richer.

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: Minivan Sales In America In 2014 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/cains-segments-minivan-sales-america-2014/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/cains-segments-minivan-sales-america-2014/#comments Sun, 11 Jan 2015 18:25:24 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=974018 Refreshed for MY2015, the Toyota Sienna was America’s best-selling minivan in December 2014, the second consecutive month in which the Sienna topped its category. • Chrysler’s vans are the two top-selling minivans • Minivan sales hit six-year high But 2014 was not the year of the Sienna, nor was it a year in which the Honda […]

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2015 Toyota SiennaRefreshed for MY2015, the Toyota Sienna was America’s best-selling minivan in December 2014, the second consecutive month in which the Sienna topped its category.


• Chrysler’s vans are the two top-selling minivans

• Minivan sales hit six-year high


But 2014 was not the year of the Sienna, nor was it a year in which the Honda Odyssey could repeat as America’s best-selling minivan. Windsor, Ontario-built twins, the Chrysler Town & Country and Dodge Grand Caravan, ranked first and second, respectively, in U.S. minivan sales in the 2014 calendar year.

Together they earned 49% of the U.S. minivan market in 2014. That was up from 46% in 2013 when the Grand Caravan and Town & Country ranked second and third in the category.

The Volkswagen Routan disappeared in 2014; the Mazda 5 quickly approached its forthcoming extinction. The Nissan Quest was increasingly ignored. The Honda Odyssey slid from first to fourth in the category as year-over-year volume fell 5%.

Yet the size of the overall U.S. minivan market grew 4.5% to the highest level since 2008, when 13% of the minivan category’s sales were generated by nameplates which no longer exist.

Minivan
Dec.
2014
Dec.
2013
%
Change
2014
2013
%
Change
Chrysler Town & Country
10,709 9,737 10.0% 138,040 122,288 12.9%
Dodge Grand Caravan
11,253 11,226 0.2% 134,152 124,019 8.2%
Honda Odyssey
10,368 12,107 -14.4% 122,738 128,987 -4.8%
Kia Sedona
2,997 501 498% 14,567 7,079 106%
Mazda 5
759 1,167 -35.0% 11,613 13,884 -16.4%
Nissan Quest
685 868 -21.1% 9,833 12,874 -23.6%
Toyota Sienna
11,688 9,380 24.6% 124,502 121,117 2.8%
Volkswagen Routan
284 -100% 1,103 2,109 -47.7%
Total
48,459
45,270 7.0%  556,548 532,357 4.5%

Kia began selling their third-generation Sedona in the fourth-quarter of 2014. 61% of the Sedona’s 2014 total was generated in Q4, a period in which year-over-year Sedona volume jumped 524%.

The bigger change to the minivan segment in the next two years, however, won’t be the Kia Sedona’s rise but rather the means by which Fiat Chrysler Automobiles alters the playing field. For better or for worse.

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: Is Consolidation Inevitable? http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/chart-day-consolidation-inevitable/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/chart-day-consolidation-inevitable/#comments Sun, 11 Jan 2015 14:00:12 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=975409 Conventional wisdom holds that consolidation among auto makers is inevitable. But this chart from IHS Automotive tells a different story. As time has passed, the market share of the 10 largest auto makers has slipped. IHS projects that by the end of the decade, they will account for just 70 percent of sales. No one […]

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Conventional wisdom holds that consolidation among auto makers is inevitable. But this chart from IHS Automotive tells a different story.

As time has passed, the market share of the 10 largest auto makers has slipped. IHS projects that by the end of the decade, they will account for just 70 percent of sales. No one auto maker is poised to make any gains from 2012 to 2020. At best, certain OEMs like Volkswagen, Renault Nissan, Honda and Suzuki will remain flat. So, who is making up the other 30 percent?

(H/T Glenn Mercer, industry veteran, TTAC reader and former owner of a Zanardi NSX)

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Charts Of The Day: U.S. Auto Market Share In December And 2014 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/charts-day-u-s-auto-market-share-december-2014/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/charts-day-u-s-auto-market-share-december-2014/#comments Sat, 10 Jan 2015 13:38:34 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=973913 Compared with the prior year, the Ford Motor Company lost one full percentage point of market share in the United States in 2014. While preparing to replace their F-150, Ford/Lincoln market share fell from 15.9% to 14.9% as F-Series sales predictably stalled in an expanding market and as Ford brand car sales slid 4%. Poised […]

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2014 u.s. auto market share chartCompared with the prior year, the Ford Motor Company lost one full percentage point of market share in the United States in 2014. While preparing to replace their F-150, Ford/Lincoln market share fell from 15.9% to 14.9% as F-Series sales predictably stalled in an expanding market and as Ford brand car sales slid 4%.

Poised to pickup Ford’s share was Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. The company’s Alfa Romeo, Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat, Jeep, Maserati, and Ram brands boosted FCA’s U.S. market share from 11.6% in 2013 to 12.7% in 2014. Maserati, Jeep, and Ram were America’s fastest-growing auto brands. 

U.S. auto market share chart December 2014Year-over-year, General Motors, Toyota, and the Korean duo saw little change. American Honda lost half a percentage point; Nissan gained nearly that much. What the Volkswagen Group lost – thanks to the VW brand itself – the Subaru brand picked up.

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: Small/Midsize Truck Sales In December And 2014 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/cains-segments-smallmidsize-truck-sales-december-2014/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/cains-segments-smallmidsize-truck-sales-december-2014/#comments Thu, 08 Jan 2015 14:20:59 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=973785 General Motors’ U.S. market share in the small/midsize truck category grew in December 2014 to 21.1% from 13.9% in November. According to inventory statistics from Automotive News, GM dealers had approximately 9400 Chevrolet Colorados and GMC Canyons in stock at the beginning of December. • Tacoma and Frontier rising • GM earning market share • […]

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2015 Chevrolet ColoradoGeneral Motors’ U.S. market share in the small/midsize truck category grew in December 2014 to 21.1% from 13.9% in November. According to inventory statistics from Automotive News, GM dealers had approximately 9400 Chevrolet Colorados and GMC Canyons in stock at the beginning of December.


• Tacoma and Frontier rising

• GM earning market share

• Small/midsize trucks account for 1/10 pickup sales


Yet a booming auto industry and a surging pickup market meant that even with this new level of competition from the GM midsize pickups, widely regarded as the modern members of the class, the Toyota Tacoma and Nissan Frontier each posted 12% year-over-year improvements in December.

Naturally, the arrival of competition that didn’t exist a year before brought down their market share, but the Tacoma added 1523 sales; the Frontier another 649.

Although the Colorado and Canyon arrived in numbers at the beginning of the fourth-quarter, we’ve yet to see their full impact. Toyota appears inclined to rest on their laurels – and their profit-building platform – with their refresh of the Tacoma which TTAC displayed last night.

December 2014 U.S. truck market share chartThe current Ridgeline is fading fast. Nissan has gone back and forth on future Frontier plans, but we do know we can expect something new in the not too distant future.

But we’re also approaching the slowest buying season of the year (consumers typically purchase and lease 25% fewer new vehicles in January than they did at the end of the previous year) which could hinder our ability to see how much progress the Colorado and Canyon are making.

Small/Midsize Truck
Dec. 2014
Dec. 2013
%
Change
2014
2013
%
Change
Toyota Tacoma
14,284 12,761 11.9% 155,041 159,485 -2.8%
Nissan Frontier
6,060 5,411 12.0% 74,323 62,837 18.3%
Chevrolet Colorado
4,037 2 201,750% 8,003 3,412 135%
GMC Canyon
1,533 2 76,550% 3,070 929 230%
Honda Ridgeline
481 1,563 -69.2% 13,389 17,723 -24.5%
Suzuki Equator
448 -100%
Total
26,395 19,739 33.7% 253,826 244,834 3.7%

Non-full-size trucks accounted for 11.3% of the overall pickup market in 2013, a figure which fell to 10.9% in calendar year 2014. Results at the end of the year didn’t tell a significantly altered story, as these five pickups combined to generate just 11.1% of the U.S. auto industry’s pickup volume.

The reason? While the small/midsize trucks combined for a 34% year-over-year improvement, sales of three major full-size pickups – Silverado, Ram, Sierra – jumped 34%, as well, driving the full-size market to a 211,000-unit total.

Will 2015 be any different?

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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Supplier Woes Lead To Lada’s First-Ever Loss Of Monthly Sales Crown http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/supplier-woes-lead-ladas-first-ever-loss-monthly-sales-crown/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/supplier-woes-lead-ladas-first-ever-loss-monthly-sales-crown/#comments Thu, 08 Jan 2015 11:00:21 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=973537 Since the first Ladas left the assembly line in the 1970s, the automaker has always held the top spot on the sales podium, month after month, year after year. Until November 2014, that is. Automotive News Europe reports that problems between parent company AutoVAZ and several of its suppliers helped to bring Lada’s continuous dominance […]

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Since the first Ladas left the assembly line in the 1970s, the automaker has always held the top spot on the sales podium, month after month, year after year. Until November 2014, that is.

Automotive News Europe reports that problems between parent company AutoVAZ and several of its suppliers helped to bring Lada’s continuous dominance over the Russian domestic market to an end that month, when Kia moved 10,834 Rios over the former’s 10,520 Grantas to take the monthly gold. Those problems have since been resolved, per an AutoVAZ representative.

Despite the hiccup, Lada is still the czar of the Russian market, having sold 351,992 units between January and November of last year; Kia holds a distant second with 175,491 sold. The Granta is also holding its own overall, with 139,405 copies taking to the highway over the same timeframe. Hyundai’s Solaris (105,142) and the Kia Rio (84,350) round out the top three.

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De Nysschen Back Tracks As Cadillac CTS Gets $3,000 Price Cut http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/de-nysschen-back-tracks-cadillac-cts-gets-3000-price-cut/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/de-nysschen-back-tracks-cadillac-cts-gets-3000-price-cut/#comments Wed, 07 Jan 2015 20:43:35 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=973321 “That’s not going to happen…Either you have to bring your volume aspirations into alignment with reality and accept that you will sell fewer cars. Or you have to drop the price and continue to transact at the prices where you were historically. I think the logical conclusion is that it’s better to build off a […]

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Click here to view the embedded video.

“That’s not going to happen…Either you have to bring your volume aspirations into alignment with reality and accept that you will sell fewer cars. Or you have to drop the price and continue to transact at the prices where you were historically. I think the logical conclusion is that it’s better to build off a very solid base in terms of [product] credibility, charge a fair price for the car and realize you have to wait until the volume comes.”

That quote was from Cadillac boss John De Nysschen in response to questions about cutting the prices of Cadillac models, which some dealers complained has risen too quickly. How quickly that’s changed.

Automotive News reports that the 2015 Cadillac CTS models with a V6 engine will get a $3,000 price cut. Select models equipped with a 4-cylinder engine will get a $2,000 cut. The base price of $46,340 remains unchanged, while the top trim V-Sport with a twin turbo V6 engine will stay at $71,880.

A Cadillac memo described the move as “a more compelling price point for our returning CTS loyalists when moving up into a new, more sophisticated 2015 CTS.” Inventories of the CTS remained bloated through much of the year, with many Cadillac dealers complaining that prices of the CTS had risen sharply, alienating existing customers. Despite a brand new model, CTS sales were down 4 percent year over year in 2014.

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Cain’s Segments: Full-Size Trucks In The Year 2014 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/cains-segments-full-size-trucks-year-2014/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/cains-segments-full-size-trucks-year-2014/#comments Wed, 07 Jan 2015 15:45:18 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=972569 Pickup trucks soared to their highest total of 2014 during the month of December, climbing 18% to 237,635, equal to 14% of the overall auto industry’s new vehicle volume. Truck sales jumped 6% to 2.3 million in 2014. • GM twins outsold F-Series in December • F-Series outsold GM twins in 2014 • Ram makes […]

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2015 ford-f150 rouge factoryPickup trucks soared to their highest total of 2014 during the month of December, climbing 18% to 237,635, equal to 14% of the overall auto industry’s new vehicle volume. Truck sales jumped 6% to 2.3 million in 2014.


• GM twins outsold F-Series in December

• F-Series outsold GM twins in 2014

• Ram makes biggest market share gains


Full-size trucks generated 88.9% of all pickup sales activity in December, down from 90.1% a year ago as General Motors contributed more than 5500 Colorado/Canyon sales to the mix, strengthening the small corner of the market held by small/midsize pickups.

Led by big GM improvements, the full-size sector grew by 30,522 units last month. The Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra combined to outsell the Ford F-Series, as it transition to a 2015 F-150, by 6918 units. Joining GM’s surge, Ram P/U sales shot up 32% to 44,222 units, making December the third month in 2014 that Ram sales shot beyond the 40K mark.

Truck
Dec.
2014
Dec.
2013
%
Change
2014
2013
%
Change
Ford F-Series
 74,355 74,592 -0.3% 753,851 763,402 -1.3%
Chevrolet Silverado
57,837 42,593 35.8% 529,755 480,414 10.3%
Ram P/U
44,222 33,405 32.4% 439,789 355,673 23.7%
GMC Sierra
23,436 17,854 31.3% 211,833 184,389 14.9%
Toyota Tundra
10,519 10,988 -4.3% 118,493 112,732 5.1%
Nissan Titan
869 1284 -32.3% 12,527 15,691 -20.2%
Total
211,238 180,716 16.9% 2,066,248 1,912,301 8.1%

Over the course of 2014, the F-Series outsold the GM twins by 12,263 units. Predictably, Ford suffered market share losses. Perhaps less predictably, it was Ram and not GM which managed to eat up the larger chunk of Ford’s lost share. Ford’s share of the full-size category slid by more than three percentage points; Ram picked up slightly less than three percentage points.

Truck
Dec.
2014
Share
Dec.
2013
Share
2014
Share
2013
Share
Ford F-Series
35.2% 41.3% 36.5% 39.9%
Chevrolet Silverado/GMC Sierra
38.5% 33.4% 35.9% 34.8%
Ram P/U
20.9% 18.5% 21.3% 18.6%
Toyota Tundra
5.0% 6.1% 5.7% 5.9%
Nissan Titan
0.4% 0.7% 0.6% 0.8%
Full-Size Share Of
Total Pickup Truck Market
88.9% 90.1% 89.1% 87.9%
Full-Size Pickup Share
Of Total Industry
14.0% 13.3% 12.5% 12.3%

GM’s market share improved more noticeably at the end of the year, however. In December, for example, GM’s share of the full-size truck market jumped from 33.4% to 38.5%, year-over-year.

What impact can smaller trucks have in 2015? Will Ford be forced to incentivize their aluminum-intensive F-150 in order to hold its position? Will fuel economy be a concern by the second-half of 2015 as it was in the first-half of 2014? Might Toyota see its revamped-but-not-all-new Tundra stumble as the market expands? Can a new Nissan Titan make headway?

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 Transit Best-Selling US Van In December http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/ford-transit-best-selling-us-van-december/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/ford-transit-best-selling-us-van-december/#comments Wed, 07 Jan 2015 15:00:29 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=972929 Ford may soon have a new member in its royal family, as the 2015 Transit is asserting its dominance upon Flower Shop Lane. Autoblog reports the Blue Oval moved 20,488 2015 Transits in 2014, half of which — 10,030 — were sold to plumbers, caterers and hotel shuttle fleets in December. In that same month, […]

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2015 Ford Transit at a Hotel

Ford may soon have a new member in its royal family, as the 2015 Transit is asserting its dominance upon Flower Shop Lane.

Autoblog reports the Blue Oval moved 20,488 2015 Transits in 2014, half of which — 10,030 — were sold to plumbers, caterers and hotel shuttle fleets in December. In that same month, the Chevrolet Express took second on the podium with 5,611 sold, while the outgoing Ford E-Series — the current king of Flower Shop Lane with 103,263 units sold in 2014 — took third at 5,256.

Ford representative Mike Levine took to Twitter to express his joy at the news, dubbing the Transit a “game changer.” Per an interview with the publication, Levine cited his employer’s commitment to its customers’ needs, as well as the vast configurability of the Transit and its smaller sibling, the Transit Connect.

AutoPacific auto industry analyst Dave Sullivan added that the van’s lower base price — in comparison to competitors like the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter — also helped in winning the sales game for December. However, he warns the Transit will have a major challenge ahead this year, as it will have to take up the throne abdicated by E-Series.

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BMW Takes US Luxury Sales Crown Back From Mercedes http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/bmw-takes-us-luxury-sales-crown-back-mercedes/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/bmw-takes-us-luxury-sales-crown-back-mercedes/#comments Wed, 07 Jan 2015 12:00:48 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=972809 After a year-long battle for the top position on the U.S. luxury sales podium, BMW takes back the crown Mercedes-Benz won in 2013. Reuters reports the Bavarians moved over 9,000 more units by the end of 2014 over the wonder boys back in Stuttgart, coming out to a total of 339,738 for BMW, 330,391 for […]

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bmw-4-series-m-sport

After a year-long battle for the top position on the U.S. luxury sales podium, BMW takes back the crown Mercedes-Benz won in 2013.

Reuters reports the Bavarians moved over 9,000 more units by the end of 2014 over the wonder boys back in Stuttgart, coming out to a total of 339,738 for BMW, 330,391 for Mercedes. Both automakers also experienced growth in U.S. sales during the last year, though BMW’s 9.8 percent boost over 2013’s numbers raced past Mercedes’ 5.7 percent increase.

Taking third on the podium was Lexus with 311,389 units sold in 2014, though its rate of growth bested the top two finishers at 13.7 percent over 2013.

Rounding out the rest of the U.S. mainstream luxury pack, Audi took fourth from Cadillac, the latter to be the only make to see a decline in growth in 2014, falling 6.5 percent to 170,750 units; Audi sold 182,011 over the same period, 15.2 percent more than it did in 2013.

Acura and Infiniti took sixth and seventh respectively, with 167,843 to 117,300 units moved. Both also experienced the lowest rates of growth in sales in the outgoing year: 1.5 percent in Acura’s favor, 0.8 percent for Infiniti.

Lincoln finished dead last with 94,474 units sold, but had the biggest rate of growth out of its fellow competitors compared to 2013 at 15.6 percent.

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