The Truth About Cars » auto sales http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Sat, 20 Dec 2014 16:36:04 +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 » auto sales http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/themes/ttac-theme/images/logo.gif http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com 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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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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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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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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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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All The Minis Are Down Except The One That Counts http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/11/minis-except-one-counts/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/11/minis-except-one-counts/#comments Thu, 27 Nov 2014 13:38:08 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=950297 They’ve been certified, although not with the fuel economy figures we first heard. They’re available, although many Mini buyers will want their cars individually tailored. And as a result, U.S. sales of Mini’s core model – the one they call the Hardtop – jumped 64% in October 2014. All other Mini variants posted fewer sales […]

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2015 Mini Cooper SThey’ve been certified, although not with the fuel economy figures we first heard. They’re available, although many Mini buyers will want their cars individually tailored. And as a result, U.S. sales of Mini’s core model – the one they call the Hardtop – jumped 64% in October 2014.

All other Mini variants posted fewer sales in October 2014 than in October 2013. In some cases, the declines represented significant losses.

As the current Clubman is phased out, sales of the elongated Mini slid 98% to just 15, a loss of 932 units. Convertible sales slid 20%; Roadster volume was chopped in half, year-over-year. The Coupe, always rare and expected to soon die along with the Roadster, was down 74% to just 24 units. Paceman volume slid 42%. The Countryman, the best-selling Mini bodystyle over the first ten months of 2014 with a 7% increase in year-to-date sales, was down 9%.

As a result, the massive 1068-unit increase from Mini’s best-selling model was overshadowed by declines from the brand’s six other cars, resulting in a 7% loss for the brand in October 2014. Through the first ten months of 2014, Mini USA volume is down 20%. After generating 19% of BMW of North America’s volume at this point in 2013, Mini has produced just 14% of the company’s sales in 2014.

mini usa sales chartYet the bright spot couldn’t be brighter. This is not an obscure improvement from one of the brand’s mostly ignored cars. The Hardtop, Mini’s most traditional three-door hatchback, in Cooper and Cooper S form, is Mini. It is likely the brand’s least opinion-dividing car. It’s also their most affordable model.

This car was sorely needed in Mini showrooms. Total non-Countryman/Paceman sales were down 7% in 2013 as the Hardtop variant fell 8%. Cooper Hardtop sales had decreased on a year-over-year basis in 18 of 20 months leading up to October. Through the first three-quarters of 2014, Hardtop volume was down 36%, a loss of 7501 units.

We may not see huge 64% improvements added to the Mini Cooper Hardtop’s sales each month in the near future, and whatever gains it does achieve may be offset by continued losses of other models, and then buoyed again by the arrival of a five-door. But as a sign that Mini’s still kickin’, October’s total for the brand’s most popular model was an especially strong one.

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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Midsize Aston Fusion Is Ford’s Bright Car Light http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/11/fusion-still-fords-bright-car-light/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/11/fusion-still-fords-bright-car-light/#comments Wed, 26 Nov 2014 13:27:17 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=950257 Ford division car sales in the United States are down 4% in 2014. The automaker’s eight-nameplate passenger car lineup, including two Lincolns, is down 3.8% over the last ten months. Imagine how much worse it would be without the Fusion, sales of which have risen 6.2% to 263,431 units this year. After the Fusion broke […]

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Ford Fusion sales chartFord division car sales in the United States are down 4% in 2014. The automaker’s eight-nameplate passenger car lineup, including two Lincolns, is down 3.8% over the last ten months.

Imagine how much worse it would be without the Fusion, sales of which have risen 6.2% to 263,431 units this year. After the Fusion broke its 2011 sales record last year, 2014 is bound to be an improved year again, as the midsize Ford is on track to break through the 300K barrier for the first time ever. The last time a Ford car generated more than 300,000 U.S. sales in a single year was with the Taurus in 2005, the year the Fusion went on sale.

Exclude the Fusion from Ford’s passenger car sales equation and year-to-date car volume at the Ford brand would be down 9.9% in 2014.

C-Max sales have fallen 23% compared with ten-month results from 2013, the C-Max’s first full year on the market. The Fiesta is down 9.6% compared with 2013, the nameplate’s best year so far. Focus volume has fallen 6.8% this year after sliding 4.6% in 2013. The Taurus and Taurus Police Interceptor are down 20.4%, a loss of 14,179 units. The Mustang, in a very public replacement phase, is down just 2.6%.

An aging product lineup is a clear cause of disappointing results, as is Ford’s decreasing interest in boosting volume through fleet sales. The Fiesta, though refreshed, has been on sale since the end of 2010’s second-quarter, and there are newer, more spacious subcompacts available. The Focus has been facelifted for MY2015, but that will be its fourth model year. The Taurus competes in a dying segment, and there are far fresher faces there, as well. As for the Mustang, a genuine volume producer for the Blue Oval in America, a far more drastic decline would have been understandable.

Ford Fusion. Picture courtesy of netcarshow.comMeanwhile, over at Lincoln, MKS sales have tumbled 24.5% in 2014, the car’s seventh – and worst – year of availability. MKZ sales are up 9.7% this year but have decreased in each of the last five months, falling 13.8% since the beginning of June. Lincoln sales are up 9% during that five-month period thanks to extra sales from the new MKC, 8615 of which have been sold since going on sale in May.

Low volume from the majority of FoMoCo’s cars have been countered, though not completely counteracted, by the Fusion’s strength and by strong utility vehicle sales. (The Edge, Escape, Expedition, Explorer, Flex, MKC, MKT, MKX, and Navigator have combined for 620,759 year-to-date sales, up 2.9%, compared with 688,981 total Ford/Lincoln car sales.) The Fusion is America’s fourth-best-selling midsize car, and its share of the segment has grown from approximately 12.1% during the first ten months of 2013 to 12.8% in 2014.

Fusion volume has increased by 15,398 units in 2014, compared with 24,246 extra Accord sales 20,008 extra Camry sales, and 9176 extra Altima sales. Overall midsize sales are stagnant; Fusion volume is up 6.2%. It leads the fifth-ranked midsize car, Hyundai’s Sonata, by nearly 83,000 units.

Among Detroit brand cars, regardless of size, nothing sells as often as the Fusion. The Chevrolet Cruze comes closest, with 232,403 units so far this year, a 9.7% improvement.

As for the pleasure the Fusion brings the Ford brand, consider this: 36.5% of Ford brand car sales in the first ten months of 2013 were Fusions. That number has shot up to 40.3% in 2014. Over the last six months, Fusion volume has improved 13.3%.

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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Small/Midsize Truck Sales Up 19% In October 2014 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/11/smallmidsize-truck-sales-19-october-2014/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/11/smallmidsize-truck-sales-19-october-2014/#comments Tue, 25 Nov 2014 13:48:33 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=948881 U.S. sales of small/midsize/non-full-size pickup trucks jumped 19.4% in October 2014, a gain of 3672 units compared with October 2013. Sales of the Toyota Tacoma were up 5%. Nissan Frontier sales shot up 25%. Not surprisingly, the slowly disappearing Honda Ridgeline was down 35%. GM’s new pickup trucks contributed an extra 2158 sales. Even without […]

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2015 Chevrolet ColoradoU.S. sales of small/midsize/non-full-size pickup trucks jumped 19.4% in October 2014, a gain of 3672 units compared with October 2013.

Sales of the Toyota Tacoma were up 5%. Nissan Frontier sales shot up 25%. Not surprisingly, the slowly disappearing Honda Ridgeline was down 35%. GM’s new pickup trucks contributed an extra 2158 sales. Even without those additional Colorados and Canyons, the category would have risen 8% despite the Ridgeline’s sharp but relatively inconsequential decline.

With those extra GM truck sales, these not exactly small pickups accounted for 11.2% of the overall pickup truck market in October 2014, up from 10.3% a year ago. Overall, pickup truck sales were up 10% in October and have grown 5% this year. We covered the full-size portion of the category earlier this month.

We know that the launch of the new Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon will reveal far greater sales figures over the coming months. They will steal market share. Indeed, they already have. At this early stage, however, they haven’t stolen sales – or at least not a sufficient number of sales to slow YOY growth – from the Tacoma and Frontier, as both of those older established pickup trucks posted meaningful gains in October.

The Tacoma’s share of this pickup truck sub-segment fell from 65.5% to 57.7% in October. The Frontier’s share grew from 27.8% to 29.1%.

Heading into November, Automotive News reports that GM dealers had 4300 Colorados in stock and 1800 Canyons, plus 274,000 Silverados and Sierras. Clearly then, we’ll be waiting a while if, in fact, it’s possible for us to ever see Tacoma and Frontier-beating numbers from these trucks.

Auto
October
2014
October
2013
%
Change
10 mos.
2014
10 mos.
2013
%
Change
Toyota Tacoma
13,010 12,351 5.3% 127,739 134,123 -4.8%
Nissan Frontier
6,568 5,242 25.3% 61,931 51,423 20.4%
Chevrolet Colorado
1,491 29 5,041% 1,600 3,404 -53.0%
Honda Ridgeline
802 1,239 -35.3% 12,373 14,807 -16.4%
GMC Canyon
667 5 13,240% 683 923 -26.0%
Suzuki Equator
448 -100%
Total
22,538
18,866 19.5% 204,326 205,128 -0.4%

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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Tales Of Redesign Timing: Two Traditional Detroit Products Get Refreshed http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/11/tales-redesign-timing-two-traditional-detroit-products-get-refreshed/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/11/tales-redesign-timing-two-traditional-detroit-products-get-refreshed/#comments Mon, 24 Nov 2014 13:04:08 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=948721 Ford’s facelifted 2016 Explorer debuted at the auto show in Los Angeles this week. Admittedly, it’s more than a facelift for the Explorer, as a better EcoBoost four-cylinder will serve as the vehicle’s smallest powerplant. Ford will also begin selling a higher-grade Platinum trim level and, in all models, an improved interior will take centre […]

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Explorer 300 sales chartFord’s facelifted 2016 Explorer debuted at the auto show in Los Angeles this week. Admittedly, it’s more than a facelift for the Explorer, as a better EcoBoost four-cylinder will serve as the vehicle’s smallest powerplant. Ford will also begin selling a higher-grade Platinum trim level and, in all models, an improved interior will take centre stage.

At the same auto show, the 2015 Chrysler 300 also appears quite similar to the outgoing model, although the changes underneath are perhaps more thorough. The exterior, while not wildly different, is certainly altered to the point that you’ll know the difference.

These two redesigns of two prototypical Detroit products with wildly different backgrounds occur at very different life stages for these product lines as the two vehicle lines head in opposite directions.

The Explorer, which has not been a true truck-based SUV for years, carries on with one of the most successful and iconic SUV nameplates in history. The 300 initially grew out of Mercedes-Benz “partnerships”, but as a vast, rear-wheel-drive car, it probably represents America’s big sedan history more accurately than any other vehicle currently on the market.

2016 Ford ExplorerBut while the Explorer is America’s fifth-best-selling SUV/crossover nameplate and sales have risen 9% this year, the fifth consecutive year of improved Explorer volume, 300 sales are tumbling. Sales of the big Chrysler fell 18% last year, a loss of 23,023 units. 300 volume is down 9% through the first ten months of 2014. It’s currently America’s 42nd-best-selling car. It ranked 14th in 2006.

Like the 300, the Explorer doesn’t sell like it once did. As recently as 2002, Ford reported more than 400,000 Explorer sales in America. The nameplate then decreased in volume in seven consecutive years.

Nevertheless, these two vehicles are on different tracks travelling to different destinations. America’s passenger car market is hardly growing despite steady increases in the size of the overall new vehicle industry, and the 300 is just one of many big cars with falling sales. Azera, Taurus, Impala, Avalon, LaCrosse, and the 300’s Charger twin are all down this year, as well.

2015 chrysler 300The Explorer, on the other hand, is part of a utility vehicle sector that’s rising 12% this year, earning more than 470,000 extra sales for the industry over the last ten months.

A new 300 isn’t going to return Chrysler to the days of 140K annual sales rates, nor will a facelifted Explorer cause Ford to sell more than 400,000 per year.

One redesign stands a chance at stemming the tide; the other should help maintain its heady position.

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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Audi USA Sold More A3s Than A4s In October 2014 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/11/audi-usa-sold-a3s-a4s-october-2014/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/11/audi-usa-sold-a3s-a4s-october-2014/#comments Sun, 23 Nov 2014 13:41:26 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=948681 Are times changing, or was October nothing more than an optimal arranging of circumstances in favour of Audi’s smallest sedan? Audi USA sold more A3s than A4 sedans in October 2014, a serious shift from a year ago when the old A3 hatchback was dead and Audi sold 3040 A4s. Before we assume this will […]

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2015-Audi-A3-beauty-exterior-005Are times changing, or was October nothing more than an optimal arranging of circumstances in favour of Audi’s smallest sedan?

Audi USA sold more A3s than A4 sedans in October 2014, a serious shift from a year ago when the old A3 hatchback was dead and Audi sold 3040 A4s.

Before we assume this will be the new way forward for Audi in America, remember that the A4 is at the end of its rope. The next generation A4 has already been spotted in camo form, and while the current car clearly remains competitive in the marketplace, it is an older design.

The A3, on the other hand, was released in the United States in new sedan form earlier this year.

Additionally, the A4’s figures don’t take into account the Allroad (basically a jacked-up and cladded A4 Avant, which is no longer available in North America) and the A3 lineup’s second offering, a convertible, began reaching showrooms this fall. Include the Allroad in the A4’s total and the A3 trailed the bigger car by 292 units in October. The A3 Cabriolet, meanwhile, makes up 17% of all A3 inventory as we speak.

Nevertheless, it’s a meaningful moment in time, a snapshot of a downward-stretching “luxury” market that needs additional entry-level models to create greater volume. Along with the 2380 A3s Audi sold in October 2014, there were another 683 Q3 crossovers. Together, they accounted for one in five Audi sales last month.

The brand’s best-selling Q5 was up 6% to 3571 units, equal to 24% of all Audi sales. Top-end models – A6, A7, A8, Q7 – collectively rose 7% to 4671 October sales, 31% of the brand’s total. Equivalent lineups at Mercedes-Benz – E-Class, CLS-Class, S-Class, GL-Class – have produced 40% of the brand’s (significantly higher) sales through the first ten months of 2014.

Yet so often this year, the more interesting shift in the premium market has seen Audi consistently outselling Cadillac: in April, May, June, August, September, and October, and by 4681 sales year-to-date. Cadillac outsold Audi by nearly 25,000 units in the U.S. last year, when Cadillac sales jumped 22% and Audi rose 13%. One key difference between the two brands is the breadth of Audi’s lineup at the top and bottom of the range. While not Mercedes-Benz-like, Audi’s broad range makes the narrow scope of the Cadillac portfolio all the more apparent. Cadillac lacks products which could directly take on the TT, R8, A8, A7, Allroad, and Audi’s new entry-level cars, the A3 and Q3.

Together, those vehicles were responsible for 28% of Audi sales last month. At Cadillac, their non-existent rivals produced 0% of the brand’s October sales.

12a4allroadCadillac’s missing parts creates a story for another day and an issue their new boss, Johan de Nysschen appears willing to take a look at only if it means Cadillac will make more money.

Back among German automakers, the A3 trailed Mercedes-Benz’s CLA by 216 units in October 2014 but leads the CLA by 1512 sales since the beginning of April, when the A3 arrived in real numbers. The GLA, in its second month, outsold the Q3, in its third month, by 1324 units in October.

When luxury automakers dive down to this price bracket, volume certainly matters. How much relevance Audi places on the A3’s A4-beating performance in October is another matter, of course, not just because of the A4’s age. With numerical assistance from a wagon, the A4 was actually the more popular product last month. Imagine that, a wagon, of all things, helped the A4 rise to the top of Audi’s car leaderboard.

Regardless of their position in the rankings, the new A3 has undeniably been a far more successful car for Audi USA than the old hatchback. Audi has already sold twice as many A3s in the last seven months than the old model ever managed in a full calendar year.

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: Jaguar vs. Land Rover http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/11/chart-day-jaguar-vs-land-rover/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/11/chart-day-jaguar-vs-land-rover/#comments Sat, 22 Nov 2014 13:10:23 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=947857 The reasons for the drop of the red line and the steady rise of the grey line on today’s chart are perhaps too numerous to count. Additional product for one brand. Less intervention at another. A move toward high-riding vehicles helped one brand. A move away from traditional cars harmed the other. These two factors […]

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Jaguar vs Land Rover sales chartThe reasons for the drop of the red line and the steady rise of the grey line on today’s chart are perhaps too numerous to count.

Additional product for one brand. Less intervention at another.

A move toward high-riding vehicles helped one brand. A move away from traditional cars harmed the other. These two factors are made all the more apparent when one brand employs a full lineup of SUVs/crossovers and the other has yet to bring its first utility vehicle to market.

One brand’s message has been artfully constructed over a few decades; the other’s has been muddied for at least a generation.

Both have been labelled as dreadfully unreliable at different points. One brand has had trouble discarding that label; the other has succeeded in spite of it.

Both British brands were Ford-owned but now find themselves under the wing of India’s Tata Group.

These lines could yet head in similar directions. Jaguar will begin to sell a crossover and a lower-priced sedan. Land Rover’s Discovery Sport could buoy the brand’s lower range, as the majority of the company’s U.S. sales are produced by the trio of Range Rover-branded products.

At the moment, however, Land Rover USA sales are better than they’ve ever been thanks to a market which is increasingly keen on this type of vehicle and the brand’s broadest product range ever. Jaguar USA, on the other hand,  sold nearly 16,000 S-Types in 2002 but might not sell that many XJs, XFs, XKs, and F-Types in total this year.

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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Versa Still Rules Roost As Fit Sales Reach 42-Month High In October http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/11/versa-still-rules-roost-fit-sales-reach-42-month-high-october/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/11/versa-still-rules-roost-fit-sales-reach-42-month-high-october/#comments Fri, 21 Nov 2014 13:21:54 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=947057 American Honda reported the Fit’s best October ever last month. At 6851 U.S. sales, Fit volume was up 83% year-over-year to the highest total since April 2011, when Fit sales shot up 73% to 8116. The new Fit, the third version of Honda’s sub-Civic car for North America has certainly been well-received early on in […]

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Honda Fit EXLAmerican Honda reported the Fit’s best October ever last month. At 6851 U.S. sales, Fit volume was up 83% year-over-year to the highest total since April 2011, when Fit sales shot up 73% to 8116.

The new Fit, the third version of Honda’s sub-Civic car for North America has certainly been well-received early on in its tenure. With Honda sales rising to the highest October level ever and a new Mexican-built version of the brand’s least costly car finally readily available, seeing the Fit rise to new heights was not an unexpected occurrence.

It’s no E-Type on the outside, but the Fit’s purposeful design pays dividends inside for owners and even passengers. It is in some ways a mini-MPV with a very monobox shape. It’s not conventional, but its flexibility makes it strangely desirable as a result. Honda’s share of the subcompact category grew to 17.8% in October 2014, up from 10.8% a year ago and 10.6% in calendar year 2013 as a whole. It’s worth noting, as well, that the Fit is available only as a hatchback, while the four other members of the subcompact category’s October top five are sold as hatchbacks and sedans.

It’s also worth noting that the category continues to be controlled in large part by the cheap-and-roomy Nissan Versa, sales of which improved 29% in October 2014 to 11,097 units, 28.8% of the segment’s total.

With a higher price tag and fewer build options, it’s hard to see the Fit unseating the Versa any time soon, even on a semi-long-term basis.

Added competition may pose the greater danger to the Fit over the next few years, however. And we don’t mean competition from more subcompact hatchbacks. While Nissan Canada has seen Versa sales tumble 43% over the last three months as the Micra slotted in below and stole sales (and added many more), Honda will challenge their own Fit and Civic with the new HR-V, set to be displayed in detail at the Los Angeles auto show this week.

It’s a long-running theme. America’s new vehicle market is expanding at a 5.5% clip in 2014, and while subcompact sales shot up 11.5% in the month of October, specifically, subcompact volume is up just 3.4% this year. That outpaces the overall passenger car market, which is up just 1.2%. But combined sales of the Buick Encore, Mini Countryman and Paceman, Mitsubishi Outlander Sport, Nissan Juke, and Subaru XV Crosstrek are up 28.2% to a combined 181,370 units. Sure, as a group they’re not as popular as subcompact cars – they’re certainly more costly, too. Yet their growth does represent a real turning of the tide.

Nissan Versa NoteBack in the here and now, Detroit subcompacts, in the form of the Chevrolet Sonic and Ford Fiesta, have earned 31% market share in 2014. Sales of the Hyundai Accent rose 34% to 4839 in October and are up 5% this year; Kia Rio volume was down 12% both in October and through the first ten months. Combined Prius C/Yaris sales are down 19% in Toyota showrooms in 2014. Mazda 2 sales have increased 34% in advance of the next 2’s arrival, but October volume plunged 38% to just 457 units.

Meanwhile, America’s four top-selling compacts – Corolla, Civic, Cruze, Focus – combine to outsell the whole subcompact category by more than two-to-one.

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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Nissan Quest U.S. Sales Reach 45-Month Low In October 2014 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/11/nissan-quest-u-s-sales-reach-45-month-low-october-2014/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/11/nissan-quest-u-s-sales-reach-45-month-low-october-2014/#comments Thu, 20 Nov 2014 14:03:39 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=946689 October 2014 was the lowest-volume U.S. sales month for the latest, fourth-generation Nissan Quest since the van debuted nearly four years ago in January 2011. Minivan sales in America slid 2% in October 2014 but have risen 5% this year. Quest volume plunged 54% in October. Quest sales are down 23% this year. No minivan […]

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Nissan Quest sales chartOctober 2014 was the lowest-volume U.S. sales month for the latest, fourth-generation Nissan Quest since the van debuted nearly four years ago in January 2011.

Minivan sales in America slid 2% in October 2014 but have risen 5% this year. Quest volume plunged 54% in October. Quest sales are down 23% this year. No minivan sold less often than the Quest in October, not even the cancelled Mazda 5.

Year-to-date, the Quest leads the Kia Sedona by a slim margin of 633 units, but that figure will swiftly flip: the Sedona outsold the Quest by 2006 units in October thanks to the arrival of an all-new third-gen model.

Historically, Nissan has sold Quests in much greater numbers, but it’s never been a pillar of the minivan movement. When 46,430 Quests were sold in calendar year 2004, that represented just 4.2% of total minivan sales. (It’s unlikely Nissan will even sell 10,000 in 2014.) The Quest’s market share during the first ten months of 2014: 1.8%.

It’s too early to say Nissan USA has given up on the Quest. There is a MY2015 variant. Indeed, that 2015 model accounts for 38% of the current stock listed on Cars.com. But this isn’t a product you’ll find in large numbers in Nissan showrooms across America.

North of the border, in the much stronger minivan market that is Canada, the Quest was first moved to special order status and has since been removed from the company’s consumer website. It’s not even mentioned in the company’s 2015 product plans.

2014 Nissan Quest grey rearThe numbers? In the U.S. in October 2014, only 370 Quests were sold, down from 812 in October 2013 and 395 in September of this year. Nissan has reached four digits with the Quest only three times this year after averaging 1073 monthly Quest sales in 2013, 1523/month in 2012, and 1131/month in the latter 83% of 2011.

The vast majority of automakers would truly struggle to break into this category. The fact that Nissan’s been a long-time player seems to make little difference, perhaps because of the avant-garde styling of the last two iterations. Even during a month in which sales of the fifth-ranked van (Sedona) jumped 251% to 2376 units, the top four owned a staggering 92% of the segment, with Chrysler and Dodge grabbing slightly more than half of all minivan sales.

The fourth-gen Quest has flopped, and now it’s being kicked while it’s flat on the mat. Is it the looks; the difficult task of balancing low demand with the need to increase supply if greater volume is to be generated; the simple fact that it’s not a Grand Caravan, Town & Country, Sienna, or Odyssey; or something else altogether?

It’s not as though the overall Nissan brand is struggling to conquer greater swathes of the U.S. market. Few brands with mainstream appeal are growing faster.

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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Canada Auto Sales Recap: October 2014 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/11/canada-auto-sales-recap-october-2014/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/11/canada-auto-sales-recap-october-2014/#comments Tue, 18 Nov 2014 13:29:25 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=946657 In October 2014, for the first time since March of this year, the Chrysler Group outsold all other automobile manufacturers in Canada. The margins were slim: only 259 units separated Chrysler Group’s five brands from the Ford Motor Company; only 301 stood between the Chrysler Group and General Motors. But these are celebratory moments for […]

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October 2014 YTD Canadian auto brand market shareIn October 2014, for the first time since March of this year, the Chrysler Group outsold all other automobile manufacturers in Canada.

The margins were slim: only 259 units separated Chrysler Group’s five brands from the Ford Motor Company; only 301 stood between the Chrysler Group and General Motors. But these are celebratory moments for an automaker which owns 15.6% of the Canadian market. Chrysler Group’s market share in its “home” U.S. market stands at 12.6% through the first ten months of 2014.

Pickup trucks, minivans, and utility vehicles continue to be the driving force for Chrysler in Canada. The Ram P/U, Dodge Grand Caravan, Chrysler Town & Country, Jeep brand, and Dodge’s Journey and Durango generated 83% of Chrysler Group sales in Canada in October, and this during a month in which the company says its car sales grew 34%.

Indeed, the Chrysler 200 was Canada’s top-selling midsize car last month, a story we covered last week. Non-200 Chrysler Group car sales were down 6%.

2015 Nissan MicraBoth pickup trucks and minivans are greater volume producers in Canada than they are in the United States. Pickups accounted for 17.2% of all new vehicle sales last month; minivans another 4.4%. (Those groups owned 15.8% and 3.2% of the U.S. market in October.) Chrysler is consistently poised to take advantage of those Canadian tendencies. Ram P/U sales jumped 15% to 6591 units in October, 25% of the truck market. The Grand Caravan was responsible for 62% of the country’s “full-size” MPV sales, Mazda 5, Chevrolet Orlando, and Kia Rondo excluded.

Jeep, meanwhile, is at the forefront of the continued SUV/crossover craze. Canada’s new vehicle market has expanded 5.6% through the first ten months of 2014, surging to record high levels after record volume was created in calendar year 2013. But pickup truck sales are up just 3% and, according to Automotive News, car sales are down slightly less than 1%.

Utility vehicles have more than made up the slack, and the sector has undeniably been hugely helped by the mostly Cherokee-powered surge at Jeep, Canada’s second-fastest-growing brand. (Maserati sales are up 141% to 417 units this year. Jeep is up 62% to 59,728.)

Total SUV/crossover sales are up nearly 16%, equalling 32.6% of the overall new vehicle industry’s volume, up from 29.8% during the first ten months of 2013. Jeep’s Wrangler, Cherokee, and Grand Cherokee rank seventh, eighth, and 13th among SUVs and crossovers.

Canada’s top-selling utility in October was, of course, the Ford Escape. Though sales dipped 5% in October, Escape volume is up 17% this year to 45,152 units, more than any other SUV or crossover will manage in the full twelve months of 2014. The Escape has been the category’s best seller every month this year after conquering all SUVs and crossovers in ten of 2013’s twelve months.

Taking all vehicles into account, the Escape is Canada’s fourth-best-selling nameplate, ahead of all but two truck lines and one car.

October also marked a slowdown for Honda’s Civic, perpetually Canada’s best-selling car, although the compact Honda managed to lead all cars despite its 14% year-over-year decline. Civic sales are up 5% this year in a stagnant car sector – October flipped these results, with the Civic’s decline and a 2% improvement in total car sales. In fact, all of Canada’s six best-selling cars and eight of the top twelve posted decreased October sales.

Helping to push the car market forward last month was volume generated by a number of cars which didn’t exist (or barely existed) in the Canadian market at this time a year ago. Canadians registered 2366 combined copies of the Nissan Micra, Acura TLX, BMW 2-Series, BMW i3, Cadillac ELR, Dodge Viper, and Audi A3 in October, a combined 9000% year-over-year increase.

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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Chronicling The Captiva Sport’s Brief U.S. Sales History http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/11/chronicling-captiva-sports-brief-u-s-sales-history/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/11/chronicling-captiva-sports-brief-u-s-sales-history/#comments Mon, 17 Nov 2014 13:26:33 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=944961 The esteemable Jack Baruth backed one up toward an odd-looking statue back in March. Sales then boomed in April and May. Post hoc ergo propter hoc. In truth, Jack was no fan of the Chevrolet Captiva Sport he rented earlier this year, saying, “It won’t strike the desirability chord in anyone’s heart,” and, “This is […]

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Captiva import?The esteemable Jack Baruth backed one up toward an odd-looking statue back in March. Sales then boomed in April and May.

Post hoc ergo propter hoc.

In truth, Jack was no fan of the Chevrolet Captiva Sport he rented earlier this year, saying, “It won’t strike the desirability chord in anyone’s heart,” and, “This is a car to avoid at all costs.”

Fleet buyers, including most especially the rental car companies in the United States, did not avoid the Captiva Sport. They flocked to the reclothed Saturn Vue in large numbers.

Nevertheless, as was reported on these pages earlier this month after a virtual disappearance from GM’s sales reports in September and October, GM is done with the Chevrolet Captiva Sport. The upcoming Trax will, in addition to potentially satisfying some potential Buick Encore buyers who would rightly spend less money, also cater to rental companies in the Captiva Sport’s stead.

Now that it’s gone, consider just how many of these overweight but not completely unpleasant SUVs were sold: 7038 in the final quarter of 2011; another 36,935 in 2012; 47,600 more in 2013. Through the first seven months of 2014, before GM began running out the clock, Captiva Sport volume was up 22% to 33,308 units. The Captiva Sport’s best ever month was May 2014, when sales shot up 22% to 6204 units. On four occasions, more than 5000 were sold in a single month. Through the first five months of 2014, the Captiva Sport ranked 29th overall among SUVs and crossovers, ahead of some 60 different nameplates.


These aren’t insignificant figures. In other words, there’s a reason you see’em around. Even after two months in which only 74 were sold, the Captiva Sport’s year-to-date figures at the end of October show a vehicle which sold as often as the Mercedes-Benz M-Class and Nissan Juke; nearly as often as the surging Kia Sportage; 38% more often than the Mitsubishi Outlander Sport; 69% more often than the Volkswagen Tiguan.

The Captiva Sport, like the Vue which came before it, is not the kind of vehicle that will stand out in our memory for its goodness or popularity. But as a fleet-only experiment, obsessive observers of the auto industry will hark back to the Captiva Sport’s presence in the U.S. market as a means of justifying that Nissan should sell a Rogue and a Rogue Select, that the current Impala should stay on board when they introduce an eleventh-gen sedan, and that the W124 E-Class should still be on sale today.

The Captiva Sport was an anomaly, the kind of vehicle we’ll re-eulogize the next time a brand is killed off. And in the grand scheme of things, it wasn’t rare.

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: The Pickup Truck Portion http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/11/chart-day-pickup-truck-portion/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/11/chart-day-pickup-truck-portion/#comments Sat, 15 Nov 2014 13:08:53 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=944833 Pickup truck sales increased 10% in the United States in October, an 18,590-unit jump in a market which grew 6%. Besides drawing attention to the, “The people buy trucks because the fuel is cheap,” argument, which is not at all completely false nor entirely true, the 10% increase drew our attention to the massive figures […]

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TTAC sales chart trucks and best-selling SUVsPickup truck sales increased 10% in the United States in October, an 18,590-unit jump in a market which grew 6%. Besides drawing attention to the, “The people buy trucks because the fuel is cheap,” argument, which is not at all completely false nor entirely true, the 10% increase drew our attention to the massive figures generated by the biggest nameplates and their expansive product ranges.

We’ve covered truck sales already this month, so rather than taking another deep dive into October’s specifics, consider instead the percentage of America’s growing auto market that belonged to the pickup truck category last month: 15.8%.

That’s not a small number. Indeed, it’s a significantly larger number than the one achieved by the category through the first ten months of 2014: 13.8%. For perspective, however, think back one decade. In 2004, 19% of the new vehicles sold in America were pickup trucks.

Although this chart provides another line at which to gander, we’re not suggesting that buyers of dual-rear-wheeled Ram 3500s are switching over to Honda CR-Vs, only that times are changing. Pickup trucks remain vital to the health of the American auto industry, more significantly because of their profit generation than with their outright volume. But the market isn’t returning to a 16 million+ annual sales pace because of the strength of passenger cars, or minivans, or pickup trucks. It’s the ess-you-vees.

The Honda CR-V, Ford Escape, and Toyota RAV4 are all on pace for another record sales year, a follow-up to 2014’s record sales year for each of those nameplates. Ford should also sell more than 750,000 F-Series pickups, a startlingly high number compared with the totals achieved by other vehicle lines, but not exactly the 939,511 sold in 2004.

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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Nissan Defies Trends, Keeps Selling More Cars In America http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/11/nissan-defies-trends-keeps-selling-cars-america/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/11/nissan-defies-trends-keeps-selling-cars-america/#comments Fri, 14 Nov 2014 13:09:40 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=944801 In the steadily growing U.S. new vehicle market, car sales have increased just 1% through the first ten months of 2014. Nissan, however, says their car sales have grown 15.5% in 2014, surging forward by more than 90,000 units to 669,538. In calendar year 2013, total new vehicle sales were up nearly 8%, but car […]

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Nissan Sentra - 4. Picture courtesy NissanIn the steadily growing U.S. new vehicle market, car sales have increased just 1% through the first ten months of 2014.

Nissan, however, says their car sales have grown 15.5% in 2014, surging forward by more than 90,000 units to 669,538.

In calendar year 2013, total new vehicle sales were up nearly 8%, but car sales grew just 4% during a year in which, for example, pickup trucks were up 12%.

2014 hasn’t been so kind to cars, with the Chrysler Group’s passenger cars collectively falling 15%, Ford Motor Company car sales sliding 4%, GM cars up less than 2%, American Honda car sales up less than 1%, Hyundai car sales down 3%, total Toyota/Lexus/Scion cars up just 1%, and the Volkswagen brand’s cars down 12%.

According to Automotive News, in an industry that’s expanded by 720,125 units, total new passenger car sales are up by fewer than 77,000 units. Cars accounted for 50.6% of all new vehicle sales in the first ten months of 2013; just 48.5% in 2014.

That approximate 49% mark isn’t an unusual one for the auto industry in the United States. Americans are expected to register more than 16 million new vehicles in 2014, the first such 16K+ year since 2007, a year in which 48.8% of the new vehicles sold were passenger cars, down from 49.1%.

But Nissan is a much different seller of cars now than they were in 2007, when they sold 542,258 cars in the full calendar year, a figure which they eclipsed in the first eight months of 2014. (Nissan’s car division in 2007 was made up of a Z, Altima, Maxima, Sentra, and Versa. In addition to those five cars, Nissan now also lists the Cube, GT-R, Juke, and Leaf among their cars.)

Setting aside the historical significance, though, just look at Nissan’s current car performance, excluding the Juke for relatively obvious reasons. The brand’s car sales are thus up 16% to 635,517 units. 44% of that volume comes from the Altima, America’s fourth-best-selling car overall and third-best-selling midsize car. The Altima competes in a stagnant segment, but sales of this intermediate Nissan are up 3.4% in 2014. The brand’s two core small car nameplates, Versa (which includes the Note in Nissan’s release) and Sentra, combine to sell about as often as the Altima, generating another 43% of the brand’s car volume.

The Versa, up 21% in 2014, is America’s leading subcompact. Sentra sales are up 44% in a competitive set that’s risen around 3% this year. The Leaf is Nissan’s fourth-best-selling car. Sales are up 35% to 24,411 units, making the Leaf America’s 66th-best-selling car in 2014, just behind the Hyundai Veloster; just ahead of the Ford C-Max. This leaves less than 2% of the brand’s car volume for the 370Z (up 13%), Cube (down 28%), and GT-R (up 9%), and another 7% for the Maxima.

Sales of the Maxima are up 9% in this run-out-the-clock year, a real rarity in a declining category of big, volume-brand cars. The Maxima sells slightly more often than the Buick LaCrosse; slightly less often than the Chrysler 300.

These car nameplates have generated 59% of the Nissan brand’s year-to-date sales, up from 58% last year. Fortunately for Nissan, the Frontier, Juke, Murano, NV, NV200, and especially the Rogue have produced significant improvements, as well. Those vehicles, along with the declining Armada, Pathfinder, Quest, Titan, and Xterra, are up 11% to 436,947 units this year. Total Infiniti sales are up 4% to 93,925, 8% of the overall company’s volume.

And where does the Nissan brand rank in the grand scheme of automakers competing for passenger car sales in America this year? Automotive News says the Toyota brand leads the way, followed by Chevrolet, Honda, and then Nissan, which is nearly 17,000 sales ahead of FoMoCo’s Ford division. Of course, Ford has managed to sell 620,447 F-Series pickups this year, a massive figure which once again puts the car market into perspective.

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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Now Is The Acura TLX A Hit? http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/11/now-acura-tlx-hit/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/11/now-acura-tlx-hit/#comments Thu, 13 Nov 2014 13:59:36 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=944073 In September we asked if the TLX could restore Acura’s car business. In October, we realized that by Acura standards, the TLX could quickly end up as a hit. And now in November, with October 2014 U.S. sales results in hand, the Acura TLX is a hit. We could apply all manner of qualifying statements: […]

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2015 Acura TLX silverIn September we asked if the TLX could restore Acura’s car business. In October, we realized that by Acura standards, the TLX could quickly end up as a hit. And now in November, with October 2014 U.S. sales results in hand, the Acura TLX is a hit.

We could apply all manner of qualifying statements: it’s early; other cars are transitioning to a new model year as Acura ramps up the TLX; year-over-year comparisons only highlight the dire straits which were afflicting the TLX’s predecessors; the TLX is relatively inexpensive and thus obviously a more justifiable proposition for buyers moving up to “luxury” cars.

Or, the TLX is exactly what potential Acura customers had been desirous of for years. Not too big, not too small. A choice between an efficient four-cylinder or a similarly efficient but far more powerful V6. Front or all-wheel-drive. Transmissions which, at least in terms of ratios, leapfrog the competition. Somewhat subdued but not unattractive styling. And an advertised base price below $31,000.

The result? Only four premium brand cars – 3-Series/4-Series, C-Class, ES, 5-Series – and only six premium brand vehicles – RX and MDX included – outsold the TLX in October 2014.

4890 TLXs were sold in October, a 95% year-over-year increase compared with the combined total of the TL and TSX in October 2013, a 26% increase compared with the TLX’s own total from September of this year. During a month in which brand-wide Acura sales rose 8%, the TLX accounted for 31.7% of all Acura sales. These were tremendously useful figures for Acura last month, as the ILX, RLX, TL, TSX, MDX, RDX, and ZDX all posted year-over-year decreases.

Non-TLX sales were down 26%.

What of the TLX’s competitors? The vast 3-Series/4-Series range is virtually a brand unto itself, with more permutations than Law & Order, CSI, and NCIS put together. As a result, the 3-Series/4-Series lineup (up 16% to 13,621) sells in brand-like numbers, with more October sales than Cadillac, Infiniti, or Lincoln; more than Volvo, Posche, Land Rover, and Jaguar combined. Mercedes-Benz sold 7412 copies of its new C-Class in October – no one would deny the C-Class is a long-time success.


Lexus’s ES, meanwhile, was down 1% to 5932 units. (The IS was up 6% to 3771 October sales.) Nissan sold 4188 Maximas; Buick sold 4071 LaCrosses; Infiniti reported 2964 Q50 sales. Audi and Cadillac both reported fewer than 2700 total A4 and ATS sales, respectively. Mercedes-Benz CLA sales were down to 2596, a 47% drop compared with its peak month of October 2013.

It will take more than a year, at least, to see if the TLX has the long-lasting appeal of venerable German nameplates or even Lexus’s more comfort-oriented ES. If we can judge cars based on three months of results – admittedly, it’s early – the TLX is an undeniably potent force for American Honda. Moreover, on the subject of premature heralding, any suggestion that these strong results are symptomatic of pent-up demand for a long-awaited car only serves to point out that Acura may possess a larger, more fervent fan base than we would have believed; that the TLX has been deemed by many to be a car worth waiting for.

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