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. Mon, 25 May 2015 14:29:49 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.2 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 » auto sales http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/themes/ttac-theme/images/logo.gif http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com Mazda USA Isn’t Importing The New 2: Here’s Why http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/mazda-usa-isnt-importing-new-2-heres/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/mazda-usa-isnt-importing-new-2-heres/#comments Mon, 25 May 2015 13:51:59 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1075034   Although the car’s been certified for sale in the United States, Mazda won’t be bringing the new 2 to American consumers. That doesn’t mean the possibility isn’t there for the future, according to Automotive News, nor does it mean the 2 won’t appear in the United States in another form. Despite significant improvements, the […]

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2016 Mazda 2

“It’ll always be there if we need it.” – Robert Davis, Senior VP Of Mazda U.S. Operations, on Mazda2.

Although the car’s been certified for sale in the United States, Mazda won’t be bringing the new 2 to American consumers. That doesn’t mean the possibility isn’t there for the future, according to Automotive News, nor does it mean the 2 won’t appear in the United States in another form.

Despite significant improvements, the fourth-generation 2 – formerly known as the Demio and a successor to the first 2 sold in the U.S. – would likely have fared little better than its predecessor.

Mazda began selling the 2 in the U.S. in 2010, at a time when consumers were mad about saving money, not just in terms of payment but also in terms of fuel. Auto consumers are now far more willing to fork over more of their hard-earned cash, even if it means extending the term of their loan.

As a result, subcompact car volume has taken a hit. Through the first four months of 2015, sales of the departing 2 and its better-selling rivals from Nissan, Hyundai, Honda, Chevrolet, Ford, Toyota, and Kia are down 4%. In fact, April was the first month this year in which subcompact sales increased on a year-over-year basis.

2010 Mazda2

Even before the recent downturn in subcompact car sales and the discontinuation of the America’s first Mazda 2, the subcompact Mazda was not among the leaders in its category. On the contrary, the opposite was true.

Since July 2010, over 58 months, Mazda has sold just 61,909 copies of the 2 in the United States. Nissan can sell that many Versas over the span of just six months.

Mazda2 sales peaked in the model’s second full year of 2012 at just 19,315 units. Yet even in 2012, the 2 ranked last in its category. Even non-traditional small cars like the Fiat 500 and late-to-the-party cars like the Dodge Dart (which only competed in the second-half of 2012) outsold the 2 in its best-ever U.S. sales year. Moreover, Mazda was able to sell six times as many copies of the 3 in 2012 as the 2.

Now, with the CX-3 junior crossover arriving to help the compact 3 bolster Mazda’s volume, the simple cost of marketing the 2, a car which has passed U.S. regulatory hurdles, is deemed to be greater than the potential profit earned from actually selling the car.

If it’s difficult for a large automaker to create sufficient margins on high-volume subcompact cars, it’s obviously going to be far more challenging for a small automaker like Mazda to create sufficient profit of a low-volume car like the 2. While it’s true that consumers would be quick to look at the new 2 differently (there’s no 4-speed automatic, there’ll be a greater feature array including head-up display, fuel economy is said to be 20% better) it’s clear that Mazda believes what’s past is prologue. The first bound-for-America 2 flopped. The experiment didn’t pay off. Let’s not do it again.

2016 Mazda 2 fueleconomy.gov

Meanwhile, for consumers who want a Mazda 2, they’ll still be able to buy one. It won’t be a hatchback, and it won’t wear a Mazda badge. But the upcoming Scion iA is, in essence, a 2016 Mazda 2. From fueleconomy.gov, we can assume that the iA will achieve the same fuel economy as the 2 was said to achieve, since the government website is still showing that the 2 will be made available.

Timothy Cain is the founder of GoodCarBadCar.net, which obsesses over the free and frequent publication of U.S. and Canadian auto sales figures. Follow on Twitter @goodcarbadcar and on Facebook.

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Chart Of The Day: What If Dodge And Ram Were Still Just Dodge? http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/chart-day-dodge-ram-still-just-dodge/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/chart-day-dodge-ram-still-just-dodge/#comments Mon, 25 May 2015 12:45:53 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1072834 As recently as 2009, Dodge was the sixth-best-selling auto brand in the United States. But through the first four months of 2015, Dodge is the tenth-best-selling auto brand in America. Granted, Dodge volume has fallen 15% year-over-year, but the real reason for Dodge’s lower ranking is that the Dodge of today isn’t the Dodge of […]

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Dodge Ram sales chart

As recently as 2009, Dodge was the sixth-best-selling auto brand in the United States.

But through the first four months of 2015, Dodge is the tenth-best-selling auto brand in America. Granted, Dodge volume has fallen 15% year-over-year, but the real reason for Dodge’s lower ranking is that the Dodge of today isn’t the Dodge of yesterday. 

Ram, formerly part of the Dodge division, is the twelfth-ranked auto brand in America so far this year.

As a unit, Dodge/Ram is currently – you guessed it – the sixth-best-selling auto brand in America, ahead of FCA’s top-selling Jeep brand. Ahead of Hyundai, too.

Timothy Cain is the founder of GoodCarBadCar.net, which obsesses over the free and frequent publication of U.S. and Canadian auto sales figures. Follow on Twitter @goodcarbadcar and on Facebook.

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Sales Of The Aging Electrics You Know Best Are Predictably Falling Fast http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/sales-aging-electrics-know-best-predictably-falling-fast/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/sales-aging-electrics-know-best-predictably-falling-fast/#comments Sat, 23 May 2015 14:17:19 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1072482 We’re accustomed to seeing outdated sports cars stumble as they age. They’re as capable as they were when launched, of course, but demand for the cars often decreases rapidly. Those who were interested in the stylistic proposition already bought one. Those who saw them as paragons of performance encounter newer models with a greater dynamic portfolio. […]

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Nissan creates "World's Cleanest Car" Ð a zero emissions Nissa

We’re accustomed to seeing outdated sports cars stumble as they age.

They’re as capable as they were when launched, of course, but demand for the cars often decreases rapidly. Those who were interested in the stylistic proposition already bought one. Those who saw them as paragons of performance encounter newer models with a greater dynamic portfolio.

Consider the Scion FR-S, sales of which plunged 23% in its second full year in the United States; sales of which declined 29% in the first four months of 2015.

Perhaps exacerbated by falling fuel prices, the sharp downturn in sales of two particularly famous, unconventionally powered hatchbacks is vaguely reminiscent of a sports car nameplate’s yo-yoing. A Camry-like ability to sustain demand right up until the new model arrives in dealers? Not for the Nissan Leaf and Chevrolet Volt.

Granted, the Volt’s decline began before old age. Launched during the same month, December 2010, as the Leaf, the Volt volume ramped up much more rapidly. 2,029 copies of the electric-plus-range-extended Volt were sold in the United States during the car’s first five months, compared with 1,044 Leafs.

Volt vs. Leaf sales chart

Yet by March 2013, when the Volt was 28 months into its first-generation, year-over-year volume plunged 35%. That began a three-month streak of decline for the Volt. In calendar year 2013, Volt sales decreased by less than 2%; declining in seven of twelve months.

Looking back from April 2015’s 42% year-over-year decline, Volt volume has decreased in the United States in nine consecutive months, in twelve of the last 16 months, and in 19 of the last 26 months.

2011 Chevrolet Volt

The Leaf’s downturn is much more recent. After posting annual increases in each of its first four years – including a 130% jump in 2013 and a 34% increase last year – Leaf volume has declined in each of 2015’s first four months.

The 15% drop in January resulted in just 1,070 Leaf sales, the lowest total for the all-electric Nissan in two years. February sales fell 16%. March volume plunged 38%, a drop of 690 sales. In April, Leaf sales slid sharply once again, with a 26% decline measuring a loss of 535 sales. Preceding this four-month streak was a 23-month-long span in which Leaf sales consistently improved on a year-over-year basis.

Many electric cars are ultra-low-volume portions of a high-volume vehicle’s lineup. Tesla infamously doesn’t release detailed monthly sales reports. (HybridCars.com estimates 6,800 Model S sales in the U.S. through the first four months of 2015, a 26% improvement.) The Model S, while never fully replaced during its near three-year lifespan to date, is markedly different from the Leaf and Volt in the sense that Tesla constantly provides significant updates to the car and the Model S lineup. Predictably, during its phasing-out, U.S. sales of the first Toyota Prius Plug-In, a vehicle which posted an annual peak of 13,263 units just last year, is down 66% to 1,699 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. Follow on Twitter @goodcarbadcar and on Facebook.

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Forget 2016: Is Now The Time To Buy A 2015 Honda Pilot? Many Thousands Say It Is http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/forget-2016-now-time-buy-2015-honda-pilot-many-thousands-say/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/forget-2016-now-time-buy-2015-honda-pilot-many-thousands-say/#comments Fri, 22 May 2015 12:00:59 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1071794 After U.S. sales of the Honda Pilot soared to a seven-year high in calendar year 2013, the fifth year for the second-generation Pilot, sales predictably declined 14% last year. Even in a booming SUV/CUV market, the Pilot was old and boxy; the Toyota Highlander was new and, well, less boxy. Yet over the final two […]

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2014 Honda Pilot

After U.S. sales of the Honda Pilot soared to a seven-year high in calendar year 2013, the fifth year for the second-generation Pilot, sales predictably declined 14% last year. Even in a booming SUV/CUV market, the Pilot was old and boxy; the Toyota Highlander was new and, well, less boxy.

Yet over the final two months of 2014 and the first four months of 2015, Pilot volume has shot through the roof. During this six-month span, U.S. sales of the outgoing Pilot have improved by 44%, a gain of nearly 21,000 sales, year-over-year.

You know why, of course. Deals on the Pilot finally became wonderfully attractive. Right now, for example, just as Honda finally allows publications to render their verdict following Kentucky test drives from weeks ago, American Honda is advertising lease deals on the Pilot SE AWD with payments of $289 over three years with $2,899 due at signing.

As Pilot inventory dwindles – there are fewer than 9,000 in stock at U.S. dealers according to Cars.com for a vehicle which is routinely selling more than 11,000 copies per month – dealers are offering significantly more than $5,000 off 2015 Pilots. A TrueCar Pricing Trend example suggests the average price paid for a Pilot fell by 9% over the last five months.

2016 Honda Pilot Elite

The new Pilot will be more efficient, safer, arguably more attractive, and more spacious (particularly behind the second row) but the base price for the 2016 model will only be $125 higher than it was in 2015. That slight MSRP differential ignores the out-the-door price paid for a remaining 2015 model and the no-incentives price of the brand spanking new Pilot that’ll be roaming parking lots near you very shortly.

So is now the time to buy a 2015 Honda Pilot, seven years after its launch, with crash test results like this, AWD city fuel economy of 17 mpg rather than 19, and a cargo area shaped like this rather than this?

Over the last four months, 48,103 U.S. buyers have answered with a resounding, “Yes,” to that question, compared with 30,796 at this time last year.

Healthy Pilot sales have been vital for American Honda this year, as the Accord, Civic, Crosstour, CR-Z, Insight, Odyssey, and Ridgeline have all posted notable sales decreases. Excluding the CR-V (America’s best-selling utility vehicle) and the Pilot, Honda brand sales are down 7%, a 20,000-unit loss.

Lineup fully intact, Honda sales are up 1% through the first four months of 2015.

Indeed, the numbers for the outgoing Pilot may be so strong that, one year down the road, what should turn out to be generally healthy sales for the forthcoming third-gen Pilot may appear weak in comparison. That’s one sign of an aggressive clear-out.

Timothy Cain is the founder of GoodCarBadCar.net, which obsesses over the free and frequent publication of U.S. and Canadian auto sales figures. Follow on Twitter @goodcarbadcar and on Facebook.

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Hyundai’s Record April Sales Bring Market Share Decline, Heavy Reliance On Cars http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/hyundais-record-april-sales-bring-market-share-decline-heavy-reliance-cars/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/hyundais-record-april-sales-bring-market-share-decline-heavy-reliance-cars/#comments Wed, 20 May 2015 15:00:02 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1070730 Hyundai USA reported record April sales last month, yet by only posting modest growth figures, Hyundai didn’t match the pace of the overall auto industry. As a result, Hyundai’s market share actually decreased in this record-setting month from 4.8% in April 2014 to 4.7% in April 2015. Year-over-year, Hyundai volume increased 3% to 68,009 units […]

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2016 Elantra

Hyundai USA reported record April sales last month, yet by only posting modest growth figures, Hyundai didn’t match the pace of the overall auto industry. As a result, Hyundai’s market share actually decreased in this record-setting month from 4.8% in April 2014 to 4.7% in April 2015.

Year-over-year, Hyundai volume increased 3% to 68,009 units in April 2015, a gain of 1,902 sales in a market which grew 5%, or 64,000 units. Compared with the prior month of March, during which Hyundai set an all-time sales record regardless of season, Hyundai’s market share slipped from 4.9%.

But in a market that’s increasingly favouring SUVs and crossovers and increasingly uninterested in passenger cars, Hyundai’s growth is notable because of the automaker’s reliance on passenger cars.

SUVs and crossovers accounted for 34% of all U.S. new vehicle sales in April 2015. At Hyundai, where the company’s smaller Tucson has aged and is about to be replaced, that figure stood at just 21%.

April sales of passenger cars across the industry slid 1%. At Hyundai, car sales increased by more than 1% thanks to especially strong performances by small cars. Accent sales jumped 28% to 8,208, well ahead of the fourth-best-selling subcompact, Honda’s Fit.

Although Hyundai says Elantra incentive spending decreased compared with March – when Elantra volume boomed to a second-in-class 28,794 units – the aging Hyundai compact still managed an 8% year-over-year improvement.

The Genesis (up 40%) and Azera (up 31%) both posted improvements. The new Sonata was the trouble spot for Hyundai’s car division. U.S. midsize car volume fell 7% in April 2015; Sonata sales tumbled 13%. Year-to-date, Sonata volume is up 3%.

 

Hyundai USA sales pie chart April 2015 YTD

In response to my questions on the subject of slowing growth, Hyundai Motor America’s VP of national sales, Bob Pradzinski, said, “Our production is contained at about 20% CUV. Our success as a company has to rely on car sales, specifically Elantra and Sonata, our volume models.”

The new Tucson launch will likely provide a big boost to Hyundai’s SUV/CUV total, but not to the extent that Hyundai won’t continue to be a hugely car-oriented automaker in a hugely light truck-oriented market.

Hyundai only sold 14,074 utility vehicles in April 2015, a 9% increase in a category which improved by 15%. But can Hyundai satisfy their dealers with a small crossover lineup: Santa Fe Sport, Santa Fe, Tucson? Nissan sells Jukes, Muranos, Pathfinders, Rogues, and Armadas. Toyota sold 45,311 4Runners, Highlanders, Land Cruisers, RAV4s, and Sequoias in April. Honda only sells two CUV nameplates – CR-V and Pilot – but they sold more than 40,000 CR-Vs and Pilots in April 2015.

Or is Hyundai simply primed for a new era? If, or when, the market reverts to car love, Hyundai is established as an automaker that competes largely on the strength of cars. That’s likely to remain true even if the brand expands their utility vehicle lineup.

Timothy Cain is the founder of GoodCarBadCar.net, which obsesses over the free and frequent publication of U.S. and Canadian auto sales figures. Follow on Twitter @goodcarbadcar and on Facebook.

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The Sixth Chevrolet Camaro Is Here – This Is What The Fifth-Gen Model Achieved http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/sixth-chevrolet-camaro-fifth-gen-model-achieved/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/sixth-chevrolet-camaro-fifth-gen-model-achieved/#comments Tue, 19 May 2015 14:00:42 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1070034 While by no means the overwhelming success that the first-generation Ford Mustang was back in 1966 – 417,000 were sold in that car’s first twelve months on the market, according to Ford MoCo – the fifth-generation Chevrolet Camaro was a hit by most any other standard. Now that the sixth-generation Camaro has debuted with surprisingly […]

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2016 Chevrolet Camaro SS

While by no means the overwhelming success that the first-generation Ford Mustang was back in 1966 – 417,000 were sold in that car’s first twelve months on the market, according to Ford MoCo – the fifth-generation Chevrolet Camaro was a hit by most any other standard.

Now that the sixth-generation Camaro has debuted with surprisingly similar styling to the outgoing model, it’s worth our while to look back at nearly seven years of Camaro sales to gauge the popularity of GM’s Mustang challenger. (Get it? Challenger?)

The main factor for Camaro fans involves the car’s ability to outsell the Mustang. True, the Camaro (and Mustang, for that matter) both put up the kinds of numbers many so-called mainstream cars can’t. But the more appealing measurement is the one which says that in each of the latest Camaro’s complete sales years, from 2010 forward, the Chevy has been the more popular car.

The Camaro outsold the Mustang in the United States by 7,583 units in 2010. In 2011, the fifth-gen Camaro’s best sales year, it outsold the Mustang by 17,811 units. In 2012, the gap decreased to just 1,396 units, but it was still in GM’s favour. In 2013, the Camaro finished 3,381 sales ahead of the Ford. In 2014, as Mustang sales surged in the final two months of the year, Camaro volume jumped 7% to finish the year 3,662 sales ahead.

USA Chevrolet Camaro rivals sales chart 2009-2015

Naturally, early 2015 figures haven’t been nearly as kind to the Camaro. With a brand new Mustang for model year 2015 and the fifth-gen Camaro reaching the end of its term, the Mustang leads by 18,726 sales over the course of just four months. In fact, even the Dodge Challenger outsold the Camaro in the month of March.

(Challenger sales, as an aside, have always increased despite being significantly lower on an annual basis than the Camaro and Mustang. Reintroduced in 2008, Challenger volume doubled between 2009 and 2014 thanks to persistent U.S. sales growth.)

The Mustang and Camaro are not as consistent in their growth patterns, although the Chevrolet has managed to hover above the 80,000-unit annual sales mark ever since 2010. An average of 84,160 are sold per year in the United States. 2014’s 86,297-unit result was the second-best for the fifth-gen car.

Camaro 2015 2016

Maintaining a relatively even keel, even in an industry which expanded every year since the car was brought back from the dead, is a notable achievement for a sporting coupe. Consider vehicles like the Nissan 370Z, which saw its sales plunge 45% between 2009, when the industry was in the doldrums, and 2014, when more than 16 million new vehicles were sold. There’s no surprise in seeing Scion FR-S sales tumble 23% in its second full year of availability or fall 29% through the first third of 2015, just three years removed from its launch.

In their home market, Detroit muscle experiences sustained interest in a way conventional “sports cars” do not.

Any number of issues could crop up to bring the sixth-gen Camaro down a rung or two, from a pricing strategy gone awry to an unanticipated economic crisis to aggressive new competition. What can be seen now, however, is a car that doesn’t look so dramatically different from the last Camaro.

Porsche 911s are evolutionary. Since 2004, revamped Ford Mustangs don’t appear wholly removed from the former models, either. Historically speaking, new Camaros share cues with their predecessors, rather than a striking overall resemblance. Then again, perhaps the distinct resemblance between old and new Camaro will do more good than harm. It works for the Honda Accord.

Timothy Cain is the founder of GoodCarBadCar.net, which obsesses over the free and frequent publication of U.S. and Canadian auto sales figures. Follow on Twitter @goodcarbadcar and on Facebook.

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Mercedes-Benz’s AMG GT Downmarket Foray Is Already Paying Off http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/mercedes-benzs-amg-gt-downmarket-foray-already-paying-off/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/mercedes-benzs-amg-gt-downmarket-foray-already-paying-off/#comments Mon, 18 May 2015 15:00:28 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1069250 Mercedes-Benz keeps moving their high-end sports cars down market just as the company keeps making their high-end sports cars more attractive. The SLR McLaren was absurd in more ways than one, and it took a couple of vehicular lifetimes for Mercedes-Benz to rid themselves of all the copies they built. The SLS AMG, on the […]

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Mercedes-AMG GT (C 190) 2014

Mercedes-Benz keeps moving their high-end sports cars down market just as the company keeps making their high-end sports cars more attractive. The SLR McLaren was absurd in more ways than one, and it took a couple of vehicular lifetimes for Mercedes-Benz to rid themselves of all the copies they built.

The SLS AMG, on the other hand, was a bold yet tasteful maneuver into a more reasonable supercar sector, where prices are closer to $200K than $400K, and if by reasonable we mean the domain of Ferraris with eight, rather than twelve, cylinders.

The new AMG GT, on the other hand, has an advertised base price of $129,900, just ten grand more than the new S-Class Coupe and some $21,000 below the price of a Porsche 911 Turbo. Two different AMG variants of Mercedes-Benz’s own SL-Class have significantly more costly points of entry.

Not surprisingly, then, Mercedes-Benz sold more copies of the AMG GT in its first month on sale in the United States than the SLS AMG ever managed at any point in its tenure.

Mercedes-Benz USA reported the company’s first 205 AMG GT sales in April 2015, a figure only vaguely approached by the SLS AMG in its first month on sale. Initial demand for this kind of car is a significant factor to consider. The fact Mercedes-Benz sold more than 200 AMG GTs in April doesn’t mean that, like the Porsche 911 with its immense staying power, the AMG GT can continue to attract a couple hundred well-off new owners per month. The SLS AMG, for instance, even in its second-best month of March 2012, was down 27% compared with its first month of availability, May 2010.

Mercedes-AMG GT (C 190) 2014

Since that month five years ago, Mercedes-Benz USA has sold 2,724 SLS AMGs, far more than the number of overpriced SLR McLarens (713) sold between 2004 and 2010.

As for other high-end sporting cars, Audi sold 69 R8s in April, a 14% year-over-year drop. BMW i8 volume, which peaked in its second full month of October 2014 at 204 units, stood at 138 units in April 2015. Dodge sold 56 Vipers, a 42% decline compared with April 2014. Nissan GT-R sales rose 32% to 162 units.

Mercedes-Benz’s own SL-Class was down 24% to 434. Figures for the S-Class Coupe are rolled into the overall S-Class’s total, sedan included, of 2,021 April sales. Its CL-Class predecessor averaged 57 monthly sales in the U.S. between 2010 and 2014, but CL volume has declined every year since 2008.

004-2014-porsche-911-turbo

Porsche’s wide-ranging 911 lineup was down 7% to 897 units in the best-ever month for the Porsche brand in America.

With the AMG GT and the aforementioned i8, Mercedes-Benz and BMW certainly have the vehicles with which the fight can be taken to the Porsche 911 in a new, exciting format. Challenging the iconic Porsche on volume terms, however, outside the venue of a car magazine comparison test, is a different can of worms. With an exhaustive array of body styles and engines and extremes and its legendary status, the 911 is king, no matter how far Mercedes-Benz moves its supercar downmarket.

Timothy Cain is the founder of GoodCarBadCar.net, which obsesses over the free and frequent publication of U.S. and Canadian auto sales figures. Follow on Twitter @goodcarbadcar and on Facebook.

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This Is What Porsche Sold To Set A U.S. Sales Record In April 2015 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/porsche-sold-set-u-s-sales-record-april-2015/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/porsche-sold-set-u-s-sales-record-april-2015/#comments Sat, 16 May 2015 15:38:20 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1069050 Porsche broke its five-month-old U.S. sales record in April 2015 to the tune of an additional 518 vehicles. Despite decreased car volume – five nameplates combined for a 15% passenger car loss, year-over-year – the Macan recorded its third month above 1000 units and set a record in its 12-month tenure with 1537 sales. Porsche’s […]

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Porsche USA sales chart

Porsche broke its five-month-old U.S. sales record in April 2015 to the tune of an additional 518 vehicles.

Despite decreased car volume – five nameplates combined for a 15% passenger car loss, year-over-year – the Macan recorded its third month above 1000 units and set a record in its 12-month tenure with 1537 sales.

Porsche’s best seller, meanwhile, continues to be the Cayenne. Its 4% decrease, a modest 66-unit decline, was more than overcome by the Macan’s surge.

Porsche generated 0.36% of the U.S. auto industry’s April 2015 volume, up from 0.29% in April 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. Follow on Twitter @goodcarbadcar and on Facebook.

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Still Largely Ignored, Infiniti Q70 Is On The Upswing Thanks To Length http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/still-largely-ignored-infiniti-q70-upswing-thanks-length/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/still-largely-ignored-infiniti-q70-upswing-thanks-length/#comments Sat, 16 May 2015 15:38:01 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1069002 With its highest monthly U.S. sales total in more than three years, Infiniti’s flagship Q70 sedan produced a 68% year-over-year increase in March 2015. That performance was followed up in April by a 115% YOY improvement for the Q70, formerly known as the M. Yet even with particularly outstanding numbers relative to the model’s recent […]

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2015 Infiniti Q70L

With its highest monthly U.S. sales total in more than three years, Infiniti’s flagship Q70 sedan produced a 68% year-over-year increase in March 2015. That performance was followed up in April by a 115% YOY improvement for the Q70, formerly known as the M.

Yet even with particularly outstanding numbers relative to the model’s recent history, the 5-Series rival from Japan’s lowest-volume premium brand continues to be largely forgotten. Or worse, ignored.

Q70 volume has accelerated rapidly over the last seven months. Granted, it’s more common to see startling year-over-year growth from automobiles which have previously reported disastrous lows. Nevertheless, the Q70’s fourth-quarter 50% increase in 2014 preceded a 63% improvement through the first four months of 2015.

As a result of the Q70’s noteworthy improvement, the Q50’s 7% year-to-date improvement, and the Q40’s 8% uptick, Infiniti passenger car sales are up 8% in the United States in 2015. Overall, the U.S. auto industry car volume is flat.

Infiniti Q70 sales chart TTAC

Placing the Q70’s recent sales performance in context involves two different factors: its own history, and the condition of more significant players in its sector.

First, the history. In 2010’s first four months, Infiniti sold 4341 M sedans. That figure fell 6% to 4101 during the same period one year later. Then 2012’s first one-third of M sales slid 20% to 3260. A 40% plunge to 1956 units in the first four months of 2013 before a levelling off (down 0.4%) one year later set the stage for a massive uprising in the first four months of 2015. Yet in comparison with that 2010 achievement, Q70 sales are down 27% this year.

And what of the Q70’s upper-tier segment leaders? Mercedes-Benz’s expansive E-Class range is trending the opposite direction. E-Class sales have fallen 33% in early 2015, but at 14,700 units, it’s still a popular car. (E-Class volume has declined in nine consecutive months.) The BMW 5-Series, on the other hand, is up 10% to a best-in-class 16,359 units. Lexus’s GS is up 11% to 7615 units, more than double the Q70’s 3180-unit, four-month achievement. The Audi A6 and Cadillac CTS have also doubled up on the Q70 despite posting declines of 8% and 42%, respectively.

2015 Infiniti Q70L

Regardless of its more popular history or its more popular alternatives, to what do we credit the Q70’s recent increases? Length.

Infiniti asks for only $1500 more to step out of a Q70 and into a Q70L. The proportions are still handsome; the rear seat is terrific.

Timothy Cain is the founder of GoodCarBadCar.net, which obsesses over the free and frequent publication of U.S. and Canadian auto sales figures. Follow on Twitter @goodcarbadcar and on Facebook.

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April 2015: Finally A Strong Month For Subcompact Car Sales In America http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/april-2015-finally-strong-month-subcompact-car-sales-america/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/april-2015-finally-strong-month-subcompact-car-sales-america/#comments Thu, 14 May 2015 16:00:14 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1066146 In April, for the first time this year, U.S. sales of the core group of nine subcompact cars increased on a year-over-year basis. After January’s 2% decline, February’s 11% decrease, and March’s 12% drop (and the first-quarter’s 9% decline), April sales of the Nissan Versa-led subcompact group grew 9% compared with April 2014. This brings […]

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2015 Honda Fit

In April, for the first time this year, U.S. sales of the core group of nine subcompact cars increased on a year-over-year basis.

After January’s 2% decline, February’s 11% decrease, and March’s 12% drop (and the first-quarter’s 9% decline), April sales of the Nissan Versa-led subcompact group grew 9% compared with April 2014. This brings the year-to-date tally to 163,309 sales, down 4% over the same period last year.

Although it was the first of the year, April’s increase wasn’t exactly a flash in the pan. There’s been a gradual build-up in subcompact sales during the month of April over the last few years. April 2013 sales jumped 6% and April 2014 sales rose 9% before last month’s 4003-unit, 9% increase.

And the segment didn’t rely on the top-selling Versa/Versa Note for its expansion. In fact, Versa sales slid 8% in April 2015. The Toyota Prius C, Kia Rio, and waiting-for-2016 Mazda 2 declined, as well.

2015 ACCENT

But after troublesome months in which GM’s subcompact market tumbled, Chevrolet Sonic sales improved in April.

The Hyundai Accent surged past the 8K mark for just the second time in 37 months.

Ford Fiesta sales improved on a year-over-year basis for the first time since May 2014.

The new Honda Fit recorded its eighth consecutive month in which sales improved, year-over-year.

For the second consecutive month – and just the second time in 19 months – Toyota USA reported more than 2000 Yaris sales.

Subcompact
April 2015
April 2014
% Change
4 Months 2015
4 Months 2014
% Change
Chevrolet Sonic
8,700
7,655 13.7% 20,015 31,888 -37.2%
Ford Fiesta
5,982
5,824 2.7% 18,092 21,422 -15.5%
Honda Fit
6,529
4,197 55.6% 24,623 14,641 68.2%
Hyundai Accent
8,208
6,419 27.9% 25,007 22,427 11.5%
Kia Rio
2,802
3,214 -12.8% 8,800 12,780 -31.1%
Mazda 2
21
752 -97.2% 249 4,560 -94.5%
Nissan Versa
9,646
10,481 -8.0% 46,644 45,084 3.5%
Toyota Prius C
3,523
3,569 -1.3% 12,402 12,402 0.0%
Toyota Yaris
2,153
1,450 48.5% 7,477 5,594 33.7%
Total
47,564
43,561 9.2% 163,309 170,798 -4.4%

Subcompacts remain low-volume players, even in an especially positive month such as April. Even if we were to include the less ordinary small cars and sub-subcompacts (Spark, Mirage, Mini, as examples), this would still be a low-volume sector of the passenger car market. The Toyota Corolla and Honda Civic, on their own, sold 27% more often than the subcompact category as shown here last month. The top-selling Versa is only America’s 16th-best-selling car this year; the 33rd-best-selling vehicle overall. This group of nine accounts for just 7% of the car market in a good month like April; just 3% of the industry’s April volume.

As a result, there’s room for growth. But true subcompact popularity isn’t about to be found in actual subcompact cars. This growth is, at worst, inconsistent, and at best, modest. (This group of subcompacts was up 4% in calendar year 2014 as a follow-up to 2013’s 4% increase.) No, Americans will instead turn toward subcompacts that are priced more like compacts and entry-level midsize cars, vehicles which don’t shout, “I’m frugal!”, to your co-workers, vehicles which are more upright and more spacious, vehicles which aren’t really subcompact cars at all.

U.S. sales of the Buick Encore, Chevrolet Trax, Jeep Renegade, Mini Countryman and Paceman, and Nissan Juke shot up 65% to 17,011 in April 2015. And around the next corner comes the Fiat 500X, Mazda CX-3, and Honda HR-V.

Timothy Cain is the founder of GoodCarBadCar.net, which obsesses over the free and frequent publication of U.S. and Canadian auto sales figures. Follow on Twitter @goodcarbadcar and Facebook.

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MKC Aside, Lincoln Sales Keep Tumbling As The U.S. Auto Market Expands http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/mkc-aside-lincoln-sales-keep-tumbling-u-s-auto-market-expands/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/mkc-aside-lincoln-sales-keep-tumbling-u-s-auto-market-expands/#comments Wed, 13 May 2015 14:00:20 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1067194 This whole Lincoln revival thing is going to be a long process of thorough product replacement if recent U.S. sales figures are anything to go by. And they are. While brand-wide Lincoln sales jumped 20% in April 2015, those gains were created almost entirely by the MKC, a vehicle which wasn’t on sale at this […]

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The rear is the MKZ's best angle

This whole Lincoln revival thing is going to be a long process of thorough product replacement if recent U.S. sales figures are anything to go by. And they are.

While brand-wide Lincoln sales jumped 20% in April 2015, those gains were created almost entirely by the MKC, a vehicle which wasn’t on sale at this time a year ago. The Navigator, recently refreshed, helped out with an additional 245 sales compared with April 2014.

But the Lincoln brand, as it existed at this time a year ago with five models, was down 8% in April.

With a new MKX arriving soon, steadily increasing Navigator sales, and the MKC hovering around 1,900 monthly sales, is it possible that Lincoln could become America’s Acura? Remember Acura, the automaker which made its name on cars like the Integra but now relies on crossovers for nearly two-thirds of its U.S. volume?

Lincoln sales chart TTACLincoln, even with a second-gen MKZ that’s only been around for two years, saw its car sales tumble 22% in the first one-third of 2015. In fact, the MKZ’s year-to-date losses are more severe than the decreases put on the board by the nearly eight-year-old Taurus-based MKS. MKZ sales are down 23% this year, a loss of 2,851 sales. MKS volume is down 17%, a loss of 544 units. Lincoln car sales slid 7% to just 3,564 units in April, equal to 44% of Lincoln brand sales. The Fusion-based MKZ continues to be the best-selling Lincoln in the United States.

There are impediments to becoming an overwhelmingly SUV/crossover-oriented brand. The Navigator is on the upswing but it remains significantly less popular than, for example, the Cadillac Escalade. U.S. sales of the Escalade and Escalade ESV are triple what Lincoln achieves with the Navigator/Navigator L.

The MKT was never anything but a flop, and following last year’s historically low output, MKT volume through the first four months of 2015 is down 26% compared with last year’s pace.

The new MKX has potential, but the nameplate has never previously topped the 40K annual sales mark. (Lexus sells more than 100,000 RXs per year. 2015 will likely be the sixth consecutive year in which Cadillac sells more than 50,000 SRXs.)

And as we’ve mentioned quite recently, the MKC appears to have maxed out. Inventory levels keeps rising. MKC sales do not.

MKCExterior3_rdax_646x396

The MKC is, however, masking the dreadful state of established Lincolns in the United States. Indeed, through the first four months of 2015, because the MKC is simply not proving to be very popular, it’s only barely masking the true state of affairs among Lincoln products that aren’t brand new.

Subtract the MKC from the equation – it wasn’t on sale during the first-third of 2014 – and Lincoln’s year-to-date volume is down 21% to just 22,516 units.

Excitement at Lincoln surrounds the New York Auto Show reveal of the Continental ConceptThat’s not a bad thing. But can Lincoln, which is not even remotely a global brand, sell a car with any frequency? New vehicle launch after new vehicle launch after new vehicle launch, Lincoln keeps offering vehicles that initially appear capable of capturing the U.S. consumer’s attention. And then, crickets.

Lincoln sales in the U.S. in 2014 rose to a six-year high. But 2014 volume was down 41% compared with 2003, a year in which Lincoln sold nearly as many cars (90,427) as they did total new vehicles (94,474) 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. Follow on Twitter @goodcarbadcar and on Facebook.

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Explorer Police Interceptor Still Outselling Ford Taurus Police Interceptor By More Than Two To One http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/explorer-police-interceptor-still-outselling-ford-taurus-police-interceptor-two-one/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/explorer-police-interceptor-still-outselling-ford-taurus-police-interceptor-two-one/#comments Tue, 12 May 2015 15:40:38 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1065730 In each of the last ten months, Ford’s Explorer-based Police Interceptor Utility has outsold the Taurus Police Interceptor by at least two to one. Beginning in July 2014 (a month in which Taurus Police Interceptor sales increased 15% and Explorer Police Interceptor sales jumped 64%) and continuing through April 2015 (when Explorer PI sales rose […]

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2015 Ford Explorer Police Interceptor Utility

In each of the last ten months, Ford’s Explorer-based Police Interceptor Utility has outsold the Taurus Police Interceptor by at least two to one.

Beginning in July 2014 (a month in which Taurus Police Interceptor sales increased 15% and Explorer Police Interceptor sales jumped 64%) and continuing through April 2015 (when Explorer PI sales rose to their third-highest monthly level in the model’s history and Taurus PI sales slid 2%), the Police Interceptor Utility’s ten-month long U.S. sales tally rang in at 19,362 units. Ford sold 8,185 Taurus Police Interceptors during the same period.

Thus, 2.4 times more Explorer Police Interceptor Utilities are being sold than Taurus Police Interceptors. That trend falls in line with the civilian market, only to a severely lesser degree. Conventional Explorers are selling six times more often than conventional Taurus sedans through the first four months of 2015. Non-police Taurus sales are down 36%, year-over-year, a loss of 6,422 units. Non-police Explorers are up 18% to 69,372 units, a gain of 10,375 sales, year-over-year.

Ford police car sales chartEven by the standards of vehicles which sell to the general public, the Explorer Police Interceptor Utility isn’t uncommon. Year-to-date, more copies of the lights-and-siren Explorers were sold in the United States than there were sales of the Volkswagen Beetle, the Cadillac ATS, Volvo XC60, Mercedes-Benz GLA, Lexus GS, Lincoln MKC, Ram ProMaster, or any of Land Rover’s SUVs.

The Taurus Police Interceptor, on the other hand, with only 3,373 sales so far this year, is outsold by the Lincoln Navigator, Nissan Titan, Scion FR-S, BMW 7-Series, and Porsche 911.

Of course, none of these vehicles are rivals with which sales comparisons possess any great relevance. (Although, a track test between an EcoBoost Taurus PI and an FR-S would be interesting.) But the vehicles mentioned help to clarify the frequency with which Ford is selling their two main police vehicles.

2012 Ford Taurus Police Interceptor Sedan

Unfortunately, sales figures for police versions of the Dodge Charger and Chevrolet Tahoe, for instance, aren’t broken out. From a historical perspective, we also lack the necessary breakdown of Crown Victoria sales, as well. Ford averaged 38,000 total Crown Vic sales in the model’s final three full years and sold another 4,429 copies in 2012. Ford is on pace for fewer than 45,000 total Taurus sales in 2015 and could top the 250K mark with the Explorer lineup.

In 2013, the Explorer Police Interceptor Utility outsold its Taurus equivalent by just 29%. In their abbreviated launch year of 2012, the Taurus PI was the more common vehicle. More recently, in calendar year 2014, the police Explorer outsold the Taurus almost exactly two to one.

And again we ask, whither the Carbon Motors E7?

Timothy Cain is the founder of GoodCarBadCar.net, which obsesses over the free and frequent publication of U.S. and Canadian auto sales figures. Follow on Twitter @goodcarbadcar and on Facebook.

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U.S. Midsize Truck Sales Jumped 48% In April 2015 – Colorado/Canyon At 30% Market Share http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/u-s-midsize-truck-sales-jumped-48-april-2015-coloradocanyon-30-market-share/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/u-s-midsize-truck-sales-jumped-48-april-2015-coloradocanyon-30-market-share/#comments Mon, 11 May 2015 16:08:17 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1064434 Midsize pickup truck sales jumped 48% to just under 31,000 units in April 2015, a gain of 10,000 units. In April, the overall U.S. auto industry grew by approximately 64,000 sales. Overall pickup truck sales increased by 15,000 units. In other words, much of the growth in the pickup truck market last month was generated […]

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2015 GMC Canyon

Midsize pickup truck sales jumped 48% to just under 31,000 units in April 2015, a gain of 10,000 units.

In April, the overall U.S. auto industry grew by approximately 64,000 sales. Overall pickup truck sales increased by 15,000 units. In other words, much of the growth in the pickup truck market last month was generated by the smaller quintet.

Year-to-date, the Toyota Tacoma-led small/midsize category has grown by more than 38,000 sales, slightly more than the 36,000 sales added by full-size pickup trucks.

While their bigger brethren are growing faster than the rate of the overall industry, it’s the arrival of new GM midsize twins and continued growth from the two key established midsize players causing the overall pickup truck market to appear so especially healthy.

Yes, even as Chevrolet and GMC added 35,696 sales to the midsize category through the first four months of 2015 – equal to 31% market share – the Toyota Tacoma hasn’t suffered, nor has the Nissan Frontier.

Year-to-date, the Tacoma’s market share has plummeted from 63% to 48%. But if there was ever a situation in which market share tallies matter not, surely this is it. Toyota Tacoma sales jumped 13% through the first one-third of 2015 and in April more specifically. The Tacoma is on track for its best year since 2007, perhaps even 2006.

Auto
April
2015
April
2014
%
Change
2015 YTD
2014 YTD
%
Change
Toyota Tacoma
15,656 13,871 12.9% 55,322 49,100 12.7%
Chevrolet Colorado
7,010 5 140,100% 26,136 22 118,700%
Nissan Frontier
5,827 5,697 2.3% 24,929 23,559 5.8%
GMC Canyon
2,432 9,584 2 479,100%
Honda Ridgeline
43 1,328 -96.8% 470 5,172 -90.9%
Total
30,968
20,901 48.2%  116,441 77,855 49.6%

Nissan Frontier sales are also rising. In fact, the Frontier’s rate of growth matches the rate of expansion in the full-size truck category. April sales of the Frontier increased only marginally, however, and the 5,827-unit total was the lowest for the Frontier since July of last year. Nevertheless, the pace of improvement through the first one-third of 2015 suggests Nissan will easily exceed last year’s U.S. sales total, which was the best since 2006.

As for the GM twins, April was the best month yet for the new Chevrolet Colorado. At 7,010 units, April was about 10% better than the first-quarter average for the Colorado. GMC Canyon sales have hovered between 2,400-2,500 per month over the last three months. Combined, the twins continue to trail the Toyota Tacoma by a wide margin and will continue to do so until one of two factors takes effect: either Tacoma sales will drop as the automaker prepares to launch a significantly revised 2016 model or GM will decide there’s enough demand to support increased production.

Timothy Cain is the founder of GoodCarBadCar.net, which obsesses over the free and frequent publication of U.S. and Canadian auto sales figures. Follow on Twitter @goodcarbadcar and on Facebook.

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Chart Of The Day: 52 Months Of Record Audi USA Sales http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/chart-day-52-months-record-audi-usa-sales/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/chart-day-52-months-record-audi-usa-sales/#comments Mon, 11 May 2015 15:00:05 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1064338 Audi USA sold 16,827 new vehicles in April 2015, an increase of 1174 units compared with Audi’s previous best-ever April in 2014, and the 52nd consecutive month in which Audi U.S. volume has broken the previous monthly record. Year-over-year, Audi sales have increased in each of the last 66 months, a streak stretching back to […]

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Audi USA record sales chart TTAC COTDAudi USA sold 16,827 new vehicles in April 2015, an increase of 1174 units compared with Audi’s previous best-ever April in 2014, and the 52nd consecutive month in which Audi U.S. volume has broken the previous monthly record.

Year-over-year, Audi sales have increased in each of the last 66 months, a streak stretching back to November 2009.

Timothy Cain is the founder of GoodCarBadCar.net, which obsesses over the free and frequent publication of U.S. and Canadian auto sales figures. Follow on Twitter @goodcarbadcar and on Facebook.

 

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Old Hat? April 2015 Reveals Another Subaru U.S. Sales Record http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/old-hat-april-2015-reveals-another-subaru-u-s-sales-record/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/old-hat-april-2015-reveals-another-subaru-u-s-sales-record/#comments Sun, 10 May 2015 14:42:06 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1064218 Subaru reported the brand’s 41st consecutive month of year-over-year U.S. sales improvement last month and in so doing produced the brand’s highest-volume April in the history of Subaru of America. 47,241 Subarus were sold in the United States last month, an 18% increase compared with April 2014. The 7,158-unit increase was powered by gains from […]

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2015 Subaru Outback

Subaru reported the brand’s 41st consecutive month of year-over-year U.S. sales improvement last month and in so doing produced the brand’s highest-volume April in the history of Subaru of America.

47,241 Subarus were sold in the United States last month, an 18% increase compared with April 2014. The 7,158-unit increase was powered by gains from the Forester, Outback, Legacy, XV Crosstrek, and the WRX/STi.

High-riders – the Forester, Outback, and XV – accounted for 71% of Subaru’s volume last month.

The XV has proven so far this year to be significantly more popular than the Impreza sedan and hatch combined (excluding the WRX/STi that Subaru sees as a unique model). XV sales are up 20% to 27,017 through the first four months of 2015; Impreza sales are up 2% to 20,597. The XV led the Impreza by only 2,390 units at this stage a year ago.

Subaru USA sales chart

The Outback fell 2238 units shy of matching last December’s best Outback month ever but exceeded the nameplate’s previous best April by 1,871 units, an 18% improvement.

Forester sales, say Subaru, have risen beyond 10,000 units in each of the last 21 months. In comparison with the category’s top-selling CR-V, Equinox, Escape, and RAV4, Forester sales aren’t terribly high. Those four nameplates averaged nearly 27,000 April sales. But the Forester’s steady march forward is unmistakable. Between 2007 and 2012, Subaru averaged fewer than 6000 Forester sales per month.

Subaru XV Crosstrek

By the standards of top-tier midsize contenders, Legacy sales are a pittance. Yet by Legacy standards, Subaru’s midsize sedan is booming. April sales shot up 69% to 5,276; year-to-date volume is up 68% to 19,647.

The numbers are small, but the Legacy is proving tremendously helpful for Subaru in the United States, where the majority of midsize cars – and the midsize segment as a whole – are failing to match last year’s sales pace. The Legacy has added nearly 8,000 sales to the Subaru tally over the span of just four months, nearly on par with the volume added by the Outback.

2015 Subaru Forester

With growth across much of the lineup, where does this position Subaru? We’ve stated previously that the brand is clearly now among the mainstream players, as declared by what is now a 14-month-long streak of 40K+ sales months. Subaru’s U.S. market share increased to 3.2% in April 2015, up from 2.9% at this time a year ago, 2.6% in April 2013, and 2.2% in April 2012.

The likelihood that a successor to the discontinued Tribeca will be far more successful than the Tribeca will provide further expansion.

Subaru
April 2015
April 2014
% Change
2015 YTD
2014 YTD
% Change
Forester 13,977 11,547 21.0% 51,613 46,937 9.9%
Outback 12,534 10,663 17.6% 48,021 39,589 21.3%
XV Crosstrek 6,936 5,678 22.2% 27,017 22,553 19.8%
Legacy 5,276 3,126 68.8% 19,647 11,670 68.4%
Impreza 5,311 5,444 -2.4% 20,597 20,163 2.2%
WRX/STi 2,713 2,698 0.6% 9,974 8,213 21.4%
BRZ 494 820 -39.8% 1,653 2,886 -42.7%
Total
47,241 40,083 17.9% 178,522 152,471 17.1%

Subaru was the ninth-best-selling auto brand in America over the first four months of 2015, 10,000 sales ahead of Dodge; 16,000 sales back of Kia.

Timothy Cain is the founder of GoodCarBadCar.net, which obsesses over the free and frequent publication of U.S. and Canadian auto sales figures. Follow on Twitter @goodcarbadcar and on Facebook.

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Volkswagen USA’s Bright Spot Is The Golf, But The Bulb Isn’t Very Big http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/volkswagen-usas-bright-spot-golf-bulb-isnt-big/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/volkswagen-usas-bright-spot-golf-bulb-isnt-big/#comments Sat, 09 May 2015 14:00:40 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1062434 During a month of great turmoil at Volkswagen’s German HQ, including expressions of real disappointment regarding the brand’s lackluster performance on the other side of the Atlantic, Volkswagen of America tripled its Golf sales total. Yes, U.S. sales of the Volkswagen Golf line skyrocketed 206% in April 2015, year-over-year. Yet with only 5,508 total Golf […]

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Volkswagen Golf family

During a month of great turmoil at Volkswagen’s German HQ, including expressions of real disappointment regarding the brand’s lackluster performance on the other side of the Atlantic, Volkswagen of America tripled its Golf sales total.

Yes, U.S. sales of the Volkswagen Golf line skyrocketed 206% in April 2015, year-over-year. Yet with only 5,508 total Golf sales last month, the Golf continues to be a low-volume compact car in the United States. Combined, the Jetta and Golf (which no longer share a platform) are still just upper-mid-pack players, nearly 900 sales back of the fifth-best-selling compact, the Ford Focus, last month.

The Golf family was, however, the key bright spot at Volkswagen of America in April. Brand-wide sales slid 3% in April 2015, the third consecutive month (and 21st in 25) that Volkswagen brand sales have decreased on a year-over-year basis.

April sales of the Tiguan and Touareg grew, but only to the tune of 426 extra units. The Jetta sedan’s 5% increase was an exception to a rule that saw Jetta sedan volume slide 6% through the first four months of 2015. Meanwhile, sales of the Beetle, CC, discontinued Eos, and Passat fell precipitously both in April and the first-third of the year.

The picture is clear. It’s all down to the Golf.

USA Volkswagen Golf sales chart

Non-Golf sales at Volkswagen are down 18% year-to-date in a new vehicle market that’s exceptionally healthy. Auto industry sales are up 5.4% so far this year; excluding the VW brand, sales are up 5.7%.

Yet even at these exceptionally high Golf sales levels – by Golf standards – it’s an insufficiently effective model in the United States. Globally, it’s among the best sellers. Locally, it’s a car which generates its moderate level of popularity with niche-filling products and cult classics: diesel-powered hatchbacks, hot hatches, and wagons.

Thankfully, such models exist (and even cohabit in the form of the Golf TDI SportWagen). But they’re not common cars. Volkswagen sold 1,739 copies of their core Golf hatchback in April, 1,228 Golf SportWagens, 309 e-Golfs, 327 Golf Rs, and 1,905 copies of the top-selling Golf, the GTI. The 5,508-unit total achieved by the whole lineup marked the highest April output for the Golf since 2000, Volkswagen of America says, but equalled just 18% of the brand’s April total and just 11% of the VW Group’s April U.S. total.

There’s good news and bad. Golf success is obviously a good thing, but Volkswagen would need infinitely greater success in the game of Golf to make up for disappointment in other parts of the lineup.

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

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Shock, Horror: U.S. BMW X4 Sales Are Rising Higher http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/shock-horror-u-s-bmw-x4-sales-rising-higher/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/shock-horror-u-s-bmw-x4-sales-rising-higher/#comments Fri, 08 May 2015 15:00:47 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1063498 It’s only been on sale ten months. But those who hoped BMW wouldn’t be able to repeat the X6’s moderate levels of success will be disappointed to hear the BMW X4 just recorded its best U.S. sales month so far. 920 copies of the X4 were sold in April 2015, April’s total was 89% better […]

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2015 BMW X4

It’s only been on sale ten months. But those who hoped BMW wouldn’t be able to repeat the X6’s moderate levels of success will be disappointed to hear the BMW X4 just recorded its best U.S. sales month so far. 920 copies of the X4 were sold in April 2015,

April’s total was 89% better than the average monthly total from the first-quarter of this year. Moreover, April’s X4 U.S. sales total was 54% better than the total from the prior month, when the U.S. new vehicle market was 6% larger. Indeed, the X4’s April total of 920 units was 12% greater than the total achieved by BMW USA in December of last year, December being the month for luxury auto sales in America.

Just days after TTAC’s managing editor mentioned the rate at which Porsche Macans are flying out of showrooms – not that the Macan is the highest-volume vehicle by any means, not even among Porsches – the realization that X4 sales are rising higher makes a measure of sense. True, the X4 is not the shockingly effective all-arounder that the Macan is. But in 2015, as a general rule, auto consumers love SUVs (and the various spin-off names of the SUV class: crossovers, CUVs, utilities, tall wagons.) Added to that, auto consumers love luxury branded vehicles. Auto consumers also love BMWs; after all, BMW was America’s best-selling premium auto brand in 2014 and only trails Mercedes-Benz by a hair through the first-third of 2014.

2015 BMW X4 red

But the X4? Is it simply selling more often now than when it first originated because Americans love SUVs, especially luxury SUVs, and especially BMWs?

Like the X6 and the discontinued Acura ZDX, the X4 is a more costly, less flexible version of a more mainstream luxury utility vehicle. In the X6’s case, the donor vehicle was the X5. The ZDX was the second-gen MDX’s offspring. The X4 is a more costly, less flexible version of the BMW X3. And one might have naturally assumed that in stark contrast to the less-is-more formula that works for so many a special edition Porsche sports car, the less-style-equals-more-ugly conundrum of the X4 would see the BMW suffering the ZDX’s fate.

Yet nearly one year into its tenure, the BMW X4 is selling better than at any point in the model’s brief history.

And in April, the X4 sold 59% more frequently than the Acura ZDX did in its best-ever month.

 

2010 Acura ZDX

2010 Acura ZDX

Lovers of taste can be grateful, however, as the increasingly popular X4 is still really not all that popular. Only one out of every ten BMW SAV sales in April involved an X4. (Only one in five involved the more expensive X6.)

BMW’s more conventional X1, X3, and X5 combined for a 19% year-over-year loss in April and are down 25% year-to-date in an SUV/CUV market that was up 15% in April and 13% year-to-date. The addition of the X4 and improved X6 sales don’t alter the fact that BMW utility vehicle sales are still down this year: 6% in April; 17% year-to-date. More specifically, the X3’s decline (32% in April; 40% YTD) hasn’t been completely made up for by the X4, either. Meeting global demand for luxury SUVs isn’t an easy task at the moment, as the United States isn’t the only market with a hankering for vehicles like the X3, which is in short supply.

 

2016 Mercedes-Benz GLE 450 AMG Coupe

2016 Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe

Regardless, with the X4’s moderate level of success, don’t be surprised if automakers delve deeper into this bizarre niche. Indeed, we’ve already seen that the next M-Class (to be called the GLE) will offer a so-called coupe version; an X6 fighter. Let’s just hope they find a way to make them all a little prettier.

Timothy Cain is the founder of GoodCarBadCar.net, which obsesses over the free and frequent publication of U.S. and Canadian auto sales figures. Follow on Twitter @goodcarbadcar and Facebook.

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Arrival Of Buick Encore Twin Doesn’t Reduce Encore Demand – Encore Growth Continues Alongside Trax http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/arrival-buick-encore-twin-doesnt-reduce-encore-demand-encore-growth-continues-alongside-trax/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/arrival-buick-encore-twin-doesnt-reduce-encore-demand-encore-growth-continues-alongside-trax/#comments Thu, 07 May 2015 12:00:18 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1062226 U.S. sales of the Buick Encore have increased, on a year-over-year basis, in each of the last 16 months. That streak includes these last five months, a period in which a more affordable twin of the Encore, the Chevrolet Trax, has also been generating meaningful U.S. sales activity. Encore volume grew 31% in the five […]

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2015 Buick Encore

U.S. sales of the Buick Encore have increased, on a year-over-year basis, in each of the last 16 months. That streak includes these last five months, a period in which a more affordable twin of the Encore, the Chevrolet Trax, has also been generating meaningful U.S. sales activity.

Encore volume grew 31% in the five months preceding the Trax’s U.S. launch. Since the little Chevy’s arrival, not only has the Encore avoided a decline, the rate of its volume expansion has hardly slowed: Encore sales jumped 28% between the final month of 2014 and April 2015.

In fact, as General Motors attracted 7,477 sales with the less costly Trax in March and April, Buick reported the best month ever for the Encore in March and the second-best ever Encore performance in April, the latter being a slightly slower month for the overall auto industry.

5,650 Encore sales were reported by Buick in March; another 5,587 in April. Only once before – in March of last year – has Buick sold more than 5,000 Encores in a single month.

Encore Trax sales chartAs we reported back in March, the Encore, alone in its success at Buick, isn’t sufficiently powerful to overcome other losses at the brand. As Encore volume jumped 29% in April, for example, four other Buick nameplates combined for a 15% year-over-year decline. Encore included, Buick’s U.S. volume was still down 5% in April and 5% year-to-date. Even the Enclave, in a strong month for GM utilities and the Lambda platform (Traverse sales shot up 28%; Acadia sales jumped 40%), stumbled slightly with a 4% drop.

How strong a month? “April was GM’s best-ever month for crossover sales,” the company said in its release last Friday. Industry-wide utility vehicle sales were up 15% in April. GM’s nine crossover nameplates – Enclave, Encore, SRX, Equinox, Traverse, Trax, Acadia, Terrain, and the discontinued fleet-only Captiva Sport – increased their volume by 24% to 77,780 units, equal to 29% of the company’s total U.S. volume. (GM also sold 20,962 full-size SUVs.)

2015 Chevrolet Trax

The Trax and Encore aren’t a huge part of that production in the United States. Much talked about though the subcompact crossover segment continues to be, none of the contenders are huge volume generators. Yet. The group is expanding, and with the expansion of the group (Renegade, CX-3, HR-V, 500X), volume expands rapidly, as well. The Trax and Encore accounted for 12% of GM’s crossover volume in the automaker’s best-ever month for U.S. crossover sales. The Chevrolet Equinox, on the other hand, America’s second-best-selling utility vehicle last month, generated 37% of GM’s crossover volume thanks to a 42% YOY improvement. The Equinox’s GMC Terrain twin was only barely outsold by the Trax and Encore combined.

Including delivery fees, the Encore has a base price of $24,990. The Trax starts at $20,995. All-wheel-drive adds $1500 to the price in both cases.

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

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April 2015 Full-Size Truck Sales Rise 3%, Silverado And Sierra Outsell Ford F-Series http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/april-2015-full-size-truck-sales-rise-3-silverado-sierra-outsell-ford-f-series/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/april-2015-full-size-truck-sales-rise-3-silverado-sierra-outsell-ford-f-series/#comments Wed, 06 May 2015 15:00:50 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1060642 Full-size pickup truck sales improved by a modest 3.1% as the U.S. auto industry climbed 4.6% in April 2015. As a whole, the pickup truck category increased its sales at a faster clip than the overall industry, rising 7.8% thanks to 46% gains from small/midsize pickups, vehicles which accounted for 15% of all pickup truck […]

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silverado

Full-size pickup truck sales improved by a modest 3.1% as the U.S. auto industry climbed 4.6% in April 2015.

As a whole, the pickup truck category increased its sales at a faster clip than the overall industry, rising 7.8% thanks to 46% gains from small/midsize pickups, vehicles which accounted for 15% of all pickup truck sales in April 2015, up from 11% at this time a year ago.

Even without an additional 9,442 sales from the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon, General Motors was the biggest seller of pickup trucks in April 2015. The Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra combined to outsell the Ford F-Series by 1,053 units – they trail the F-Series by 4,257 units year-to-date – after trailing the F-Series by 3,386 sales in April 2014.

Truck
April
2015
April
2014
%
Change
4 mos.
2015
4 mos.
2014
%
Change
Ford F-Series
62,827 63,387 -0.9% 240,139 236,745 1.4%
Chevrolet Silverado
45,978 42,755 7.5% 172,672 150,512 14.7%
Ram P/U
37,921 36,674 3.4% 139,432 133,580 4.4%
GMC Sierra
18,082 17,246 4.8% 63,255 59,459 6.4%
Toyota Tundra
10,681 10,217 4.5% 39,438 37,619 4.8%
Nissan Titan
 1,038 956 8.6% 3,676 4,274 -14.0%
Total
176,527 171,235 3.1% 658,612 622,189 5.9%

Last month marked the second time in three months the full-size GM twins have outsold the transitioning Ford. Year-over-year, F-Series volume slipped 0.9% in April 2015. The Silverado and Sierra were jointly up 6.8%.

General Motors’ sold 73,503 pickups in total in the fourth month of 2015; 271,650 in the first-third of 2015.

Truck
April
2015
Share
April
2014
Share
4 mos.
2015
Share
4 mos.
2014
Share
Ford F-Series
35.6% 37.0% 36.5% 38.1%
Chevrolet Silverado/GMC Sierra
36.3% 35.0% 35.8% 33.7%
Ram P/U
21.5% 21.4% 21.2% 21.5%
Toyota Tundra
6.1% 6.0% 6.0% 6.0%
Nissan Titan
0.6% 0.6% 0.6% 0.7%
Full-Size Share Of
Total Pickup Truck Market
85.1% 89.0% 85.0% 88.9%
Full-Size Pickup Share
Of Total Industry
12.1% 12.3% 12.2% 12.1%

Ram’s hiatus into declining territory was brief. March sales slid 2.2% compared with March 2014 following 59 consecutive months of year-over-year improvement. April volume was once again on the upswing, rising 3.4% to 37,921 units, an increase of 1,247 U.S. sales.

Toyota and Nissan, meanwhile, earned slightly less than 7% of the full-size truck market in April 2015. Both the Tundra and Titan reported improved volume. The same two brands, with their Tacoma and Frontier, generated seven out of every ten non-full-size pickup truck sales last month.

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

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April 2015’s 15 Best-Selling Cars In America – Not As “Best” As They Were A Year Ago http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/april-2015s-15-best-selling-cars-america-not-best-year-ago/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/april-2015s-15-best-selling-cars-america-not-best-year-ago/#comments Tue, 05 May 2015 15:00:51 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1059178 The U.S. auto industry was projected to make 6% gains in April 2015, an increase that would have produced at least 80,000 more April sales this year than in April 2014. Instead, April 2015 auto sales grew by less than 5%, and the industry’s volume improved by around 64,000 units. Auto sales are healthy, but […]

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2015 Ford Mustang GT dirt road

The U.S. auto industry was projected to make 6% gains in April 2015, an increase that would have produced at least 80,000 more April sales this year than in April 2014.

Instead, April 2015 auto sales grew by less than 5%, and the industry’s volume improved by around 64,000 units. Auto sales are healthy, but why weren’t they quite as healthy last month as anticipated?

There are hundreds of factors to consider, from Bob realizing that new patio furniture was more important than a new Ram EcoDiesel, to the decreased demand for certain aging models. But if one vehicle category needed to accept blame, it would be passenger cars. 

Car volume slid nearly 1.6%, according to the Automotive News Data Center, even as pickup truck sales jumped 8%, commercial vans shot up 12%, and SUV/crossover volume rose 15%. True, minivans are tumbling, but that’s not so much a reflection on the category as it is a symptom of FCA’s retooling of their Windsor plant. Setting aside the Town & Country and Grand Caravan, minivan sales were up 7% in April.

TTAC best-selling cars chart April 2015

But April’s car sales declines were sourced from all manner of automakers, from best sellers and worst sellers alike. Nine of America’s 15 best-selling cars (Camry, Accord, Fusion, Altima, Cruze, Focus, Sonata, Malibu, Optima) reported year-over-year sales declines in April 2015, including three of the top five and six of the top ten.

From the leading Toyota Camry’s 10% drop to the 14th-ranked Kia Optima’s 6% decrease, passenger car declines were pervasive in April, a period during which all of America’s 20 top-selling SUVs and crossovers posted notable year-over-year improvements.

Yet exceptions to the rule weren’t rare. The Camry’s closest challenger in April was not a fellow midsize car but rather a fellow Toyota. Sales of the second-ranked Corolla jumped 10%, a gain of nearly 3000 units compared with April 2014.

The third-ranked Honda Civic posted its first YOY increase since June of last year, a modest but meaningful 3% gain.

The Hyundai Elantra’s April increase was its second consecutive.

Chrysler 200 sales more than quadrupled to 18,850 units – April 2014 represents a period of transition for the 200 nameplate.

The Nissan Sentra joined the compact car improvements highlighted by the Corolla, Civic, and Elantra. Sentra sales have increased in 19 consecutive months.

Finally, the Ford Mustang’s 81.5% increase, a continuation of a topic we discussed last month, meant Ford’s lone two-door accounted for nearly one out of every five Blue Oval car sales last month.

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

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Chart Of The Day: Auto Brand Market Share In America In April 2015 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/chart-day-auto-brand-market-share-america-april-2015/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/chart-day-auto-brand-market-share-america-april-2015/#comments Mon, 04 May 2015 15:00:29 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1059154 Compared with the prior month, General Motors’ U.S. market share increased by more than two percentage points to 18.5% in April 2015. Toyota’s trio of brands lost slightly more than half a percentage point. American Honda jumped from 8.2% to 8.9%. Nissan and Infiniti dropped by nearly two percentage points as the automaker suffered its […]

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TTAC automaker market share chart April 2014

Compared with the prior month, General Motors’ U.S. market share increased by more than two percentage points to 18.5% in April 2015. Toyota’s trio of brands lost slightly more than half a percentage point. American Honda jumped from 8.2% to 8.9%.

Nissan and Infiniti dropped by nearly two percentage points as the automaker suffered its normal, anticipated, severe drop-off in April volume. The auto industry’s size decreased 6% between March and April; Nissan USA’s sales fell 24% during the same period.

Compared with April 2014, GM’s market share elevation was only slight. American Honda lost more than half a percentage point, sliding from 9.5% to 8.9%. And Nissan’s 7.5% share remained on an even keel.

Auto industry volume increased at a 4.6% clip to 1.455M units in April 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. Follow on Twitter @goodcarbadcar.

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U.S. Auto Brand Sales Results – April 2015 YTD: Almost As Good As Expected http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/u-s-auto-brand-sales-results-april-2015-ytd-almost-good-expected/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/u-s-auto-brand-sales-results-april-2015-ytd-almost-good-expected/#comments Fri, 01 May 2015 19:34:16 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1058698 A predicted 6% increase in April 2015 auto sales ended up as a 5% year-over-year boost, equal to nearly 65,000 more sales last month than in the same period one year ago. The biggest gains among volume brands were produced by Jeep (with its best-ever month and a 20% increase to 71,759 April sales), GMC […]

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2015-escalade-exterior-masthead-family-960x540

A predicted 6% increase in April 2015 auto sales ended up as a 5% year-over-year boost, equal to nearly 65,000 more sales last month than in the same period one year ago.

The biggest gains among volume brands were produced by Jeep (with its best-ever month and a 20% increase to 71,759 April sales), GMC (another no-car brand), and Subaru.

Honda, Volkswagen, and Kia all posted slight losses, however, and the gains produced by big brands like Toyota, Hyundai, and Chevrolet weren’t all that significant. Ford, the best-selling auto brand in America, was up 5%. General Motors’, the top-selling manufacturer, increased 6% despite the third Buick decline in four months. 

Industry-wide sales were strengthened by SUVs and crossovers. All of the category’s top 20 sellers posted improved sales, year-over-year.

Automaker April 2015 April 2014 % Change 2015 YTD 2014  YTD % Change
Acura
 14,874 14,122 5.3% 54,518 52,070 4.7%
Alfa Romeo
 38 255
Audi
 16,827 15,653 7.5% 56,925 50,881 11.9%
BMW
 26,952 25,052 6.9% 105,444 97,579 8.1%
Buick
 18,224 19,214 -5.2% 68,721 72,112 -4.7%
Cadillac
 15,801 13,900 13.7% 52,976 53,488 -1.0%
Chevrolet
 187,837 181,648 3.4% 664,393 634,331 4.7%
Chrysler
 27,704 21,967  26.1% 109,637 94,450 16.1%
Dodge
 44,906 53,463 -16.0% 168,417 198,687 -15.2%
Fiat
 3,756 4,298 -12.6% 14,794 15,723 -5.9%
Ford 213,518 203,552 4.9% 783,940 762,209 2.9%
GMC
 47,194 39,314 20.0% 167,005 143,782 16.2%
Honda
 115,194 118,334 -2.7% 409,493 405,740 0.9%
Hyundai
68,009  66,107 2.9% 240,038 226,120 6.2%
Infiniti
 9,979  9,170 8.8% 43,821  40,391 8.5%
Jaguar
 1,079 1,035 4.3%  5,415 5,750 -5.8%
Jeep
 71,759 59,754  20.1% 250,508 205,593 21.8%
Kia
 53,282 53,676  -0.7% 194,382 186,682 4.1%
Land Rover
 5,311  4,533 17.2%  22,287  17,612 26.5%
Lexus
 25,876 23,165 11.7% 103,056 88,250 16.8%
Lincoln
 8,134 6,803 19.6% 29,612 28,406 4.2%
Maserati
 1,060 964 10.0% 2,989 3,332 -10.3%
Mazda
 24,123 22,434 7.5% 102,167 100,491 1.7%
Mercedes-Benz
 29,188 25,887  12.8%  107,344  98,501  9.0% 
Mercedes-Benz Sprinter
 2,764 2,394  15.5%  8,323  7,018  18.6% 
Total Mercedes-Benz
 31,952 28,281 13.0% 115,667 105,519 9.6%
Mini
 5,476 4,390 24.7% 18,253 13,047 39.9%
Mitsubishi
 8,216 6,542  25.6% 32,006 26,382 21.3%
Nissan
 99,869  94,764 5.4% 433,655 418,509 3.6%
Porsche
 5,217 4,072 28.1% 16,647 14,208 17.2%
Ram
 40,864 39,170  4.3% 151,270 140,163 7.9%
Scion
 4,309 5,386 -20.0% 16,287 19,843 -17.9%
Smart
 480 1,048 -54.2% 2,013 3,285 -38.7%
Subaru
 47,241 40,083 17.9% 178,522 152,471 17.1%
Toyota
 173,144 171,109 1.2% 659,606 612,564 7.7%
Volkswagen
 30,009 30,831 -2.7% 109,248 118,154 -7.5%
Volvo
 4,381 4,635 -5.5% 18,103 18,333 -1.3%
 —
BMW-Mini
 32,428 29,592 9.6% 123,697 110,626 11.8%
FCA/Chrysler Group
189,027 178,652  5.8% 694,881 654,616 6.2%
Daimler
 32,432 29,329 10.6% 117,680 108,804 8.2%
Ford Motor Company
 221,652 210,355 5.4% 813,552 790,615 2.9%
General Motors
 269,056 254,076 5.9% 953,095 903,713 5.5%
Honda Motor Company
 130,068 132,456 -1.8% 464,011 457,810 1.4%
Hyundai-Kia
 121,291 119,783 1.3%  434,420 412,802 5.2%
Jaguar-Land Rover
6,390 5,568 14.8% 27,702  23,362 18.6%
Nissan Motor Company
 109,848 103,934 5.7% 477,476 458,900 4.0%
Toyota Motor Corporation
203,329 199,660  1.8% 778,949 720,657 8.1%
Volkswagen Group *
 52,295 50,765  3.0% 183,602 184,102 -2.7%
Industry Total **
1,455,242
1,390,769
4.6%
5,411,707
5,134,781
5.4%

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

** Industry total takes into account Automotive News estimates for brands such as Tesla (1700 April units) and other low-volume, high-priced manufacturers.

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

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Cadillac ATS Sales Down, Down, Down, Down Some More? http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/04/cadillac-ats-sales/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/04/cadillac-ats-sales/#comments Thu, 30 Apr 2015 14:00:30 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1056202 The Cadillac ATS’s launch in the fourth-quarter of 2012 was the most important for the Cadillac brand since whatever Cadillac’s previous most important launch was. But very early on, Cadillac simply wasn’t selling as many as they wanted to. Sales weren’t terribly low – Cadillac averaged 3,200 U.S. ATS sales in calendar year 2013, but […]

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2015 Cadillac ATS

The Cadillac ATS’s launch in the fourth-quarter of 2012 was the most important for the Cadillac brand since whatever Cadillac’s previous most important launch was.

But very early on, Cadillac simply wasn’t selling as many as they wanted to. Sales weren’t terribly low – Cadillac averaged 3,200 U.S. ATS sales in calendar year 2013, but incentivization kicked in early. After peaking at 3,887 units in December 2013, sales have decreased on a year-over-year basis in 14 of 15 months, including in each of the last eleven months.

Only a two-unit, 0.07% uptick in April 2014 interrupted what would otherwise be a streak of decreases stretching back to the beginning of last year.

So here’s the question: with April sales results set to be released tomorrow, will the Cadillac ATS’s sales stats display a full year of year-over-year monthly declines?

Here’s what needs to happen for Cadillac to avoid that outcome: Cadillac sold 2737 ATS sedans in April 2014 and therefore needs to top that figure in April 2015.

Cadillac has only topped that figure once since last April, and only barely, with 2,804 August sales.

Moreover, sales in March totalled just 2,039 units, and the market for new vehicles is likely to be somewhat smaller in April than it was in March.

The ATS’s year-over-year declines have been particularly harsh of late: 34% in November, 37% in December, 8% in January, 16% in February, and 32% in March. Year-to-date, ATS sales are down 20%, a loss of 1,494 units. Joining the ATS in the Cadillac slowdown is the CTS, sales of which tumbled 39.5% in the first-quarter.

U.S. best-selling premium cars 2015 Q1

Granted, the U.S. passenger car market isn’t in rude health. Sales of cars are slightly south of flat over the last three months and expanded less than 2% in 2014, a year in which the overall industry made 6% gains. ATS sales fell 22% in 2014, the nameplate’s second full year.

Yet despite negative growth in the car market, BMW car volume is up 28% (3-Series/4-Series sales are up 27%); car sales at Mercedes-Benz are up 2% (C-Class sales are up 23%). Acura, Audi, Infiniti, and Lexus have posted 6%, 8%, 10%, and 4% improvements, respectively.

Coupes and V models will expand the appeal of the ATS range, but they don’t cure the ATS’s key faults. The small rear seat and CUE system continue.

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

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Not In The Big Leagues Yet, But Mazda 6 Sales Are Steadily Rising http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/04/not-big-leagues-yet-mazda-6-sales-steadily-rising/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/04/not-big-leagues-yet-mazda-6-sales-steadily-rising/#comments Wed, 29 Apr 2015 14:00:25 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1056162 For the eleventh time in twelve months and the third consecutive month, U.S. sales of the Mazda 6 increased in March 2015. Only a slight 42-unit decline in December broke what would now be a full year-long streak of year-over-year improvement for the 6. With help from a refreshed-for-2016 model already making up the bulk of […]

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Mazda 6 sales chart

For the eleventh time in twelve months and the third consecutive month, U.S. sales of the Mazda 6 increased in March 2015. Only a slight 42-unit decline in December broke what would now be a full year-long streak of year-over-year improvement for the 6.

With help from a refreshed-for-2016 model already making up the bulk of Mazda’s 6 inventory, Mazda USA is now on track to sell more than 65,000 6 sedans in calendar year 2015, a rate of sales that would return the midsize Mazda to a nine-year high.

Last month was a particularly productive period according to Mazda’s end-of-quarter sales report: “The refreshed 2016 Mazda6 recorded its best month of sales since March of 2012 with 7,570 vehicles sold, an increase of 32.1 percent over March of 2014.”

We’ll shortly see whether Mazda can buck a historical trend that sees their April sales tumble after strong third months. In 2014, for instance, as the overall new vehicle market became 10% smaller in April than in March, 6 volume plunged 33%. The year before, the industry reported a 12% decline between March and April; 6 sales in April 2013 were less than half what they were in March 2013.

2016 Mazda 6

Seasonal changes are to be expected. But for industry observers who want to see whether the Mazda 6 can maintain a roster position in the big leagues, another drop below 5000 units will be informative.

Yes, 6 sales are steadily on the rise. And it’s not as though Mazda can manage the kind of production volume to match the Toyota Camry or Honda Accord. But there’s no denying the 6, however highly praised by reviewers, is a lower-tier player in the midsize category. There are no optional powerplants, the enthusiast-oriented suspension tuning doesn’t deliver the softness of segment leaders, and the overall Mazda brand has long struggled to rise from low-volume status.

In other words, even when the 6 is surging, as it was in March, it still ranked tenth in the segment in U.S. sales, behind even the sharply declining Volkswagen Passat. Among conventional volume-brand midsize sedans, only the Subaru Legacy sold less often than the 6, though interestingly, the Legacy’s surging, as well. Subaru reported a 90% improvement to best-ever March levels for the Legacy last month.

At the moment, however, in the lead-up to the CX-3 and MX-5 launches, the 6 is a very bright spot for Mazda USA. Sales elsewhere at the Mazda brand are down 5.5% through the first-quarter of 2015. 6 volume is up 27% so far 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. Follow on Twitter @goodcarbadcar.

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Oh, So This Is Why BMW Thinks The Sports Car Market Isn’t Going To Recover http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/04/oh-bmw-thinks-sports-car-market-isnt-going-recover/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/04/oh-bmw-thinks-sports-car-market-isnt-going-recover/#comments Mon, 27 Apr 2015 14:08:32 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1055089 It’s been five months since BMW’s sales boss, Ian Robertson, made news by questioning the long-term viability of the sports car. “The sports car market is roughly half of what it used to be. Post-2008, it just collapsed. I’m not so sure it’ll ever fully recover,” Robertson said. BMW, of course, is the maker of […]

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BMW Z4

It’s been five months since BMW’s sales boss, Ian Robertson, made news by questioning the long-term viability of the sports car. “The sports car market is roughly half of what it used to be. Post-2008, it just collapsed. I’m not so sure it’ll ever fully recover,” Robertson said.

BMW, of course, is the maker of the Z4, a car which generates only one-tenth the volume now that it did when launched as a successor to the Z3. In other words, it’s not much wonder BMW wonders whether outright sports cars have a future. 

Just how bad has the Z4’s situation become? Only 802 were sold in the first-quarter of 2015, down 6% compared with the same period one year ago. The Z4 accounted for just 1% of BMW brand volume over the last three months; just 1.5% of BMW passenger car sales. Naturally, roadsters aren’t typically major contributors to an automaker’s volume, but the Z4 was at one time. During a five-year span from 2003 onward, the Z4 was responsible for 5% of the brand’s U.S. sales.

USA Sports Car sales chart BMW Z4

It’s not as though BMW hasn’t significantly altered the Z4 to make it more appealing to a broader cross-section of the buying public. Previously a softtop convertible or a hardtop model, the Z4 has used a retractable hardtop since the 2009 relaunch.

Sales hardly perked up, however, and have only declined since. Only 2010’s marginal 7% increase and 2006’s 22% jump interrupted a streak that saw Z4 sales decline in nine of the last eleven years.

All of this brings us to the month of March 2015, the first time in a year that Z4 volume climbed beyond 300 units. Yet on a year-over-year basis, even March’s 422 sales revealed a 29% decline. Z4 volume has decreased in nine of the last 14 months; Z4 volume has increased only eight times in the last two years.

Yet while reports of sports car death seem to make a special amount of sense when BMW’s delivering the reports, it’s not as though Z4 rivals are contradicting Robertson’s theme.

The Audi TT’s U.S. volume has declined in nine of the last twelve years.

Mercedes-Benz SLK sales in America decreased in six of the last nine years.

Porsche Boxster sales in 2014 fell 15% in 2014 after rising to an eight-year high in 2013, but 2014 volume for the Boxster and Cayman, combined, was down 26% compared to the Boxster’s total from 2002.

The Nissan Z’s 2014 U.S. sales tally was less than one-fifth the total achieved in 2003.

One key exception: although the Chevrolet Corvette’s average U.S. annual volume dwindled to 14,230 units between 2009 and 2013, GM sold more than 34,000 Corvettes in 2014, the best year since 2006.

Since the quote from Ian Robertson was given in November, U.S. Z4 volume has fallen 5%.

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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