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. Sun, 29 Mar 2015 18:57:33 +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 Truck Sales: What Does “58 Consecutive Months Of Growth” Mean For The Ram P/U? http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/truck-sales-58-consecutive-months-growth-mean-ram-pu/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/truck-sales-58-consecutive-months-growth-mean-ram-pu/#comments Sun, 29 Mar 2015 12:25:18 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1030345 “Sales of the Ram pickup truck were up 7 percent in February; its 58th consecutive month of year-over-year sales gains.” – FCA US LLC press release, March 3, 2015. What do 58 consecutive months of year-over-year U.S. sales improvement look like? The accompanying chart is one way of looking at it. Ever since May 2010, […]

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2015 Ram 1500 Laramie Limited“Sales of the Ram pickup truck were up 7 percent in February; its 58th consecutive month of year-over-year sales gains.” – FCA US LLC press release, March 3, 2015.

What do 58 consecutive months of year-over-year U.S. sales improvement look like? The accompanying chart is one way of looking at it. Ever since May 2010, Ram P/U sales have been on the rise. Most recently, this translated to a 24% year-over-year increase in calendar year 2014, a 14% jump in January 2015, and a 7% improvement last month.

No high-volume vehicle has even approached the level of consistent growth achieved by the Ram P/U, America’s third-best-selling vehicle line. The Audi brand’s 50 consecutive months of year-over-year improvement and 19 consecutive months of monthly sales records is similar, powered by an expansion of its model range, greater interest in entry-level luxury, and steadily improving brand image. Indeed, the Ram P/U’s parent company, FCA (née Chrysler Group) has posted consecutive U.S. year-over-year sales increases in every month going back to April 2010.

Ram sales chartOf course, part of the reason for the steady growth of the Ram truck line was its steady decline. Ram volume declined in 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2009, tumbling 61% between 2003’s high of 449,371 sales and 2009’s 177,268-unit performance.

While it’s true that the truck market declined consistently during the same period, the class-leading Ford F-Series didn’t fall quite as hard, sliding 56% between 2004’s record high and 2009’s low point. Moreover, while the F-Series continues to be America’s top-selling truck and best-selling vehicle line overall, it hasn’t recovered to the same degree as the Ram: F-Series sales jumped 82% between 2009 and 2014 and even last year were still 20% off 2004’s pace.

Ram sales, meanwhile, jumped 148% between 2009 and 2014. Last year, the Ram P/U was only 9582 sales off its 2003 total.

And yet, even now, Ford’s overwhelming capacity and steady increases from the full-size GM twins keep the Ram at bay. In 2003, 18.8% of the full-size trucks sold in the United States were Rams. Over the last two months, that figure is only modestly higher at 20.1%.

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: GM’s U.S. Sales By Brand Over The Last Decade http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/chart-day-gms-u-s-sales-brand-last-decade/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/chart-day-gms-u-s-sales-brand-last-decade/#comments Sat, 28 Mar 2015 12:21:02 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1030321 Two weeks ago we published a chart that showed GM’s decreasing passenger car emphasis over the last 14 months. Last Saturday, we showed GM’s annual U.S. sales volume by vehicle type. This week, we’re continuing the GM examination with a look at the brand allotment over the last decade. Aside from the Chrysler Group, no […]

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GM sales by brandTwo weeks ago we published a chart that showed GM’s decreasing passenger car emphasis over the last 14 months. Last Saturday, we showed GM’s annual U.S. sales volume by vehicle type. This week, we’re continuing the GM examination with a look at the brand allotment over the last decade.

Aside from the Chrysler Group, no automaker has undergone such a dramatic restructuring during the last decade. The public face of the GM restructuring, apart from the shuttering of dealerships, congressional hearings, and a revolving door of new faces in the executive’s chair, was the dismissal of a number of brands. Hummer, Saturn, Oldsmobile, and Pontiac were killed off. Saab is still kind of a thing, but not GM’s thing.

In the U.S., General Motors thus became much more of a Chevrolet/GMC company than it already was. Chevrolet’s share of the brand’s U.S. volume increased from 58.9% in 2007 to 71.3% in 2012, for example. GMC was responsible for barely more than 11% of GM sales in 2006, a figure which stands at 18% through the first two months of 2015.

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

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Cain’s Segments: Small Luxury Crossover Sales In The United States – February 2015 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/cains-segments-small-luxury-crossover-sales-united-states-february-2015/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/cains-segments-small-luxury-crossover-sales-united-states-february-2015/#comments Thu, 26 Mar 2015 13:11:05 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1029409 Sales of small luxury crossovers jumped 40% in February 2015 and so far this year are up 40% compared with the first two months of 2014. Subtract the newcomers from that equation and the continuing nameplates, those which were on sale at this time last year, posted a 3% February improvement but are down 1% […]

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2014 Volvo XC60, Exterior, Picture Courtesy of Teknikens VärldSales of small luxury crossovers jumped 40% in February 2015 and so far this year are up 40% compared with the first two months of 2014.

Subtract the newcomers from that equation and the continuing nameplates, those which were on sale at this time last year, posted a 3% February improvement but are down 1% through two months.

Those new players – NX, MKC, Macan, X4 – generated 29% of the small lux CUV activity in January and February. Yet their collective arrival, both at the lower end with the NX and MKC and at the higher end with the Macan and X4, aren’t slowing down the Acura RDX, Volvo XC60, and Range Rover Evoque.

The RDX is the class leader at the start of 2015, just as it was in calendar years 2013 and 2014. Interestingly, the Lexus NX has taken off early on in its tenure, generating more sales than the slowing (and aging) Audi Q5 and all other German contenders.

Auto
Feb. 2015
Feb. 2014
% Change
2 mos. 2015
2 mos. 2014
% Change
Acura RDX
3,862 2,911 32.7% 7,379 5,641 30.8%
Lexus NX
2,666 5,478
Audi Q5
2,493 2,643 -5.7% 5,420 5,417 0.1%
BMW X3
3,124 3,301 -5.4% 4,465 6,000 -25.6%
Volvo XC60
1,954 1,146 70.5% 3,471 2,088 66.2%
Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class
1,781 2,624 -32.1% 3,179 4,926 -35.5%
Lincoln MKC
1,558 3,160
Land Rover Range Rover Evoque
1,107 927 19.4% 2,510 1,806 39.0%
Porsche Macan
624 1,420
BMW X4
466 862
Infiniti QX50
177 220 -19.5% 365 417 -12.5%
Land Rover LR2
10 358 -97.2% 46 721 -93.6%
Total
19,822
14,130 40.3% 37,755 27,016 39.7%

The Q5’s slowdown occurs in conjunction with the Q3’s arrival. Combined Q3/Q5 volume is up 35% through two months; the duo was up 34% in February 2015 compared with February 2014, when the Q3 wasn’t yet on sale.

The situation was similar at Mercedes-Benz, where the sharp downturn in sales of the aging GLK takes place as the GLA begins to roundly and routinely outsell its more costly sibling. Combined sales are up 41% this year compared with the first two months of 2014 when the GLK was on its own to collect Mercedes-Benz small SUV buyers.

2016 Land Rover Discovery SportOther utility vehicles worth mentioning in this group are the entry-level trio from Audi, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz (Q3, X1, GLA sales totalled 7073 units in January and February), the Cadillac SRX (which starts below $38,000 and is down 23% to 7294 year-to-date), and the Lexus RX, America’s top-selling premium brand utility vehicle. RX sales are up 16% to 13,059 in early 2015, not slowed in the least by the NX.

We make a large number of crossovers eligible for this grouping, including the especially premium-priced Evoque, Macan, and X4. The next big change in the category? Land Rover’s Discovery Sport will bring seven-seat availability to the mix.

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

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Ford’s Graying Car Lineup Relying On Mustang To Boost U.S. Sales Numbers http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/fords-graying-car-lineup-relying-mustang-boost-u-s-sales-numbers/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/fords-graying-car-lineup-relying-mustang-boost-u-s-sales-numbers/#comments Wed, 25 Mar 2015 12:45:11 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1028329 Through the first two months of 2015, U.S. sales of non-Mustang Ford brand cars are down 2% to 91,026, a marginal loss of 1813 units. The overall Ford brand car lineup tumbled 6% in the month of February despite the Mustang’s 32% year-over-year improvement. The five non-Mustangs slid 11%, a loss of 5592 units to […]

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2013 Ford Taurus SHOThrough the first two months of 2015, U.S. sales of non-Mustang Ford brand cars are down 2% to 91,026, a marginal loss of 1813 units. The overall Ford brand car lineup tumbled 6% in the month of February despite the Mustang’s 32% year-over-year improvement. The five non-Mustangs slid 11%, a loss of 5592 units to 45,234. The Mustang was Ford’s third-best-selling car, contributing another 8454 sales.

That February result was more in keeping with the Ford brand’s recent car sales disappointments. But we can’t be surprised to see Ford’s car division falling after 2010’s 22% improvement, 2011’s 14% jump, the 7% increase in 2012, and 2013’s 10% uptick. Ford’s share of the overall passenger car market increased to 10% in 2010, climbed to nearly 11% in 2011 and moved past 10% in 2013 again. Mustang aside, the results we’re now seeing from Ford’s cars reflect the age of the lineup.

The Fiesta arrived in 2010. A refresh and an ST variant produced no measurable benefit but may have stymied greater losses. Sales tumbled 11% in 2014 and are down 20% in early 2015. The Fiesta is America’s fourth-best-selling subcompact through the first two months of 2015, and its market share in the category is down to 10.4% from 14.1% in 2013. 2015 is its sixth model year.

Ford USA passenger car sales chartWe’ve yet to see the impact of the 2015 Focus’s refresh. Sales are up 16% so far this year thanks to a stronger-than-last January, but February volume tumbled 12%. As is the case with the Fiesta, the arrival of a halo ST didn’t lift all boats. Focus volume decreased 5% in 2013 and 6% in 2014 even as its category grew 5% and 3%, respectively. 2015 is the current generation’s fourth model year.

The Ford Fusion’s U.S. sales were down 5% in the first one-sixth of 2015 even as overall midsize car volume increased modestly. The Fusion trailed the top-selling Toyota Camry by more than 17,000 sales heading into March. It’s one of the fresher faces in Ford’s U.S. car lineup – 2015 is its third model year. But the Camry, 200, and Sonata have all been redeveloped more recently, and an all-new Kia Optima and Chevrolet Malibu will be out before the next new Fusion.

The C-Max? Sales are down 22% so far this year after sliding 22% in calendar year 2014. It accounts for just 2.3% of Ford brand car sales in early 2015, down from 3.2% at this stage a year ago. Like the Fusion, 2015 is its third model year.

Meanwhile, though often revised, the Taurus, reviewed earlier this week by one Jack Baruth, has been around under one name or another on its D3 platform for a decade. Overall Taurus sales are down 20% this year. Taurus sales plunged 22% in 2014, including a 7% drop in Taurus Police Interceptor sales.

The all-new Mustang is the natural booster of Ford car sales volume, but as we look ahead to what will likely be another challenging period for Blue Oval cars regardless of the Mustang’s impact, keep the model timelines in mind. (Ford has also pursued fleet sales much less aggressively than had been the historical norm.)

As for Lincoln, well, those numbers are frightening. 2014 sales of the MKS and MKZ slid 2%, but the early 2015 results show the pairing is off last year’s two-month pace by 26%.

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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A New VW Van? We’re Trying To Remember The Flop That Was The Volkswagen Routan http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/new-vw-van-trying-remember-flop-volkswagen-routan/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/new-vw-van-trying-remember-flop-volkswagen-routan/#comments Mon, 23 Mar 2015 11:21:06 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1027545 TTAC’s managing editor, Derek Kreindler, used an interesting phrase last Friday. “Well, this ought to erase memories of the Routan,” Derek wrote. Memories? Of the Routan? Who has memories of the Volkswagen Routan? Hardly anyone, that’s who. Because even by the standards of minivan flops – and there’ve been more than a couple – the […]

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2009 Volkswagen RoutanTTAC’s managing editor, Derek Kreindler, used an interesting phrase last Friday. “Well, this ought to erase memories of the Routan,” Derek wrote.

Memories? Of the Routan?

Who has memories of the Volkswagen Routan?

Hardly anyone, that’s who. Because even by the standards of minivan flops – and there’ve been more than a couple – the Routan’s failure to capture market share ranks up near the top with the Hyundai Entourage and Buick Terraza. That’s right: two Rs, one Z, Terraza. Like a terrace. Like a terrace you almost jumped off after first spotting one in the wild.

In its best year on sale in the United States, Volkswagen reported 15,961 Routan sales, a 9% year-over-year increase compared with 2009 that preceded four consecutive years of decline. All-time, between the latter part of 2008 and the early part of 2014, VW USA reported barely more than 60,000 Routan sales; 60,197 to be precise.

Between 2008 and 2014, the same vans from Chrysler and Dodge generated 1.61 million U.S. sales.

chrysler van sales chartOf course, the Town & Country and Grand Caravan were more readily available. But why wouldn’t they be? Consumers could visit their local Chrysler or Dodge dealer and spend less on the same product. Those are the vans people will want, not the Volkswagen, so the plant didn’t spent nearly as much time slapping VW badges on grilles as they did Chrysler and Dodge logos. Turns out, minivan buyers didn’t want to appear as though they fell like Andre Agassi for Brooke Shields’ tricks. German engineering, Brooke? In the words of TTAC’s founder, Robert Farago, “Well, some German engineering. Done in America. Presumably by Americans.”

And then, I might add, put into practice by Canadian auto workers in Windsor, Ontario.

But rather than rehash the fact that 2007, the Hyundai Entourage’s best year, was kinder to the Hyundai than the Routan’s best year (2010) was to the Volkswagen, or the fact that Buick sold 4327 more Terraces in its best year, 2005, than the Routan did in its best year, let’s just applaud Volkswagen USA for even considering the importing of a genuine Volkswagen van. They’ve had some success doing so in the past, you may recall.

They’ve also shown us some stunning concepts, including the Microbus and the Bulli.

Sure, the minivan segment is stagnant, but the fast-growing commercial van market can be thoroughly explored. No, we’re not product planners – although with a toddler and a big dog I may wish I was a minivan product planner – but we do recognize that Volkswagen USA may need to expand its portfolio if any kind of success is to be met in the coming years.

http---o.aolcdn.com-hss-storage-midas-e5d1c9474f6c099abe418721a512d550-201718780-VW-T6-TeaserYou can quite rightly argue that niche products like the disallowed Scirocco and Polo GTI are nothing more than low-hanging fruit for malcontent North American VW enthusiasts, vehicles which lack the possibility of adding measurable long-term benefit to the product range. But at what point does Volkswagen consider the possibility that the automaker is harming the brand’s own image with their own fans by keeping products away from North America, thus hampering the success of products that are actually sold here?

Surely a return to the brand’s illustrious van heritage would do the brand favours. While also erasing memories of the Routan, even if only a handful of people actually possess Routan-centric memories.

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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You’re Not Just Seeing Things: Mitsubishi Breaks U.S. Mirage Sales Record In February 2015 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/youre-not-just-seeing-things-mitsubishi-breaks-u-s-mirage-sales-record-february-2015/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/youre-not-just-seeing-things-mitsubishi-breaks-u-s-mirage-sales-record-february-2015/#comments Sun, 22 Mar 2015 13:13:07 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1025993 Mitsubishi Motors USA broke its one-month-old, sixth-generation Mirage sales record in February 2015, soaring up to 1863 units, a 67% year-over-year improvement. The Mirage is a penalty box in the classic sense of the automotive term – in genuine penalty boxes you’re forced to sit beside a guy who takes notes like a secretive therapist […]

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2015 Mitsubishi Mirage ESMitsubishi Motors USA broke its one-month-old, sixth-generation Mirage sales record in February 2015, soaring up to 1863 units, a 67% year-over-year improvement.

The Mirage is a penalty box in the classic sense of the automotive term – in genuine penalty boxes you’re forced to sit beside a guy who takes notes like a secretive therapist while a camera looks up your nostrils.

But by the relative standards of Mitsubishi’s current U.S. status as a low-volume mainstream automaker in a high-volume market, the Mirage is a hit. And by, “a hit,” we mean it does ok. By Mitsubishi’s standards and our expectations for an 74-horsepower subcompact.

North of the border, the Mk6 Mirage, a replacement for the Colt in much of the world and a new entry-level car for Mitsubishi in our corner of the world, got off to a decent start. But then the Nissan Micra arrived and Mitsubishi’s average monthly Mirage total fell 36% from 377 units in the first eight months of 2014 to 241 since then, with February marking the second-lowest full month total since launch.

Mitsubishi Mirage sales chart February 2015But there’s no Micra in the United States, and Mirage volume has steadily improved over the last year. Only once in six tries has the Mirage failed to increase its U.S. volume, year-over-year. Mitsubishi sold 3785 Mirages in the first-quarter of 2014, 4482 in the second-quarter, and 4599 in the third-quarter. Q4 volume not surprisingly fell to 3842 units, but January sales broke past the 1700-unit barrier for the first time. February, with 1863 units, was 158 sales better than January’s record, a 9% month-over-month improvement.

Context? Yes, the Mirage is selling better now than at any point in its first 16 months. But even in its best-ever month, the Mirage accounted for just 0.15% of all new vehicle sales in America; 0.32% of all new passenger car sales.

Nissan sold 11,909 Versa sedans and Notes in February. Struggling subcompacts like the Chevrolet Sonic (down 62%) and Ford Fiesta (down 23%) outsold the Mirage by 1037 and 1845 units, respectively.

The Mirage was Mitsubishi’s third-best-selling model behind the Outlander Sport and Lancer. Not including the i MiEV (two February sales), Mitsubishi only markets four different vehicles.

Nevertheless, it was a record. So chin up, Mitsubishi. We may wish your subcompact was nothing more than a mirage, but you’re making visible Mirages more apparent than ever.

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: Entry Luxury Sport Sedans – February 2015 YTD http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/cains-segments-entry-luxury-sport-sedans-february-2015-ytd/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/cains-segments-entry-luxury-sport-sedans-february-2015-ytd/#comments Fri, 20 Mar 2015 14:00:39 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1025905 Trivia time: which cars combined to sell less than half as often in the United States in the first two months of 2015 as the BMW 3-Series and its 4-Series two-door (and four-door) offshoot? The Audi A4 and Cadillac ATS. Or a number of other pairings listed in the chart below. Take your pick. The […]

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550x365x2015-Mercedes-Benz-C-Class-550x365.jpg.pagespeed.ic.snBz3nrGwwTrivia time: which cars combined to sell less than half as often in the United States in the first two months of 2015 as the BMW 3-Series and its 4-Series two-door (and four-door) offshoot?

The Audi A4 and Cadillac ATS. Or a number of other pairings listed in the chart below. Take your pick.

The BMW’s dominance in this executive saloon slash entry-level luxury slash sports sedan slash compact premium segment is long heralded. In January and February, 3-Series/4-Series sales grew at a faster rate than its category. The aging Audi A4 and the oft-ignored Cadillac ATS, among others, suffered notable slowdowns.

Without resorting to including every possible competitor under the sun – Accord V6! Golf GTI! – simply because those are the cars internet commenters say they’d prefer, we have made a conscious attempt to showcase manufacturer-supplied U.S. sales figures in an exhaustive fashion below. Rather than simply displaying the Acura TLX,  for example, there’s a line which shows the full sales impact of the TLX and its predecessor duo.

Since the sales figures for the class leader, BMW’s 3-Series, aren’t broken down by bodystyle or even by 3er and 4er (as they are in Canada), it seems only fair to showcase the Audi, Infiniti, and Lexus product lines similarly. Mercedes-Benz USA’s numbers for the C-Class are similarly confined. This isn’t an abnormal practice, but don’t confuse our attempts to break out as many figures as possible in as many ways as possible with an attempt to display 3-Series and C-Class figures in a restrained fashion.

Regardless, isn’t it nice to see not just Volvo 60-Series sales data, but S60 and V60 figures, too? And not just the V60, but the V60 Cross Country? Good on Volvo for oversharing.

Auto
Feb. 2015
Feb. 2014
% Change
2 mos. 2015
2 mos. 2014
% Change
Acura T Sedans
3,445 2,391  44.1% 6,361 4,652 36.7%
Acura TL
22  1,480  -98.5%  40  2,848  -98.6% 
Acura TLX
3,419  —  —  6,311  —  — 
Acura TSX
911  -99.6%  10  1,804  -99.4% 
Audi A4/A5
2,755 3,527  -21.9% 5,388 6,950 -22.5%
Audi A4 Sedan
1,743  2,216  -21.3%  3,306  4,410  -25.0% 
Audi A4 Allroad
 181 281  -35.6%  408  585  -30.3% 
Audi A5
 831 1,030  -19.3%  1,674  1,955  -14.4% 
BMW 3-Series & 4-Series
8,748 7,791 12.3% 16,096 14,285 12.7%
Cadillac ATS
2,028 2,427 -16.4% 3,785 4,336 -12.7%
Infiniti Q/G
5,638 4,613  22.2% 10,099 8,877 13.8%
Infiniti Q40/G Sedan
1,643  927  77.2%  2,672  1,829  46.1% 
Infiniti Q50
3,649  3,275  11.4%  6,615  6,224  6.3% 
Infiniti Q60/G Coupe
346  411  -15.8%  812  824  -1.5%
Lexus IS/RC
4,367 3,517 24.2% 8,589 6,565 30.8%
Lexus IS
3,383  3,517  -3.8%  6,758  6,565  2.9% 
Lexus RC
984  —  —  1,831  —  — 
Mercedes-Benz C-Class
7,072 5,621 25.8% 13,308 11,369 17.1%
Volvo 60-Series
1,612 1,913  -15.7% 3,303 3,557 -7.1%
Volvo S60
1,203  1,578  -24.0%  2,574  2,900  -11.0% 
Volvo V60
339  335  1.0%  631  657  -4.0% 
Volvo V60 Cross Country
70  —  —  98  —  — 
Total
 35,665
31,800   12.2% 66,929  60,591  10.5%

We left out the true entry-level premium brand cars like Audi’s A3, the BMW 2-Series, and Mercedes-Benz’s CLA; Buick’s Regal (down 32% to 2481 year-to-date), as well.

As for the numbers as they stand through the two lowest-volume auto sales months of the year, Mercedes-Benz’s new C-Class is the real mover and shaker. Sales are up 17% compared with the same period one year ago, but that actually translates to an 8% loss compared with the first two months of 2013, when the C-Class was easily outselling the BMW 3-Series.

After a period of great acceptance at the end of 2013, the Infiniti Q50 – which generated 10,459 sales in the final two months of 2013 – has averaged only 3100 monthly sales since. Hindered by the more affordable Q40, formerly the G sedan? One would imagine.

Cadillac ATS sales have decreased on a year-over-year basis in ten consecutive months and in 13 of the last 14 months.

2014 was the best year since 2007 for the Lexus IS. With the RC stealing some of the limelight, it might be difficult for the IS to top last year’s 51,358-unit performance.

Audi’s A4/A5 line is ancient, but keep the A3 in mind: total Audi car sales are up 5.3% this year despite A4, A5, A6, A7, A8, R8, and TT declines thanks to the A3’s 4099 extra sales compared with the first two months of 2014.

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

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Cain’s Segments: Full-Size SUV Sales In America – February 2015 YTD http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/cains-segments-full-size-suv-sales-america-february-2015-ytd/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/cains-segments-full-size-suv-sales-america-february-2015-ytd/#comments Thu, 19 Mar 2015 13:28:09 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1025249 Sales of full-size, body-on-frame, pickup truck-based SUVs from volume brands are up 58% through the first two months of 2015. The Chevrolet Suburban and Tahoe, GMC Yukon and Yukon XL, Ford Expedition, Nissan Armada, and Toyota Sequoia produced 41,557 sales in January and February, or about the same number as the Toyota RAV4, America’s second-best-selling […]

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2015 GMC Yukon XL SLTSales of full-size, body-on-frame, pickup truck-based SUVs from volume brands are up 58% through the first two months of 2015.

The Chevrolet Suburban and Tahoe, GMC Yukon and Yukon XL, Ford Expedition, Nissan Armada, and Toyota Sequoia produced 41,557 sales in January and February, or about the same number as the Toyota RAV4, America’s second-best-selling SUV/CUV. RAV4 sales are up 25%, year-over-year.

Part of the reason for the large SUV segment’s impressive uptick relates to early 2014’s severe downturn. With GM’s new quartet still in the on-deck circle, sales of these same seven SUVs tumbled 17% in the first two months of last year.

GM SUV/truck sales chartNevertheless, the category is on track to easily top the 300,000-unit mark in 2015 for the first time since 2008, when 13% of the segment’s sales were generated by discontinued (Aspen, Borrego) or totally altered (unibody Durango) participants.

But even with vastly improved volume, these big brutes continue to operate in a far-flung corner of the industry. From a market share perspective, they combined to bring in only 1.7% of all new vehicle sales in the first two months of 2015. That’s way up from the 1.2% they achieved at this time last year, but it’s down slightly from the 1.8% mustered in calendar year 2014. It’s on par with 2013 year-end results, up from the 1.6% share they collected in 2012, and less than half the market share they collected a decade ago, in 2005.

Auto
Feb. 2015
Feb. 2014
% Change
2 mos. 2015
2 mos. 2014
% Change
Chevrolet Suburban
4,436 2,035 118% 8,566 3,740 129%
Chevrolet Tahoe
7,410 4,961 49.4% 14,017 8,475 65.4%
Ford Expedition
3,277 2,830 15.8% 5,737 4,969 15.5%
GMC Yukon
2,796 1,949 43.5% 5,445 3,236 68.3%
GMC Yukon XL
2,048 1,110 84.5% 4,013 1,975 103%
Nissan Armada
990 1,099 -9.9% 2,019 2,128 -5.1%
Toyota Sequoia
856 980 -12.7% 1,760 1,767 -0.4%
Total
21,813
14,964 45.8% 41,557 26,290 58.1%

Moreover, 2005’s 4.1% share marked a sharp drop from the 5.1% achieved one year earlier and the 5.3% figure from 2003.

Times have most definitely changed. There is a huge amount of competition from luxury-branded three-row crossovers with similar price tags, an image that contains a certain degree of wastefulness (regardless of whether the owners are poseurs or RV haulers), and a greater tendency to view crew cab pickup trucks as the more appropriate all-around vehicle.

Does that mean GM is unhappy with adding 32,041 Suburban, Tahoe, Yukon, and Yukon XL sales (and another 5141 Escalade and Escalade ESV sales) to the 109,279 Silverado and Sierra sales they managed in the first two months of 2015? Most definitely not.

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: February 2015 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/canada-auto-sales-recap-february-2015/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/canada-auto-sales-recap-february-2015/#comments Wed, 18 Mar 2015 13:29:24 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1023385 FCA Canada outsold the Ford Motor Company by 3690 units in February 2015, stretching the company’s year-to-date lead over second-ranked FoMoCo to 7162 sales. Keep in mind, FCA (formerly Chrysler Group) was more than 5000 sales ahead of Ford Canada at this time last year but couldn’t hold on for an annual title. Ford continues […]

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canada auto sales chart February 2015FCA Canada outsold the Ford Motor Company by 3690 units in February 2015, stretching the company’s year-to-date lead over second-ranked FoMoCo to 7162 sales.

Keep in mind, FCA (formerly Chrysler Group) was more than 5000 sales ahead of Ford Canada at this time last year but couldn’t hold on for an annual title.

Ford continues to be the top-selling automobile brand in Canada, however, despite a 9% drop in February. Ford car sales plunged 28% last month and the brand’s utility vehicles dropped 20%. As the overall industry grew 3% year-over-year and passenger car sales improved by a small margin, the Ford car sales decline stuck out like a sore thumb.

Car volume at Audi, Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Dodge, Fiat, Honda, Hyundai, Infiniti, Jaguar, Kia, Lexus, Mazda, Mitsubishi, and Volvo also decreased in February 2015. Big improvements at Volkswagen, Nissan, and Toyota helped push the car market forward.

2014 Toyota Corolla greyToyota also claimed the title of Canada’s best-selling car with the Corolla. This marks the second consecutive month in which the Honda Civic, Canada’s best-selling car in each of the last 17 years, failed to end a month as Canada’s top-selling car. Corolla volume increased by two units. Civic sales tumbled 15%. The Elantra, January’s leader, plunged 34%.

If cars struggled to make significant gains, MPVs grew just 2%, and SUV/crossover growth completely ground to a halt, how did the Canadian new vehicle market experience its highest-volume February since 2008?

Trucks.

Pickup trucks.

February pickup truck sales jumped 12%, a gain of nearly 2300 units compared with February 2015. That’s akin to adding the volume of seven more versions of the seven lowest-volume pickup trucks in Canada: Tundra, Tacoma, Colorado, Canyon, Titan, Frontier, and Ridgeline.

In spite of a marginal F-Series improvement – the best seller was up just 1% – big gains from General Motors’ full-size twins, a 6% Ram increase, and 648 new GM midsize sales powered the truck market to 20% market share in the industry. Wasn’t cheaper oil and a struggling oil patch supposed to slow the Canadian truck market?

Hugely successful pickup trucks are certainly helpful, but they’re not yet an absolutely vital component for an automobile manufacturer to be taken seriously in Canada. Nissan is booming despite tumbling truck sales and just outsold Honda for the first time since June 2011. The Volkswagen brand is up 19% so far this year, certainly not because of an Amarok but rather a new Golf.

But consider the top three manufacturers in Canada without trucks. FCA, with its pickup truck lineup, was up 1.5% in the first two months of 2015, but without the Ram P/U, FCA volume slid 0.1%. The F-Series accounts for 53% of FoMoCo sales in Canada, not just Ford brand sales but total Ford/Lincoln volume. Four pickup truck nameplates helped GM to a 6% increase over the last two months even as non-truck GM sales slid 10%.

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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Hurry Up, Envision: Encore Isn’t Quite Able To Carry Buick On Its Back http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/hurry-envision-encore-isnt-quite-able-carry-buick-back/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/hurry-envision-encore-isnt-quite-able-carry-buick-back/#comments Fri, 13 Mar 2015 12:38:56 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1020713 What is Buick in America without the Encore, the automaker’s most disparaged product on these pages? Buick reported 16,114 LaCrosse, Regal, Verano, and Enclave sales in February 2014, a figure which fell 22% in February 2015, when the aging products were, quite obviously, one year older. Year-to-date volume of non-Encore Buicks tumbled 20% through the […]

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2013 Buick EncoreWhat is Buick in America without the Encore, the automaker’s most disparaged product on these pages?

Buick reported 16,114 LaCrosse, Regal, Verano, and Enclave sales in February 2014, a figure which fell 22% in February 2015, when the aging products were, quite obviously, one year older.

Year-to-date volume of non-Encore Buicks tumbled 20% through the first two months of 2015, a loss of 5441 sales across four nameplates.

So far this year, LaCrosse sales are down 17%. Regal volume is off by 32%. Sales of the Verano are down 18%. The Enclave is off last year’s two-month pace by 19%.

Yet the Encore, beginning its third full year, continues to thrive. One year ago at this time, Encore sales were up 179% compared with the launch period in early 2013. This year, January volume jumped 46% and February sales shot up 60%.

2013 Buick Enclave. Photo courtesy wikipedia.orgThrough two months, Encore sales are up 54%, an improvement of more than 2900 units. The Encore, an entry-level saviour for Buick dealers at the moment, represents 28% of Buick’s volume. (Buick’s two utilities are outselling Buick’s three cars by 1035 units in early 2015.)

The current Regal went on sale in the first half of 2010 and saw its role sorely diminished by the Verano’s arrival at the end of 2011. The LaCrosse, though refreshed for MY2014, was first sold for MY2010. 2015 marks the Enclave’s ninth year of availability.

The necessity of new products aside, can Buick continue to sell its freshest product, the Encore, at a rate of 4100 units per month with new competitors rising up from every corner of the industry? While it seems unlikely that the Encore can persistently add volume at the prodigious rates it has routinely achieved thus far, the increased appetite among new car buyers for this very type of vehicle should produce further Encore health.

Of course, Buick does need other products to step in and help out, because even the Encore’s rate of expansion hasn’t produced overall health for Buick over the last two months. Encore-inclusive Buick brand sales are down 8% through the first two months of 2015.

Buick EnvisionWith America’s car market failing to grow at anything like the pace of the overall new vehicle market, don’t expect revamped LaCrosses, Regals, or Veranos to do the trick, either. Don’t assume the Cascada will be a volume player. And don’t expect a production Avenir to drop out of the sky in the near future. No, like so many automakers, the Encore and Enclave will need help from yet another crossover: the Envision.

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

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The Numbers Behind The Nissan Xterra’s Demise http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/nissan-xterra-dead-numbers-behind-nissan-offroaders-demise/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/nissan-xterra-dead-numbers-behind-nissan-offroaders-demise/#comments Wed, 11 Mar 2015 12:21:28 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1020241 2015 will be the Nissan Xterra’s final model year. The final nails in the coffin were hammered in by an increasingly popular crossover market, total domination on the off-road category by the Jeep Wranglers, and Nissan’s inability to affordably recreate the Xterra with modern regulatory concerns in mind. This doesn’t mean Nissan isn’t competing in […]

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2001 Nissan Xterra2015 will be the Nissan Xterra’s final model year. The final nails in the coffin were hammered in by an increasingly popular crossover market, total domination on the off-road category by the Jeep Wranglers, and Nissan’s inability to affordably recreate the Xterra with modern regulatory concerns in mind.

This doesn’t mean Nissan isn’t competing in the SUV market any more, but most of the automaker’s remaining SUVs are true crossovers. Nissan USA sold 376,388 Rogues, Pathfinders, Muranos, Jukes, and Titan-based Armadas in 2014.

Xterra volume, meanwhile, tumbled 77% over the course of a decade, falling by 55,942 units to 16,505 U.S. sales in 2005.

Although the nameplate had mostly levelled off over the last four years, that levelling off involved just 69,714 sales over a four-year period between 2011 and 2014, fewer than than the total number of sales achieved by the Xterra in 2005.

Nissan Xterra sales chartBut the Xterra was initially popular, both in the automotive press and in the North American market. Not that it’s a sure sign of future success, but Motor Trend twice named the Xterra its Sport Utility Of The Year. Sales in the model’s first full year, 2000, climbed to 88,578 units. As recently as 2005, the last time Nissan sold more than 70,000 in a calendar year, it was America’s 23rd-best-selling utility vehicle.

It fell to 61st in 2014 – behind the Mazda CX-9 and Range Rover Sport but ahead of the Porsche Cayenne and Toyota FJ Cruiser – and ranks 67th through the first two months of 2015, behind Nissan’s own Armada but ahead of the Audi Q3.

2014 Nissan XterraTo say that there’s no demand for this type of vehicle is to deny the success of the Jeep Wrangler. But the Wrangler isn’t just any other off-road capable SUV. Iconic styling, a pair of bodystyles, an aggressive base price, and a convertible bodystyle recently helped the Wrangler fend off a challenger from the planet’s largest automaker: the FJ Cruiser from Toyota.

In 2014, a record-setting year for the Wrangler, 175,328 were sold in America. That was surely a sign of sufficient brightness to assure Nissan that drumming up the volume required to support a necessary new model would prove too difficult.

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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Beyond Official: A 12-Month-Long 40K Sales Streak Proves Subaru USA Is Mainstream http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/beyond-official-12-month-long-40k-sales-streak-proves-subaru-usa-mainstream/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/beyond-official-12-month-long-40k-sales-streak-proves-subaru-usa-mainstream/#comments Mon, 09 Mar 2015 13:32:11 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1018202 It’s official: Subaru is now routinely the seller of more than 40,000 new vehicles per month in the United States. That’s an impressive achievement considering that in 2013, the company averaged 35,390 monthly sales in what was the automaker’s best year ever. Between 2002 and 2012, Subaru USA averaged fewer than 19,000 monthly sales. In […]

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2015 Subaru OutbackIt’s official: Subaru is now routinely the seller of more than 40,000 new vehicles per month in the United States. That’s an impressive achievement considering that in 2013, the company averaged 35,390 monthly sales in what was the automaker’s best year ever. Between 2002 and 2012, Subaru USA averaged fewer than 19,000 monthly sales.

In each of the last twelve months, Subaru sales have shot past the 40,000-unit mark. Subaru USA had crested the 40K barrier twice in the previous seven months. But now all the brand’s best-ever performances have occurred in the recent past.

Last month, for example, was Subaru’s best-ever February.

The previous month was the best-ever January.

August of last year, when 50,246 Subarus were sold in the United States, represented Subaru’s best-ever month full stop, just one year after Subaru was touting best-ever results in August 2013.

In most months, the push past 40K hasn’t been even remotely incremental. Subaru volume jumped 21% in March 2014, for instance the month the streak began. Among volume brands – yes, Subaru is most definitely now a volume brand – only Jeep and Ram reported greater year-over-year improvements.

Subaru USA sales chart 40K streakThe year-over-year percentage improvements have consistently measured in excess of the market’s rate of growth, save for one month when Subaru grew at the same rate as the industry as a whole. The average YOY increase over the last 12 months? 21.3%.

2014’s 21% leap forward was bettered only by Mitsubishi’s 25% improvement, Ram’s 28% increase, Jeep’s 41% jump, and Maserati’s 171% (8175 units) increase. Subaru added 89,010 sales in 2014 after growing by 88,242 units in 2013 and 69,452 in 2012. Sales have increased in seven consecutive years.

Through the first two months of 2015, Subaru sales are up 21%, a gain of 14,261 units during the two lowest-volume auto sales month of the year following a gain of 12,083 units during the first two months of 2014.

All these impressive figures force the question: which vehicles are pushing Subaru forward? The answer is simple: nearly all of them. Defunct Tribeca and niche market BRZ aside, every Subaru is increasingly popular.

Consider just the last two months, a period in which YOY volume of the best-selling Outback jumped 34%, the next-best-selling Forester rose 5%, the XV Crosstrek was up 26%, non-WRX Imprezas rose 13%, Legacy volume increased 55%, and the WRX/STi jumped 44%.

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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February 2015 Full-Size Pickup Truck Sales Up 8%: GM Gains Plenty Of Market Share http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/february-2015-full-size-pickup-truck-sales-8-gm-gains-plenty-market-share/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/february-2015-full-size-pickup-truck-sales-8-gm-gains-plenty-market-share/#comments Wed, 04 Mar 2015 13:28:19 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1015186 One year ago, when we began tracking the monthly market share movement in America’s full-size pickup truck sector, General Motors had just seen its February market share fall from 39% in February 2013 to 35% one year later. Their trucks were new, but GM’s volume wasn’t matching the heavily incentivized sales production of their predecessors. […]

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450x186x2014-RAM-1500-Eco-Diesel-Exterior-005-450x186.jpg.pagespeed.ic.lOe8Dz48bOOne year ago, when we began tracking the monthly market share movement in America’s full-size pickup truck sector, General Motors had just seen its February market share fall from 39% in February 2013 to 35% one year later. Their trucks were new, but GM’s volume wasn’t matching the heavily incentivized sales production of their predecessors.

The story is turned on its head one year later, as Ford’s transition into a new F-Series lineup has caused a slight slowdown in a booming category. Full-size truck volume jumped 8% in February 2015, but F-Series sales slid 1%. GM, on the other hand, reported 8811 more Chevrolet Silverado sales this February than last along with more than 900 extra GMC Sierra sales.

Thus, at the expense of Ford (which lost more than three percentage points of market share), Ram (which lost three-tenths of a percentage point), and Nissan (which also lost three-tenths of a percentage point), GM’s market share in America’s full-size pickup category grew to 38.6% in February 2015 from 35% a year ago, and from 34.6% a month ago.

Truck
Feb.
2015
Feb.
2014
%
Change
2 mos.
2015
2 mos.
2014
%
Change
Ford F-Series
55,236 55,882 -1.2% 109,606 102,418 7.0%
Chevrolet Silverado
45,395 36,584 24.1% 81,501 65,510 24.4%
Ram P/U
31,298 29,303 6.8% 59,916 54,374 10.2%
GMC Sierra
15,157 14,232 6.5% 27,778 25,350 9.6%
Toyota Tundra
9,052 7,923 14.3% 17,249 15,813 9.1%
Nissan Titan
816 1,117 -26.9% 1,590 2,004 -20.7%
Total
156,954 145,041 8.2% 297,640 265,469 12.1%

Although Ram volume improved in February – the 58th consecutive month of YOY Ram P/U growth – the FCA pickup’s market share declined on a YOY basis for the second consecutive month. The Ram’s impressive growth in the first two months of 2015 simply isn’t quite as impressive as the growth in the overall segment. February was the first month since August that the Ram wasn’t America’s third-best-selling vehicle.

Truck
Feb.
2015
Share
Feb.
2014
Share
2 mos.
2015
Share
2 mos.
2014
Share
Ford F-Series
35.2% 38.5% 36.8% 38.6%
Chevrolet Silverado/GMC Sierra
38.6% 35.0% 36.7% 34.2%
Ram P/U
19.9% 20.2% 20.1% 20.5%
Toyota Tundra
5.8% 5.5% 5.8% 6.0%
Nissan Titan
0.5% 0.8% 0.5% 0.8%
Full-Size Share Of
Total Pickup Truck Market
85.0% 89.0% 84.8% 88.7%
Full-Size Pickup Share
Of Total Industry
 12.5% 12.1% 12.3% 12.0%

February was also a return to form for the combined GM twins. Together, the Silverado and Sierra outsold the F-Series in each of 2014’s final five months. Ford leaped ahead by a wide margin in January, but its year-to-date lead over the GM pair is now down to 337 units heading into March.

Results to this point aren’t meaningless. Nearly 300,000 full-size pickup trucks were sold in January and February. But after  January’s low-volume potential and a February that was brought below forecasts because of winter weather, March’s end to the first-quarter will give us more to work with. In 2012, March was the highest-volume month for new vehicle sales volume. It was the second-highest-volume month in 2013 and the third-highest-volume month for auto sales last 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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U.S. Auto Sales Brand Results: February 2015 YTD http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/u-s-auto-sales-brand-results-february-2015-ytd/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/u-s-auto-sales-brand-results-february-2015-ytd/#comments Tue, 03 Mar 2015 19:30:08 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1013794 An unexpectedly strong winter impact slowed February 2015 auto sales compared with the expectations of forecasters but not in comparison with February 2014. The market jumped by more than 5% with the strongest gains coming from Jeep, GMC, Subaru. A number of lower-volume brands – Mini, Mitsubishi, Land Rover, Lexus, and Infiniti – all posted […]

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2015 Nissan Versa Note SRAn unexpectedly strong winter impact slowed February 2015 auto sales compared with the expectations of forecasters but not in comparison with February 2014. The market jumped by more than 5% with the strongest gains coming from Jeep, GMC, Subaru. A number of lower-volume brands – Mini, Mitsubishi, Land Rover, Lexus, and Infiniti – all posted year-over-year improvements of at least 20%. 

Ford Motor Company suffered the loss of sales at its namesake Ford brand and at Lincoln. GM volume dropped at Buick and Cadillac but increased at the automaker’s two higher-volume brands. FCA/Chrysler Group suffered a sharp drop at Dodge, but the big Jeep improvement was married to strong Chrysler and Ram sales.

Automaker Feb. 2015 Feb. 2014 % Change 2015 YTD 2014 YTD % Change
Acura
 12,992 11,545 12.5% 24,974 22,368 11.7%
Alfa Romeo
 47 144  —
Audi
 11,455 10,881 5.3% 22,996 20,982 9.6%
BMW
 25,201 22,017 14.5% 44,182 40,270 9.7%
Buick
 17,418 19,192 -9.2% 29,971 32,470 -7.7%
Cadillac
 11,739 13,437 -12.6% 23,419 24,823 -5.7%
Chevrolet
 159,788 153,913 3.8% 302,670 273,002 10.9%
Chrysler
28,502 25,230 13.0% 51,895  46,343 12.0%
Dodge
 42,115 49,744 -15.3% 77,462 84,649 -8.5%
Fiat
 3,289 3,465 -5.1% 6,544 6,687 -2.1%
Ford  173,509  176,688 -1.8%  344,331  324,209 6.2%
GMC
 42,433 35,562 19.3% 78,104 63,295 23.4%
Honda
 92,474 88,860 4.1% 182,676 169,668 7.7%
Hyundai
 52,505  49,003 7.1%  97,010  93,008 4.3%
Infiniti
 11,659 9,729 19.8%  21,317  18,727 13.8%
Jaguar
 1,410 1,552 -9.1% 2,676 2,899 -7.7%
Jeep
 55,642 45,946  21.0% 107,165 87,856 22.0%
Kia
 44,030 41,218 6.8% 82,329 78,229 5.2%
Land Rover
 4,917 4,006 22.7% 10,198 8,680 17.5%
Lexus
 22,995 18,855 22.0% 46,126 36,492 26.4%
Lincoln
6,164 6,661 -7.5% 12,783 12,634 1.2%
Maserati
 481 837 -42.5% 933 1405 -33.6%
Mazda
 25,650 24,341 5.4% 45,921 43,154 6.4%
Mercedes-Benz
 23,616 22,609  4.5%  48,235  45,213  6.7%
Mercedes-Benz Sprinter
 1,675 1,421  17.9%  3,180  2,709  17.4%
Total Mercedes-Benz
 25,291  24,030 5.2%  51,415  47,922 7.3%
Mini
 3,720 2,459 51.3% 6,948 5,002 38.9%
Mitsubishi
 7,533 5,977 26.0% 14,026 10,844 29.3%
Nissan
 106,777  105,631 1.1%  201,226 187,103 7.5%
Porsche
 3,202 3,232  -0.9% 7,139 6,328 12.8%
Ram
 33,991 30,481  11.5% 65,383 56,514 15.7%
Scion
 3,864 4,529 -14.7%  7,554 8,540 -11.5%
Smart
 458 941 -51.3% 950 1462 -35.0%
Subaru
 41,358 34,909 18.5% 82,170 67,909 21.0%
Toyota
 153,608 135,900 13.0% 295,981 260,617 13.6%
Volkswagen
 25,710 27,112 -5.2% 49,214 50,606 -2.8%
Volvo
 4,012 3,991 0.5% 7,806 7,783 0.3%
 —
BMW-Mini
 28,921 24,476 18.2% 51,130 45,272 12.9%
FCA/Chrysler Group
 163,586 154,866 5.6% 308,593 282,049 9.4%
Daimler
25,749 24,971 3.1% 52,365 49,384 6.0%
Ford Motor Company
 179,673 183,349 -2.0%  357,114 336,843 6.0%
General Motors
 231,378 222,104 4.2% 434,164 393,590 10.3%
Honda Motor Company
105,466  100,405 5.0% 207,650 192,036 8.1%
Hyundai-Kia
 96,535  90,221 7.0%  179,339  171,237 4.7%
Jaguar-Land Rover
 6,327 5,558 13.8% 12,874 11,579 11.2%
Nissan Motor Company
118,436 115,360 2.7%  222,543 205,830 8.1%
Toyota Motor Corporation
 180,467 159,284  13.3% 322,840  305,649 5.6%
Volkswagen Group *
 40,563 41,403 -2.0% 79,641 78,286 1.7%
Industry Total
1,258,570
1,194,679
5.3%
2,411,050
2,208,105
9.2%

* 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 (2000 February 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.

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Ghosn: One-Third Of Russia’s Auto Market Will Vanish Under Recession http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/ghosn-one-third-russias-auto-market-will-vanish-recession/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/ghosn-one-third-russias-auto-market-will-vanish-recession/#comments Wed, 04 Feb 2015 15:00:20 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=993658 Renault-Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn warned Monday that Russia’s auto market will lose a third of itself under the nation’s recession. Automotive News Europe reports Ghosn spoke with Bloomberg about the issue after the unveiling of the Renault Kadjar in Paris, stating the market was well on its way to losing a fifth of itself this […]

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Carlos Ghosn and Renault Kadjar

Renault-Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn warned Monday that Russia’s auto market will lose a third of itself under the nation’s recession.

Automotive News Europe reports Ghosn spoke with Bloomberg about the issue after the unveiling of the Renault Kadjar in Paris, stating the market was well on its way to losing a fifth of itself this year, adding up to “one-third of the Russian market disappearing in a couple of years.” He added that while there might be a light at the end of the tunnel, whether that light is an opening or an oncoming train remains uncertain.

The overall market witnessed a sales decline of 10 percent in 2014, with around 2.5 million units sold. According to the Moscow-based Association of European Businesses, the forecast calls for a 24 percent decline in 2015.

Meanwhile, Renault-Nissan and partner AvtoVAZ saw sales of their offerings drop 7 percent in 2014 to 764,245 units. Market share did increase to 30.7 percent in the same period, up from 29.6 percent in 2013. The Franco-Japanese automaker indirectly owns 50.01 percent of the Russian manufacturer, with the aim of gaining 40 percent of the Russian market by 2016.

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U.S. Auto Sales Brand Results: January 2015 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/u-s-auto-sales-brand-results-january-2015/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/u-s-auto-sales-brand-results-january-2015/#comments Tue, 03 Feb 2015 19:39:09 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=993250 Ford was America’s best-selling auto brand in January 2015 as improved car sales, improved utility vehicle sales, and a 17% improvement in F-Series sales helped the brand to a 16% year-over-year improvement. • Corolla the top-selling car • CR-V leads all SUVs/crossovers • Pickups account for 14.4% of all new vehicle sales Only a handful of […]

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2015-ford-f-150Ford was America’s best-selling auto brand in January 2015 as improved car sales, improved utility vehicle sales, and a 17% improvement in F-Series sales helped the brand to a 16% year-over-year improvement.


• Corolla the top-selling car

• CR-V leads all SUVs/crossovers

• Pickups account for 14.4% of all new vehicle sales


Only a handful of auto brands reported year-over-year decreases, and most of those brands were low-volume niche players: Maserati, Scion, Jaguar, and Smart. Buick’s 5.5% drop came as all three of the brand’s passenger cars declined.

America’s fastest-growing brands, on the other hand, were mostly mid-level players: Mitsubishi, Lexus, GMC, Porsche, Mini, and Subaru. Jeep volume jumped 23% to 51,523 units, and Ram’s 21% jump to 31,392 sales was also impressive.

January 2015 did act as a follow-up to a January one year earlier that saw sales fall 3% from 1.043M. Even compared with that January 2013 output, however, these January 2015 results appear strong, rising 10.5%.

Automaker Jan. 2015 Jan. 2014 % Change 2015 YTD 2014 YTD % Change
Acura
 11,982 10,823 10.7% 11,982 10,823 10.7%
Alfa Romeo
97 97
Audi
 11,541 10,101 14.3% 11,541 10,101 14.3%
BMW
 18,981 18,253 4.0% 18,981 18,253 4.0%
Buick
 12,553 13,278 -5.5% 12,553 13,278 -5.5%
Cadillac
 11,680 11,386 2.6% 11,680 11,386 2.6%
Chevrolet
 142,882 119,089 20.0% 142,882 119,089 20.0%
Chrysler
 23,393 21,113 10.8% 23,393 21,113 10.8%
Dodge
 35,347 34,905 1.3% 35,347 34,905 1.3%
Fiat
 3,255 3222 1.0% 3255 3222 1.0%
Ford  170,822 147,521 15.8% 170,822 147,521 15.8%
GMC
 35,671 27,733 28.6% 35,671 27,733 28.6%
Honda
 90,202 80,808 11.6% 90,202 80,808 11.6%
Hyundai
 44,505 44,005 1.1% 44,505 44,005 1.1%
Infiniti
 9,658 8,998 7.3% 9,658 8,998 7.3%
Jaguar
 1,266 1,347 -6.0% 1,266 1,347 -6.0%
Jeep
 51,523 41,910 22.9% 51,523 41,910 22.9%
Kia
 38,299 37,011 3.5% 38,299  37,011 3.5%
Land Rover
 5,281 4,674 13.0% 5,281 4,674 13.0%
Lexus
 23,131 17,637 31.2% 23,131 17,637 31.2%
Lincoln
 6,619 5973 10.8% 6619 5973 10.8%
Maserati
 452 568 -20.4% 452 568 -20.4%
Mazda
 20,271 18,813 7.7% 20,271 18,813 7.7%
Mercedes-Benz
 24,619 22,604  8.9%  24,619  22,604  8.9% 
Mercedes-Benz Sprinter
 1,505 1,288  16.8%  1,505  1,288  16.8%
Total Mercedes-Benz
 26,124 23,892 9.3% 26,124 23,892 9.3%
Mini
 3,228 2,543 26.9% 3,228 2,543 26.9%
Mitsubishi
 6493 4867 42.7% 6493 4867 42.7%
Nissan
 94,449 81,472 15.9% 94,449 81,472 15.9%
Porsche
 3,937 3,096  27.2% 3,937 3,096 27.2%
Ram
 31,392 26,033 20.6% 31,392 26,033 20.6%
Scion
 3,690 4,011 -8.0% 3,690 4,011 -8.0%
Smart
 492 521 -5.6% 492 521 -5.6%
Subaru
 40,812 33,000 23.7% 40,812 33,000 23.7%
Toyota
 142,373 124,717 14.2% 142,373 124,717 14.2%
Volkswagen
 23,504 23,494 0.04% 23,504 23,494 0.04%
Volvo
 3,794 3,792 0.05% 3,794 3,792 0.05%
 —
BMW-Mini
 22,209 20,796 6.8% 22,209 20,796 6.8%
Chrysler Group/FCA
 145,007 127,183 14.0% 145,007 127,183 14.0%
Daimler
26,616 24,413 9.0% 26,616 24,413 9.0%
Ford Motor Company
 177,441 153,494 15.6% 177,441 153,494 15.6%
General Motors
 202,786 171,486 18.3% 202,786 171,486 18.3%
Honda Motor Company
102,184 91,631 11.5% 102,184 91,631 11.5%
Hyundai-Kia
 82,804  81,016 2.2% 82,804 81,016 2.2%
Jaguar-Land Rover
6,547 6,021 8.7% 6,547 6,021 8.7%
Nissan Motor Company
 104,107 90,470 15.1% 104,107 90,470 15.1%
Toyota Motor Corporation
 169,194 146,365 15.6% 169,194 146,365 15.6%
Volkswagen Group *
 39,078 36,883 6.0% 39,078 36,883 6.0%
Industry Total **
1,152,480
1,013,426
13.7%
1,152,480
1,013,426
13.7%

* 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 (2250 units) and other low-volume, high-priced manufacturers.

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

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

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


• Segment grows in a stagnant car market

• Fit ranked second in the category in 2014 Q4

New Mazda 2 arrives this year


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

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

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

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

Subcompact
2014
2013
% Change
Chevrolet Aveo

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

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

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

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

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

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U.S. Auto Sales Results: December And Calendar Year 2014 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/u-s-auto-sales-results-december-calendar-year-2014/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/u-s-auto-sales-results-december-calendar-year-2014/#comments Mon, 05 Jan 2015 20:19:51 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=971610 Auto sales in the United States grew nearly 11% in December 2014, a fitting ending to a year of impressive growth for the overall auto industry. The biggest leaps forward in December were achieved by three volume brands: Chrysler, Kia, and Ram. Scion and Cadillac continued to spiral. Volkswagen reported a modest increase for the […]

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2015 honda cr-vAuto sales in the United States grew nearly 11% in December 2014, a fitting ending to a year of impressive growth for the overall auto industry. The biggest leaps forward in December were achieved by three volume brands: Chrysler, Kia, and Ram. Scion and Cadillac continued to spiral. Volkswagen reported a modest increase for the third consecutive year in comparison with what was a disappointing fourth-quarter in 2013.


• Ford led all brands in U.S. sales in 2014

• GM is the top-selling manufacturer with its four brands

• Maserati’s 171% year-over-year improvement led all automakers in 2014

• Jeep and Ram combined for 303,190 more sales in 2014 than in 2013


The market supported more than 16 million sales for the first time 2007 with strength rising most particularly in the SUV/crossover sector, but also from top-selling cars. Toyota’s Camry, the best-selling car in America, climbed to 428,606 sales. The Nissan Altima set an annual sales record. The Honda Accord reached a seven-year high.

As usual, premium makes fared well in the month of December most especially. BMW ended the year 9347 sales ahead of Mercedes-Benz. Lexus, with its smaller but expanding lineup, was was 19,002 sales back of Mercedes-Benz.

Automaker Dec.  2014 Dec.  2013 % Change 2014 2013  % Change
Acura
 17,809 15,751 13.1% 167,843 165,436 1.5%
Alfa Romeo
 67 91
Audi
 19,238 17,013 13.1% 182,011 158,061 15.2%
BMW
 41,526 37,389 11.1% 339,738 309,280 9.8%
Buick
 20,357 15,379 32.4% 228,963 205,509 11.4%
Cadillac
 16,150 18,165 -11.1% 170,750 182,543 -6.5%
Chevrolet
 184,938 153,493 20.5% 2,033,442 1,947,125 4.4%
Chrysler
 30,930 20,270  52.6% 308,785 302,492 2.1%
Dodge
 46,578 47,689  -2.3% 574,155 596,343 -3.7%
Fiat
 3,784 3,745  1.0% 46,121 43,236 6.7%
Ford  209,679  208,608 0.5%  2,376,841 2,403,542  -1.1%
GMC
 53,038 43,120 23.0% 501,853 450,901 11.3%
Honda
 119,472 119,504 -0.01%  1,373,029 1,359,876 1.0%
Hyundai
 64,507  63,005 2.4%  725,718 720,783 0.7%
Infiniti
 12,007 13,232 -9.3% 117,330 116,455 0.8%
Jaguar
 1,683 1,544  9.0% 15,773 16,952 -7.0%
Jeep
 63,274 53,275  18.8% 692,348 490,454 41.2%
Kia
 45,587 33,631  35.6% 580,234 535,179 8.4%
Land Rover
 5,754 5,764  -0.2% 51,465 50,010 2.9%
Lexus
 39,879 34,757 14.7% 311,389 273,847 13.7%
Lincoln
 9,690 7,984 21.4% 94,474 81,694 15.6%
Maserati
 1,412 1,053  34.1% 12,943 4,768 171%
Mazda
 24,808  22,964 8.0% 305,801 283,946 7.7%
Mercedes-Benz
 34,009 33,007  3.0%  330,391  312,534  5.7% 
Mercedes-Benz Sprinter
 3,288 2,828  16.3%  25,745  21,816  18.0% 
Total Mercedes-Benz
 37,297  35,835 4.1% 356,136 334,350 6.5%
Mini
 6,615 6,592 0.3% 56,112 66,502 -15.6%
Mitsubishi
 6,545 6,423  1.9% 77,643 62,227 24.8%
Nissan
 105,311 96,526 9.1% 1,269,565 1,131,965 12.2%
Porsche
 3,275 3,246  0.9% 47,007 42,323 11.1%
Ram
 48,628 36,028  35.0% 469,139 367,843 27.5%
Scion
 3,817 4,323 -11.7% 58,009 68,321 -15.1%
Smart
 973 855 13.8% 10,453 9,264 12.8%
Subaru
 49,923 40,172 24.3% 513,693 424,683 21.0%
Suzuki
 —  —  —  —  5,946  -100%
Toyota
 171,361 151,763 12.9%  2,004,373  1,893,874 5.8%
Volkswagen
 34,058 34,015 0.1% 366,970 407,704 -10.0%
Volvo
 4,920 4,888  0.7% 56,366 61,233 -7.9%
 —
BMW-Mini
 48,141 43,981 9.5% 395,850 375,782 5.3%
Chrysler Group/FCA US
 193,261 161,007  20.0% 2,090,639 1,800,368  16.1%
Daimler
38,270 36,690 4.3% 366,589  343,614 6.7%
Ford Motor Company
 219,369  216,592 1.3%  2,471,315  2,485,236 -0.6%
General Motors
 274,483 230,157 19.3% 2,935,008 2,786,078 5.3%
Honda Motor Company
137,281 135,255 1.5% 1,540,872 1,525,312 1.0%
Hyundai-Kia
 110,094  96,636  13.9%  1,305,952  1,255,962  4.0%
Jaguar-Land Rover
7,437 7,308  1.8% 67,238 66,962 0.4%
Nissan Motor Company
 117,318 109,758 6.9% 1,386,895 1,248,420 11.1%
Toyota Motor Corporation
 215,057 190,843 12.7% 2,373,771 2,236,042 6.2%
Volkswagen Group *
 56,983  54,716  4.1%  598,991  615,736  -2.7%
Industry Total
1,507,928
1,359,621
10.9%
16,531,070
15,603,678
5.9%

* 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 (December) 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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How Quickly We Forget: They Sold These Cars Just Last Year http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/12/quickly-forget-sold-cars-just-last-year/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/12/quickly-forget-sold-cars-just-last-year/#comments Mon, 29 Dec 2014 13:23:45 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=968194 What do the Honda Element, Honda S2000, Chevrolet Aveo, Mazda Tribute, Chevrolet HHR, Lexus HS250h, Cadillac STS, Mitsubishi Endeavor, Dodge Caliber, four Suzukis, and the Jeep Liberty have in common? They all generated U.S. sales activity in 2013, and we all forgot about them in 2014. Jeep first introduced the Liberty in 2001 as a […]

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2008 Jeep Liberty LimitedWhat do the Honda Element, Honda S2000, Chevrolet Aveo, Mazda Tribute, Chevrolet HHR, Lexus HS250h, Cadillac STS, Mitsubishi Endeavor, Dodge Caliber, four Suzukis, and the Jeep Liberty have in common?

They all generated U.S. sales activity in 2013, and we all forgot about them in 2014.

Jeep first introduced the Liberty in 2001 as a Cherokee replacement. In the U.S. alone, nearly 1.3 million were sold. The Liberty’s first full year, 2002, was its best, with 171,212 sales. 6101 were sold in 2013. Of those 6101, 81% were sold in the first-quarter. The Liberty’s Cherokee replacement will top the 170K mark this year.

Suzuki reported 5946 sales in calendar year 2013. All of those reported sales occurred in the first-quarter of last year. The SX4 and Kizashi were the “big” sellers, with 2859 and 1602 sales, respectively. The Grand Vitara and Equator contributed the remainder.

Mitsubishi sold 109 Eclipses and 24 Endeavors last year. The Galant is the most recently killed Mitsubishi. 122 Galant sales were reported by Mitsubishi USA in the first-quarter of 2014.

Last year, Honda’s two S2000 sales popped out of the blue. Honda’s two Element sales were the last of 338,788 sold in America. Dodge finished off the Caliber’s disappointing run – to begin a disappointing run with the Dart – with 45 sales in the first two months of 2013. Besides five Lexus HS sedans and three Mazda Tributes, leftovers also included 19 Cadillac DTSs, nine Buick Lucernes, seven Cadillac STSs, three Chevrolet HHRs, and two Chevrolet Aveos.

2012 Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder redThey all generated varying degree of sales in 2013, but none in 2014. The Hyundai Veracruz, Mazda RX-8, Mercedes-Benz R-Class, Cadillac Escalade EXT, Volvo C30, Acura ZDX, Chevrolet Avalanche, Mitsubishi Galant, Volkswagen Routan, and Mercedes-Benz CL-Class all stand out from the aforementioned pack as these latter cars generated at least one reported sale in calendar year 2014. It’s unlikely any of them will turn up on sales charts in 2015, joined in the great parking lot in the sky by, perhaps, the Lexus LFA (one sale reported as recently as November), the Porsche 918 Spyder (sold out, but 20 were delivered in November according to Porsche USA), and the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG (another three sales reported in November).

The Acura TSX is being cleared out: two of the wagons were sold in November; 18 of the sedans. Acura also has a few lingering TL sedans. 78 were reported sold in November. Subaru’s Tribeca is very nearly finished – only 30 were sold in November. Chevrolet is finishing up their fleet-only Captiva Sport. The Jaguar XK’s casket was prepared months ago but the clear-out will likely continue into 2015. Honda dealers will also need time to rid themselves of Insights.

Many of these we are happy to forget. Some slip too quickly from our minds. Recent history suggests many niche-market BMWs and Mercedes-Benzes will step in to fill the void. There will be plenty of choices in 2015 just as there were in 2014, despite the complete loss of your beloved Suzuki brand and the disappearance of the maligned fourth-gen Mitsubishi Eclipse.

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: November 2014 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/12/canada-auto-sales-recap-november-2014/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/12/canada-auto-sales-recap-november-2014/#comments Wed, 24 Dec 2014 13:41:09 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=963210 Canadians registered more new vehicles in 2013 than any year in the country’s auto-buying age. Yet in 2014, that record was very nearly broken in the first eleven months of the year. Auto sales in Canada through November 2014 rose 5.5%, a gain of 89,000 units compared with the first eleven months of 2013. Despite […]

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TTAC Chart Canada recapCanadians registered more new vehicles in 2013 than any year in the country’s auto-buying age. Yet in 2014, that record was very nearly broken in the first eleven months of the year.

Auto sales in Canada through November 2014 rose 5.5%, a gain of 89,000 units compared with the first eleven months of 2013.

Despite a sharp 3.4% decline in the number of passenger cars sold in November, the Canadian auto industry was up 3.6% last month thanks to strong pickup truck volume (up 15% to 25,811 units) and continued improvement in the SUV/crossover category.

The overall passenger car market was let down by sharp decreases from the most popular cars in the country last month. The Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla, Mazda 3, and Volkswagen Jetta – Canada’s first, third, fourth, and sixth-best-selling cars – produced 3198 fewer sales this November than in November 2013, a 21% drop. The remainder of Canada’s available car nameplates, more than 130 vehicles, generated a 2.8% increase when those four top sellers are excluded.

The Civic’s 27% November drop presented an opportunity for the Honda CR-V to surge to the top of the Honda leaderboard. Indeed, the CR-V was Honda Canada’s best-selling model in November 2014; Canada’s top-selling SUV/crossover, as well. The Ford Escape was thus knocked into second spot on the SUV/crossover best seller list for the first time since December of last year. CR-V sales shot up 56% to 4461 units in November 2014. It ranks third among utility vehicles year-to-date, 15,803 sales back of the Ford Escape; 934 sales behind the Toyota RAV4. All three are primed to break the sales records they set one year ago, as is the fourth-ranked Nissan Rogue, sales of which doubled in November.

18.6% of the new vehicles sold in Canada last month were pickup trucks, up from 16.7% in November 2013. The four top-selling truck nameplates, full-size pickups from Ford, Ram, and General Motors, generated a combined 18.6% year-over-year volume increase to 23,580 units, equal to 91.4% of the overall pickup truck market.

In November and through the first eleven months of 2014, Jeep is Canada’s fastest-growing volume brand. Sales at the Chrysler Group’s SUV brand jumped 44% in November to 5887 units, 28% of the automaker’s total November sales during a month in which Chrysler Canada was the country’s largest manufacturer.

Through the end of November, the Chrysler Group (Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat, Jeep, Ram) trails the Ford Motor Company (Ford and Lincoln) by a scant 0.3% difference. By a wide margin, FoMoCo’s namesake Ford brand is Canada’s best-selling auto brand. Toyota is 94,504 sales back through eleven months. Among premium brands, Mercedes-Benz outsold BMW by 447 units in November, enough to spread the year-to-date gap to 772 sales. Audi, which has reported an 18.5% year-to-date sales improvement and jumped 30.5% in November, is Canada’s third-ranked premium brand.

Audi is one of 16 brands which sold more vehicles in the first eleven months of 2014 than in all of 2013. Nissan and Ram are the biggest brands to shoot past their 2013 sales levels with at least one month remaining in 2014.

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

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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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