The Truth About Cars » auto sales http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Mon, 20 Apr 2015 17:17:55 +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 Chart Of The Day: The Chevrolet Volt’s Long And Harsh Decline http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/04/chart-day-chevrolet-volts-long-harsh-decline/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/04/chart-day-chevrolet-volts-long-harsh-decline/#comments Sun, 19 Apr 2015 13:07:01 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1046514 The first three months of 2015 marked the lowest-volume quarter of U.S. Chevrolet Volt sales since the summer of 2011, when Volt production was just ramping up. Volt volume in January of this year, more specifically, fell to the lowest level since August 2011. With only 542 sales in the first month of 2015, Volt […]

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2012 Chevrolet Volt

The first three months of 2015 marked the lowest-volume quarter of U.S. Chevrolet Volt sales since the summer of 2011, when Volt production was just ramping up.

Volt volume in January of this year, more specifically, fell to the lowest level since August 2011. With only 542 sales in the first month of 2015, Volt sales were down 41%.

February sales then tumbled 43%. Most recently, March 2015 volume slid below 1000 units for the third time in three months, tumbling 57% to just 639 units, just the fourth time in 38 months that GM has sold fewer than 1000 Volts in the span of a month. 

Are fuel prices to blame, or the fact that the next, improved Volt has already been revealed? Both may be contributing factors in the most recent months, but a straightforward drop in demand, from low to lower, is the more appropriate response. Volt volume was in decline long before the latest fuel price decline.

Chevrolet Volt sales chart quarterlyVolt sales peaked during the car’s second full year on the market, 2012, before beginning a steady decline that saw monthly volume decrease on a year-over-year basis in 18 of 25 months, including each of the last eight months. Initial expectations called for approximately 40,000 annual Volt sales in the United States. GM hasn’t yet come within 16,000 units of matching that goal.

One thing is certain: there are Volts to be had. The drop to only 1874 first-quarter sales in 2015 occurred despite the fact that GM had, according to Automotive News, a 56-day supply at the beginning of January, a 192-day supply at the start of February, and a 159-day supply when March began.

The Volt was America’s 67th-best-selling car in 2012 but fell to the 70th position in 2013, before falling to 78th in calendar year 2014. Through the first-quarter of 2015, the Volt is now America’s 99th-best-selling car.

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

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Chart Of The Day: The Rise Of Commercial Van Sales In America – 2015 Q1 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/04/chart-day-rise-commercial-van-sales-america-2015-q1/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/04/chart-day-rise-commercial-van-sales-america-2015-q1/#comments Sat, 18 Apr 2015 13:13:41 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1046402 Commercial van sales are on the rise in the United States. But of greater interest than the improvements – total sales jumped 14% to 356,814 units in 2014 and are up 26% to 87,866 year-to-date – is the constant change in the category. The best-selling commercial van in America in each of the last five […]

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USA commercial van sales chart March 2015Commercial van sales are on the rise in the United States. But of greater interest than the improvements – total sales jumped 14% to 356,814 units in 2014 and are up 26% to 87,866 year-to-date – is the constant change in the category.

The best-selling commercial van in America in each of the last five months was the Ford Transit, a Euro-style van that’s replacing the Ford E-Series. Together, the Transit and similar-looking products from Mercedes-Benz (the established Sprinter) and Ram (the Fiat Ducato-based ProMaster), account for 39% of the commercial van market so far this year and 50.4% of the full-size category.

The small van sector, meanwhile, is growing rapidly. Sales are up 76% in early 2015. The quintet, led by the Ford Transit Connect and joined most recently by the Ram ProMaster City, generated 23% market share in 2015’s first-quarter, up from 17% a year ago. Click the chart for a larger view. Specific figures in the column are explained by the descriptions below with, for example, the Transit generating 22,881 first-quarter sales, the Sprinter 5,559, and the ProMaster 5,549.

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 Mercedes-Benz GLA’s Arrival Isn’t Slowing Down The Mercedes-Benz CLA: U.S. 2015 Q1 Sales http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/04/mercedes-benz-glas-arrival-isnt-slowing-mercedes-benz-cla-u-s-2015-q1-sales/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/04/mercedes-benz-glas-arrival-isnt-slowing-mercedes-benz-cla-u-s-2015-q1-sales/#comments Fri, 17 Apr 2015 12:36:53 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1046474 As Mercedes-Benz USA levels off with slightly less than 2000 GLA SUV/crossover/hatchback/whatever-it-is sales per month, U.S. sales of the GLA’s sedan donor vehicle, the CLA, haven’t slowed at all. In other words, the GLA’s presence in Mercedes-Benz showrooms is not a deterrent to the CLA. Yes, America, buyers continue to flock to the sedan even though […]

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Mercedes-Benz CLA250As Mercedes-Benz USA levels off with slightly less than 2000 GLA SUV/crossover/hatchback/whatever-it-is sales per month, U.S. sales of the GLA’s sedan donor vehicle, the CLA, haven’t slowed at all.

In other words, the GLA’s presence in Mercedes-Benz showrooms is not a deterrent to the CLA.

Yes, America, buyers continue to flock to the sedan even though there’s a crossover version of that sedan available. Believe it.

Granted, the CLA isn’t selling like it did during its launch period. Anticipated and hyped, the CLA generated 8518 U.S. sales in its first full two months, October and November 2013.

But over the last five months, a period in which the GLA became readily available, CLA sales increased 13%, year-over-year.

March volume jumped 81% after a 16% gain through the first two months of 2015. In the eight months immediately preceding the GLA’s launch, Mercedes-Benz USA was selling fewer than 2000 CLAs per month, although the belief was that dealers could have sold more if they had greater inventory of the Hungary-built sedan.

Mercedes-Benz USA salesMercedes-Benz needed to supply more CLAs to North America, and they have, but one might have expected that the increase in CLA inventory would be timed with decreased CLA demand as the GLA launch period began. Instead, Mercedes-Benz has proved capable of selling more than 2800 CLAs per month alongside the GLA, 45% more monthly sales than they were doing in pre-GLA 2014.

The impact on the brand? Excluding Sprinter, 18% of the Mercedes-Benzes sold in the U.S. in the first-quarter of 2015 were entry-level CLAs and GLAs – 11% for the CLA alone – up from 8% in the first-quarter of 2014, before the GLA. Non-CLA/GLA Benz sales are down 3% in the early stages of 2015.

With the entry-level pairing intact, Mercedes-Benz’s U.S. volume was up 9% in March; 8% in the first-quarter.

Mercedes-Benz GLA 45 AMG (X 156) 2013Even so, only twice in the last six months has Mercedes-Benz topped the premium leaderboard. BMW, the brand which outperformed Mercedes-Benz USA in December, February, and March, adopted a markedly different entry-level strategy compared with Mercedes-Benz and Audi, with their front and all-wheel-drive sedans. The 2-Series is a performance coupe with nothing more than low-volume potential: March was the best 1-Series/2-Series sales month since August 2010, but with only 1249 units, it wasn’t a common car.

No, BMW’s true entry-level car is the 320i, simply a lesser version of the nation’s top-selling premium brand car. BMW doesn’t release specific monthly figures for engine variants, but if we use Cars.com’s inventory results as a guide, BMW likely sold around 4600 copies of the 320i in 2015’s first-quarter.

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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Best-In-A-Decade March 2015 Ford Explorer Sales Cause Us To Remember Times Gone By http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/04/best-decade-march-2015-ford-explorer-sales-cause-us-remember-times-gone/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/04/best-decade-march-2015-ford-explorer-sales-cause-us-remember-times-gone/#comments Thu, 16 Apr 2015 13:18:00 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1044946 In the lead-up to the launch of a refreshed 2016 Ford Explorer, March 2015 sales of the current model rose to the highest March output since 2005 and the highest monthly level regardless of season since July 2005. Explorer volume jumped 19% to 23,058 in March 2015, a total made up of 2293 Police Interceptor […]

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Ford SUV sales chart March 2015In the lead-up to the launch of a refreshed 2016 Ford Explorer, March 2015 sales of the current model rose to the highest March output since 2005 and the highest monthly level regardless of season since July 2005.

Explorer volume jumped 19% to 23,058 in March 2015, a total made up of 2293 Police Interceptor Utilities (up 45%) and 20,765 civilian Explorers (up 17%).

In a month which saw particularly strong results from the Nissan Rogue and Chevrolet Equinox, the Explorer ranked sixth among America’s best-selling SUVs and crossovers. (With consistently strong performances from the CR-V, Escape, and RAV4, it’s not reasonable to think the Explorer could routinely stand on the podium.)

But those are all smaller CUVs. Among vehicles which come standard with a third row of seating, the Explorer outsold the next-best-selling three-row crossover, Toyota’s Highlander, by more than 10,019 units and the best-selling minivan, Toyota’s Sienna, by 10,203 sales.

2015 Ford ExplorerCombined, GM sold 24,197 copies of their Lambda-platform (Traverse, Acadia, Enclave) crossovers, a 2% year-over-year gain. But in the interest of full disclosure, Ford also sold 1848 copies of the Flex, which takes the Ford brand’s three-row CUV total up to a Lambda-besting 24,906 units.

That’s besides the point, however. The real story is the return to high-volume status for the Explorer. Last America’s top-selling SUV nine years ago, the Explorer has improved upon its 2006 total in each of the last two years. If the current rate of improvement holds through the next three-quarters, Ford will sell more than 260,000 Explorers in the U.S. this year, the highest total since 2004. March 2015 sales marked the first time since May of last year, which had marked the best month of Explorer sales since July 2005, that Ford had sold more than 20,000 Explorers in a single month. But Explorer sales have increased in 13 consecutive months.

Last month’s 23,058-unit tally was down 7% compared to the previous best March of 2005, but there’s a key difference between the two performances. In March 2005, sales tumbled 17%, a loss of 5000 units compared with March 2004. 2005 was to be the third consecutive year of decline in what would become a seven-year streak. March 2015, on the other hand, marked a 19%, 3700-unit improvement. 2015 is set to be the sixth consecutive year of improved Explorer sales.

Granted, the Explorer isn’t back to historic levels yet, nor is it likely to get back there. Ford averaged 405,000 annual Explorer sales in the U.S. during the decade between 1995 and 2004. The utility vehicle sector has broadened significantly since then, and the competition between nameplates, not to mention the changing tastes of consumers, hasn’t allowed a single SUV/CUV nameplate to come within 60,000 units of the 400K mark since Ford sold 373,000 Explorers twelve years ago.

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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Led By New A3, Entry-Level Autos Are Carrying The Load For Audi USA http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/04/led-new-a3-entry-level-autos-carrying-load-audi-usa/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/04/led-new-a3-entry-level-autos-carrying-load-audi-usa/#comments Wed, 15 Apr 2015 13:17:06 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1044794 March was the highest-volume U.S. sales month in the Audi A3’s decade-long history. Never before had the A3 topped the 3000-unit mark, but March volume climbed to 3081 sales, equal to 18% of Audi USA’s volume last month. Year-over-year comparisons for the A3 are all but completely invalid, as a hiatus between the departure of […]

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Audi A3/A4 sales chart USAMarch was the highest-volume U.S. sales month in the Audi A3’s decade-long history. Never before had the A3 topped the 3000-unit mark, but March volume climbed to 3081 sales, equal to 18% of Audi USA’s volume last month.

Year-over-year comparisons for the A3 are all but completely invalid, as a hiatus between the departure of the A3 hatchback and the current A3 sedan resulted in a three-month-long sales-free period between November 2013 and January 2014. That period was followed by only 863 sales during the new A3’s first two months of February and March 2014.

2015’s first-quarter was, however, the best quarter yet for the new A3 despite the fact that January-March is the slowest period of the year for auto sales in the United States.

Audi sold 7743 A3 sedans and cabriolets (S3-inclusive) over the last three months, a 2% gain compared with the final three months of 2014, a 12% improvement over 2014 Q3, and a 13% jump compared to the April-June launch period of last year.

Healthy A3 volume has been tremendously important for Audi USA, which last month reported the brand’s second-best-ever monthly sales total, the best March ever, and the 51st consecutive monthly sales record.

2015 Audi A3Audi wouldn’t have come close to doing so without such strong entry-level volume, as the aging A4 and A5 fell 32% and 15%, respectively. The A7 was down 30%. A8, R8, TT, and Q7 sales slipped, as well. Excluding the A3 and Q3 crossover, Audi sales were actually down 9%.

But with the A3’s 3081 sales, the Q3’s 1268-unit tally, and the best-selling Q5’s 17% jump, Audi brand sales shot up 20% as the overall U.S. auto industry barely moved the needle forward. New vehicle volume was up just 0.5% in March. Audi’s 14% improvement through the first-quarter is far in excess of the industry’s 6% increase.

The A3 trails Mercedes-Benz’s CLA by 483 units heading into April. Lexus’s hybrid-only CT200h is down 15% to 3399 units in 2015, less than half the A3’s total. Acura is just now launching the 2016 ILX with a more powerful standard engine: ILX sales are down 15% to a CT-besting 3505 year-to-date. The Buick Verano, which straddles the mainstream and entry-level premium categories, is down 17% to 9079 sales so far this year, just 853 sales ahead of the Mercedes-Benz CLA. The CLA’s base price is 35% higher than the Verano’s.

Meanwhile, across the pond, the Audi A3 is the eighth-best-selling vehicle in the United Kingdom so far this year. A3 sales totalled 14,358 in the UK in 2015’s first-quarter, nearly double Audi USA’s total in a market that’s less than one-fifth the size.

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. Minivan Sales – March 2015 YTD – Cain’s Segments http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/04/u-s-minivan-sales-march-2015-ytd-cains-segments/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/04/u-s-minivan-sales-march-2015-ytd-cains-segments/#comments Tue, 14 Apr 2015 12:56:30 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1043866 Minivans accounted for only 2.7% of the U.S. auto industry’s new vehicle volume in March 2015, a sharp drop from the 3.5% achieved by the category one year earlier. First-quarter sales of minivans in 2015 were down 12%, and the segment’s share of the industry’s new vehicle volume tumbled to 2.8% from 3.4% in the […]

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2015 Toyota Sienna SEMinivans accounted for only 2.7% of the U.S. auto industry’s new vehicle volume in March 2015, a sharp drop from the 3.5% achieved by the category one year earlier.

First-quarter sales of minivans in 2015 were down 12%, and the segment’s share of the industry’s new vehicle volume tumbled to 2.8% from 3.4% in the first-quarter of 2014, a period in which total minivan volume had risen 5%, year-over-year.

Two key factors are at play in the minivan segment’s U.S. decline in early 2015. Primarily, a retooling of the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles plant in Windsor, Ontario, is disrupting the sale of the two vans that led the category at this time a year ago and throughout the 2014 calendar year.

Second, the discontinuation of the Mazda 5 spells the end of America’s true, one-vehicle “mini”-van category. 5 sales were basically cut in half in the month of March, a drop of nearly 1000 units.

Minivan
March
2015
March
2014
%
Change
2015 YTD
2014 YTD
%
Change
Chrysler Town & Country
5,489 13,242 -58.5% 19,874 28,994 -31.5%
Dodge Grand Caravan
5,960 14,165 -57.9% 16,918 32,025 -47.2%
Honda Odyssey
11,142 11,008 1.2% 27,088 27,832 -2.7%
Kia Sedona
3,638 641 468% 7,670 1,539 398%
Mazda 5
1,063 2,016 -47.3% 4,003 4,988 -19.7%
Nissan Quest
905 1,559 -42.0% 2,289 3,319 -31.0%
Toyota Sienna
12,855 11,027 16.6% 32,723 26,087 25.4%
Volkswagen Routan
209 -100% 797 -100%
Total
41,052
53,867 -23.8%  110,565 125,581 -12.0%

 The signs of life in the industry are readily observable. Kia’s launch of the third-generation Sedona resulted in a sales spike for the category’s newest entrant, but even with a 468% improvement in March, for example, the Sedona was only the fifth-ranked nameplate in a seven-nameplate (and shrinking) category. Nevertheless, it’s a well-received product, and if the category doesn’t completely dry up and disappear – which it won’t – Kia is setting the stage for a gradual ascent. For now, the Sedona’s 8.9% March market share and 6.9% first-quarter share place the Kia well back of the segment leaders.

The Toyota Sienna’s best-selling status required no asterisks in March. Not only did the Sienna outsell the individual FCA nameplates, Grand Caravan and Town & Country, but it outsold the pair as a combined duo. Sienna sales are up 25% in 2015, a refreshed year for the third-generation Sienna, and March volume jumped 17% to 12,855 units, 1406 better than the Chrysler/Dodge tandem managed. The Sienna was America’s best-selling minivan in each of the four months leading up to March, as well.

Honda Odyssey sales have declined slightly in early 2015 but perked up marginally in the month of March, specifically. 2014 ended with a 5% Odyssey decline and a three-year low in terms of U.S. volume. (Sienna sales rose to a seven-year high in 2014.)

Regardless, both the Sienna and Odyssey have an opportunity to grab greater sales in 2015, at least with potential Chrysler/Dodge buyers who weren’t looking for the absolute least expensive minivan in America.

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 Toyota Venza Is Dead: Here’s Why http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/04/toyota-venza-dead-heres/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/04/toyota-venza-dead-heres/#comments Sun, 12 Apr 2015 12:03:51 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1041817 A Camry wagon sounds ideal. On paper. But Toyota’s announcement that the Venza will be discontinued follows U.S. sales declines in four of the last five years. Venza volume peaked in the model’s first full year at 54,410 units. Two years later, in 2011, Venza sales slid 28%. Last year, U.S. Venza volume was barely […]

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2011 Toyota VenzaA Camry wagon sounds ideal. On paper.

But Toyota’s announcement that the Venza will be discontinued follows U.S. sales declines in four of the last five years. Venza volume peaked in the model’s first full year at 54,410 units. Two years later, in 2011, Venza sales slid 28%. Last year, U.S. Venza volume was barely more than half what it was in 2009.

In a Toyota showroom chock-full of SUVs and crossovers – RAV4, Highlander, 4Runner, FJ Cruiser, Land Cruiser, Sequoia – and a close relation at Lexus, the RX, routinely outselling all premium SUV/CUV nameplates, the Venza was tasked with too great a challenge: carve out a niche for a brand which already has all corners covered, but not too small a niche.

Meanwhile, the Camry continued to prove successful at generating sales activity in the mainstream, with increased sales in 2012, 2013, and 2014, all years in which Venza volume declined.

Toyota Venza sales chartThe Venza lacks the Highlander’s third row and, in recent times, operated with a base price 23% higher than the RAV4’s. The standard 2.7L, 181-horsepower inline-four is tasked with propelling 3800+ pounds. And while the Subaru Outback’s success leads many to believe that there’s room in a corridor between traditional cars and utility vehicles, the Venza and far less common (and similarly discontinued) Honda Crosstour consistently imply otherwise. (Other two-row utility vehicles like the Ford Edge and Nissan Murano sell far more often than the Venza.)

Aside from the car’s low U.S. sales volume, the cancellation of the Venza will open up greater production capacity for more popular vehicles built at the same Kentucky site, Toyota’s Avalon and Camry, the latter being America’s best-selling car.

But if the Venza had proven sufficiently popular, Toyota wouldn’t need to rely on the Highlander and RAV4 to generate the volume to make up for Venza losses. Aside from August 2009’s Cash For Clunkers-empowered 8435-unit performance, Toyota USA only sold more than 5000 Venzas in four different months: July, October, and December 2009 and March 2010. Average monthly volume since 2011 fell below 3100 units.

Subaru sold more than 10,000 Outbacks per month during the same period.

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: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles US Is Very Much An SUV-Oriented Automaker http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/04/chart-day-fiat-chrysler-automobiles-us-much-suv-oriented-automaker/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/04/chart-day-fiat-chrysler-automobiles-us-much-suv-oriented-automaker/#comments Sat, 11 Apr 2015 12:02:01 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1041793 Not surprisingly, one of only a couple automakers with an SUV-only auto brand is enjoying record sales at that SUV brand in an era of booming utility vehicle sales. At this stage in 2013, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles/Chrysler Group was selling more cars in the United States than SUVs and crossovers. Those figures flipped one year […]

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FCA US sales chart by vehicle categoryNot surprisingly, one of only a couple automakers with an SUV-only auto brand is enjoying record sales at that SUV brand in an era of booming utility vehicle sales.

At this stage in 2013, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles/Chrysler Group was selling more cars in the United States than SUVs and crossovers. Those figures flipped one year later and became even more disparate in the first-quarter of 2015.

More than four out every ten FCA sales in the United States in the first three months of this year were SUVs or crossovers: Jeeps, Dodge Durangos, and Dodge Journeys. We only recently covered the enormity of Jeep’s record-setting March success.

Other factors are shaking up the vehicle mix at FCA dealers, as well, such as the retooling at the company’s minivan plant in Windsor, Ontario, and the increased number of commercial vans available. But with SUV/crossover sales rising 12% across the board in early 2015, it’s no secret that FCA was well positioned to take advantage, and that advantage has seriously rejigged the automaker’s overall U.S. sales figures.

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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Lincoln MKC Inventory Rising, But U.S. Sales Have Levelled Off http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/04/lincoln-mkc-inventory-rising-u-s-sales-levelled-off/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/04/lincoln-mkc-inventory-rising-u-s-sales-levelled-off/#comments Fri, 10 Apr 2015 12:49:48 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1041769 With November’s sales results in hand, we asked four months ago whether Ford Motor Company’s Lincoln division had reached “Peak MKC.” Initial evidence suggested the Escape-related small crossover wasn’t able to cross the threshold from middling success in the Acura RDX and Audi Q5-dominated small luxury CUV arena into the upper tier. With the MKC’s […]

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2015 Lincoln MKCWith November’s sales results in hand, we asked four months ago whether Ford Motor Company’s Lincoln division had reached “Peak MKC.” Initial evidence suggested the Escape-related small crossover wasn’t able to cross the threshold from middling success in the Acura RDX and Audi Q5-dominated small luxury CUV arena into the upper tier.

With the MKC’s U.S. sales results from the first-quarter of 2015 now in, there’s yet more evidence leading us to believe that demand for the MKC – at its current price point, with its current level of incentives, without a new MKX stealing limelight – won’t climb noticeably higher.

Its share of the small luxury SUV category is lower than it was during the launch period in the third-quarter of last year. After claiming 9.3% market share last summer, the MKC accelerated to 10.9% in the final three months of 2014. But with five established rivals selling (RDX, Q5, X3, XC60, GLK) more often and Lexus’s NX also generating greater interest, the MKC’s share in the segment was down to 8.6% in Q1 2015.

The MKC was Lincoln’s best-selling model in November, and it seemed likely that it could continue to be the brand’s most popular model given the decreasing interest in the brand’s main car, the MKZ, and the fact that the MKC was believed to be just getting going. (MKZ volume declined in each of the last ten months.) Some showroom traffic is perhaps being diverted toward the MKC, as well, because the first-generation MKX is more than eight-years old and the new MKX is forthcoming.

Lincoln
March 2015
March 2014
% Change
3 mos. 2015
3 mos. 2014
% Change
MKZ
2,842 4,052 -29.9% 6,506 9,218 -29.4%
MKC
2,070 5,230
MKX
1,475 2,581 -42.9% 3,968 7,101 -44.1%
Navigator
1,097 746 47.1% 2,875 1,561 84.2%
MKS
838 1,034 -19.0% 2,042 2,440 -16.3%
MKT
373 556 -32.9% 857 1,283 -33.2%
Total
8,695 8,969 -3.1% 21,478 21,603 -0.6%

Lincoln dealers have the MKCs to sell, as well. Automotive News shows more than 10,000 MKCs were in stock at the beginning of March, a month in which 2070 MKCs were sold, the MKC’s fourth-best of 11 months. That’s a 163-day supply, not an extraordinary number for Lincoln (which has the highest inventory levels of any auto brand in America), but far greater than the industry average of 69 days.

We are, however, approaching the prime automobile buying season. Top-selling small luxury crossovers like the Acura RDX and Audi Q5, for example, sold 19% and 27% more, respectively, in the second-quarter of 2014 than in the first. Over the next three months, the auto industry should produce at least 10% more activity than it did over the previous three months. But after averaging fewer than 2000 monthly sales over the last nine months and never topping the 2400-unit mark, there’s little reason to believe that, even with plenty of MKCs available, there will be a sudden spike in demand without real pricing aggression from Ford MoCo.

As for the hope that the MKC would be a Lincoln saviour, well, that’s not turning out to be the case. Non-MKC Lincoln sales plunged 25% in the first-quarter and 26% in March. Even including the MKC, brand-wide Lincoln sales slid 3% last month and 0.6% in Q1.

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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Rogue Surge: Nissan’s Small CUV Continues Rise Toward The Top Of The Crossover Heap http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/04/rogue-surge-nissans-small-cuv-continues-rise-toward-top-crossover-heap/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/04/rogue-surge-nissans-small-cuv-continues-rise-toward-top-crossover-heap/#comments Thu, 09 Apr 2015 15:38:00 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1041513 In smashing its all-time record set just seven months ago by 6000 units, the Nissan Rogue became America’s second-best-selling utility vehicle in March 2015. Year-over-year, U.S. sales of the Rogue jumped 41% to 27,418 in March. Rogue volume is up 28% to 64,486 through the first-quarter of 2015, making the Rogue America’s fifth-best-selling utility vehicle […]

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2014 Nissan RogueIn smashing its all-time record set just seven months ago by 6000 units, the Nissan Rogue became America’s second-best-selling utility vehicle in March 2015.

Year-over-year, U.S. sales of the Rogue jumped 41% to 27,418 in March. Rogue volume is up 28% to 64,486 through the first-quarter of 2015, making the Rogue America’s fifth-best-selling utility vehicle this year, on par with its position at this stage last year and one position north of its year-end ranking in 2014.

But the Rogue, somewhat unusual because it’s available with a third row of seating, has quickly narrowed the gap. At this point in 2014, the Rogue trailed the top-selling utility vehicle in the U.S., Ford’s Escape, by 20,857 units. In 2015, the Rogue trails the top-selling Honda CR-V by fewer than 8700 units.

best selling SUVs chartMoreover, the Rogue’s March tally was second-best among SUVs and crossovers and only 200 units shy of the CR-V, which sat atop the leaderboard for the seventh consecutive month. In a utility vehicle sector which produced a 7% year-over-year improvement in the month of March, the CR-V and Escape both lost sales and market share and combined for a 6% decline.

(Note: “Rogue” is an all-encompassing term that includes both the first and second-generation small crossovers. In a sense, this is not terribly different compared with the overlap of any car: the Toyota Camry over the course of last fall and winter; the Ford F-150 right now. However, the fact that Nissan markets both the Rogue and Rogue Select isn’t just a perfectly timed production overlap to keep inventory levels high in the short-term. The Rogue’s presence is Nissan’s medium-term plan. Nissan doesn’t break down the totals of Rogue new and old, but a translation of inventory results from Cars.com suggests 32% of the Rogue’s sales tally is Rogue Select-derived.)

2014 Nissan Rogue SelectThe Rogue’s year-over-year increase was the nameplate’s eighth consecutive and the 14th in the last 16 months. On an annual basis, the Rogue has always posted improved sales, rising 165% between its first full year (2008) to 199,199 U.S. sales in 2014.

But the Nissan is competing in an increasingly challenging market, one in which the typically better-selling CR-V, Escape, Toyota RAV4, and Chevrolet Equinox all set U.S. sales records in 2014, as well. And as part of the Nissan lineup, the Rogue has its detractors. In a discussion with reporters at the New York International Auto Show that ended with John Mendel saying, “”This is probably the last interview that PR is going to let me do,” the Honda senior VP went off on Nissan’s increasingly impressive sales numbers. “They want to juice their business by 28 to 30 percent fleet every month. That’s their business but then don’t compare it to individual customers who pay their own money for individual cars.”

The Nissan brand has outsold the Honda brand in each of 2015’s first three months. The Detroit News quotes a Nissan spokesman, David Reuter, who denied the 28-30% figure and offered up 17% as the more realistic number. Regardless, Mendel’s insistence that, “I don’t really give a damn about Nissan,” may include slightly too much protest to be completely believable.

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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4-Door Is Providing A Big Sales Boost To Mini USA http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/04/4-door-providing-big-sales-boost-mini-usa/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/04/4-door-providing-big-sales-boost-mini-usa/#comments Wed, 08 Apr 2015 13:19:58 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1039849 With one of the most detailed monthly sales reports of any auto brand competing in the United States, Mini revealed their March 2015 sales in a breakdown that included door counts. Not since Volvo’s monthly report divvied up the V60’s sales by regular and Cross Country variants has a numbers addict been so pleased. Excluding […]

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2015 Mini Cooper 4-DoorWith one of the most detailed monthly sales reports of any auto brand competing in the United States, Mini revealed their March 2015 sales in a breakdown that included door counts.

Not since Volvo’s monthly report divvied up the V60’s sales by regular and Cross Country variants has a numbers addict been so pleased.

Excluding the 540 leftover niche versions of the second-gen BMW Mini – Convertible, Roadster, Clubman, and Coupe – and 1654 sales of the high-riding Countryman and Paceman, Mini’s core Hardtop model was up 429% to 3635 units in March 2015; up 319% to 8224 units in the first-quarter of 2015.

42%, or 1509, of the March sales were produced by the 4-door. Precisely four out of every ten Mini Cooper Hardtops sold so far this year were 4-doors.

Mini USA sales chart 2015 Q1The year-over-year results of the 2-door model are skewed by the fact that there was little overlap between the outgoing and incoming models. At this time last year, the 2-door’s demand had mostly dried up, as had much of the inventory. Thus, sales of that model alone are up 151% this year; up 209% in March.

But with its somewhat awkward stance and $1000 premium, the 4-door has quickly become an integral part of the Mini lineup. First-quarter sales of the 4-door were greater, albeit marginally so, than first-quarter sales of the brand’s other 4-door, the Countryman, sales of which tumbled 25% over the first three months of 2015.

2015 Mini 4-door and 2-doorAs for the defunct Clubman, its monthly sales average between 2011 and 2014 of 425 units pales in comparison to this new 4-door’s early 1100-unit monthly average.

To what extent some of these 4-door buyers would be choosing the new 2-door if the 4-door wasn’t available, we can’t fully know. But assuming they wouldn’t, assuming they’re considering the 4-door because they wanted a Mini with extra cargo capacity and a usable rear seat that isn’t a Countryman, we can say the brand’s 2015 Q1 results wouldn’t look quite so impressive without the latest variant.

Mini brand sales are up 48% to 12,777 in early 2015. Excluding the 4-door, Mini sales are up 9.5% to 9483.

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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Jeep’s Extraordinary March 2015 Sales Performance Sets Records http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/04/jeeps-extraordinary-march-2015-sales-performance-sets-records/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/04/jeeps-extraordinary-march-2015-sales-performance-sets-records/#comments Tue, 07 Apr 2015 12:22:44 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1039409 Everything was coming up roses for Jeep in March 2015. During a period in which it seemed highly likely that FCA/Chrysler Group would fail to report their 60th consecutive month of year-over-year sales increases – five years of growth without a pause – a slight 2% increase across the company’s large number of brands helped […]

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2015 Jeep Renegade redEverything was coming up roses for Jeep in March 2015.

During a period in which it seemed highly likely that FCA/Chrysler Group would fail to report their 60th consecutive month of year-over-year sales increases – five years of growth without a pause – a slight 2% increase across the company’s large number of brands helped to propel the U.S. auto industry to a narrow 0.5% year-over-year gain.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles US produced the company’s marginal gains despite a 24% drop in sales at Dodge, a 5% decline at Fiat, a 58% plunge in minivan volume, and the first Ram pickup truck decrease since April 2010.

The responsibility for growth was thus placed on commercial vans, a specific passenger car trio, and the high-flying Jeep brand.

FCA currently competes with three different vans targeted at the commercial market: the soon-to-disappear Grand Caravan-based Ram Cargo Van, the full-size Ram ProMaster, and the small Ram ProMaster City. Their combined sales increased by 1481 units, or 76%, to 3428 in March 2015.

FCA USA auto sales chart 2015 Q1The Chrysler 200 and Dodge Dart reported best-ever monthly sales for the respective nameplates, and together with the Dodge Challenger doubled the trio’s sales to 34,872 units in March. This counteracted passenger car sales declines from the Chrysler 300, Dodge Avenger, Dodge Charger, Dodge Viper, and the Fiat lineup. (Combined 200/Avenger sales were up 19% in March but fell 5% in the first-quarter of 2015.)

Jeeps, however, were the real difference makers last month. The Cherokee and Patriot posted best-ever sales months, combining for 30,882 sales, a 39% jump compared with March 2014.

Last month also resulted in best-ever March results for the Wrangler and Compass. Year-over-year, that duo’s sales rose 16% to 22,944.

The Grand Cherokee’s March volume was up 5% to 16,815 – the Grand Cherokee is on pace to make 2015 the best year since 2005.

The Chrysler Toledo Assembly Complex used to produce Jeep Cherokee in ToledoJeep also began selling the Renegade, which is expected to be a hot ticket in the near future. Only 943 were sold in its abbreviated first month, but inventory levels are rising rapidly. Expect to see a long period of Renegade growth before any levelling off.

Put it all together – the best-ever months for two nameplates, best-ever seasonal sales for two more, growth from the Grand Cherokee, an all-new model – and it’s not difficult to conclude that U.S. Jeep sales were at the highest level ever in March 2015. Not just the highest March level, but the highest level regardless of month.

March 2015 Jeep sales broke the previous brand’s record, set in May 2014, by 1381 units, or 2%. That record was set in a month, which in terms of overall auto industry volume, was 4% larger. Thus, Jeep’s market share last month, 4.6%, was a meaningful improvement compared with the 4.4% from the previous record-setting month.

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

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U.S. Small/Midsize Truck Sales In March 2015 YTD: Cain’s Segments http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/04/u-s-smallmidsize-truck-sales-march-2015-ytd-cains-segments/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/04/u-s-smallmidsize-truck-sales-march-2015-ytd-cains-segments/#comments Sun, 05 Apr 2015 12:35:09 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1038617 The rapid ascent of the new Chevrolet Colorado finally slowed in March 2015 with month-to-month growth amounting to only 58 extra sales. Colorado volume has increased every month since the new truck arrived last fall, from 1491 units in its first full month of October to 6621 units in March. But even with an overall […]

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U.S. truck sales chart March 2015The rapid ascent of the new Chevrolet Colorado finally slowed in March 2015 with month-to-month growth amounting to only 58 extra sales. Colorado volume has increased every month since the new truck arrived last fall, from 1491 units in its first full month of October to 6621 units in March.

But even with an overall pickup truck market that was 17% larger in March than in February, Colorado sales grew by just 0.9% during the same period.

Its twin, meanwhile, didn’t sell as often in March as it did in February, sliding from 2513 sales two months ago to 2434 last month.

While we’re not suggesting for a moment that Colorado/Canyon sales are on the downturn – we would need longer-term numbers and year-over-year figures to properly gauge such a trend – it does appear as though demand may not have the potential to grow too far beyond 10,000 units per month.

2015 Chevrolet ColoradoThe best-selling non-full-size truck in America, therefore, continues to be the Toyota Tacoma. March 2015 was the first time Tacoma volume has shot beyond 15,000 units in two years, surging to 15,885 sales and its seventh consecutive year-over-year increase. In other words, the arrival of new GM competitors instantly resulted in steady Tacoma sales growth.

Auto
March 2015
March 2014
%
Change
3 mos.
2015
3 mos.
2014
%
Change
Toyota Tacoma
15,885 14,445 10.0% 39,666 35,229 12.6%
Nissan Frontier
7,128 7,140 -0.2% 19,102 17,862 6.9%
Chevrolet Colorado
6,621 2 330,950% 19,126 17 112,406%
GMC Canyon
2,434 1 243,300% 7,152 2 357,500%
Honda Ridgeline
77 1,538 -95.0% 427 3844 -88.9%
Total
32,145
23,126 39.0%  85,473 56,954 50.1%

The Nissan Frontier also moved back into second spot in the category thanks to the Colorado’s semi-slowdown in March, the first time the Frontier’s slotted in behind the Tacoma since December. Frontier volume decreased by 12 units year-over-year but still totalled 507 units more than the Chevrolet; 1927 fewer than the Chevrolet and GMC combined.

Lost on the outside of the conversation was the defunct first-gen Honda Ridgeline, sales of which tumbled 95% to just 77 units. Excluding the Ridgeline, small/midsize pickup truck sales jumped 49% in March; 60% in the first-quarter of 2015. They account for slightly less than 15% of all pickup truck sales and 2% of all new vehicle 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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Chart Of The Day: Auto Brand Market Share In America In March 2015 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/04/chart-day-auto-brand-market-share-america-march-2015/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/04/chart-day-auto-brand-market-share-america-march-2015/#comments Sat, 04 Apr 2015 12:49:36 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1037353   GM’s U.S. market share declined from 18.4% in February 2015 to 16.1% the following month as the automaker’s sales slid 2%, year-over-year, in a market which expanded marginally. GM earned 16.7% of the U.S. auto industry’s volume in March 2014. Compared with February, Toyota, Ford, Hyundai-Kia, and the BMW Group all produced market share […]

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U.S. auto brand market share march 2015

 

GM’s U.S. market share declined from 18.4% in February 2015 to 16.1% the following month as the automaker’s sales slid 2%, year-over-year, in a market which expanded marginally. GM earned 16.7% of the U.S. auto industry’s volume in March 2014.

Compared with February, Toyota, Ford, Hyundai-Kia, and the BMW Group all produced market share improvements worthy of mention. Honda’s share fell slightly from 8.4% to 8.2%; FCA was down from 13.1% in February to 12.8% in March.

The industry’s 1.55M new vehicle sales represented the best March since 2005.

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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March 2015 U.S. Full-Size Truck Sales Decline – Cain’s Segments http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/04/march-2015-u-s-full-size-truck-sales-decline-cains-segments/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/04/march-2015-u-s-full-size-truck-sales-decline-cains-segments/#comments Fri, 03 Apr 2015 13:40:17 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1037729 Forecasts suggested that U.S. new vehicle sales would decline in March 2015, but the auto industry reported a slight uptick compared with March 2014. The moderate 0.5% improvement occurred despite a 4% passenger car sales decline and a 0.6% drop in full-size pickup truck sales. • GM truck increase contrasts with overall GM decline • […]

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toyotatundraForecasts suggested that U.S. new vehicle sales would decline in March 2015, but the auto industry reported a slight uptick compared with March 2014. The moderate 0.5% improvement occurred despite a 4% passenger car sales decline and a 0.6% drop in full-size pickup truck sales.


• GM truck increase contrasts with overall GM decline

• Ram truck decrease contrasts with overall FCA improvement


Granted, the March decline for full-size trucks was slight; the F-Series, Ram, Tundra, and Titan decreases were nearly completely counteracted by a GM increase.

Moreover, the first-quarter of 2015 was a healthy one for full-size trucks, with the five top nameplates all reporting improved sales compared with the first three months of 2014.

Truck
March
2015
March
2014
%
Change
3 mos.
2015
3 mos.
2014
%
Change
Ford F-Series
 67,706 70,940 -4.6% 177,312 173,358 2.3%
Chevrolet Silverado
 45,193 42,247 7.0% 126,694 107,757 17.6%
Ram P/U
41,595 42,532 -2.2% 101,511 96,906 4.8%
GMC Sierra
17,395 16,863 3.2% 45,173 42,213 7.0%
Toyota Tundra
11,508 11,589 -0.7% 28,757 27,402 4.9%
Nissan Titan
1,048 1,314 -20.2% 2,638 3,318 -20.5%
Total
184,445 185,485 -0.6% 482,085 450,954 6.9%

But Ford F-Series sales slipped 5% last month compared with March 2014, an especially strong F-Series sales month, though F-Series sales were up narrowly compared with March 2013. The Ford outsold the combined efforts of the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra for the second time in three months.

GM’s twins posted a combined increase of 6% in March. Their 62,588 sales generated 34% market share, up two percentage points compared with March 2014. Their improvement didn’t stop GM from reporting a 5% loss – GM car sales plunged 21%.

Truck
March
2015
Share
March
2014
Share
3 mos.
2015
Share
3 mos.
2014
Share
Ford F-Series
36.7% 38.2% 36.8% 38.4%
Chevrolet Silverado/GMC Sierra
33.9% 31.9% 35.7% 33.3%
Ram P/U
22.6% 22.9% 21.1% 21.5%
Toyota Tundra
6.2% 6.2% 6.0% 6.1%
Nissan Titan
0.6% 0.7% 0.5% 0.7%
Full-Size Share Of
Total Pickup Truck Market
85.2% 88.9% 84.9% 88.8%
Full-Size Pickup Share
Of Total Industry
11.9% 12.1%  12.2% 12.0%

Just days after TTAC explored the idea of 58 consecutive months of year-over-year, Ram truck improvement, Ram P/U sales in March 2015 declined for the first time since April 2010. The decrease was slight, only 937 units, and it didn’t stop the overarching FCA/Chrysler Group from posting the manufacturer’s 60th consecutive monthly increase.

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

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2015 Q1’s 20 Best-Selling Vehicles In The United States http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/04/2015-q1s-20-best-selling-vehicles-united-states/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/04/2015-q1s-20-best-selling-vehicles-united-states/#comments Thu, 02 Apr 2015 12:36:25 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1037321 March 2015 auto sales in the United States didn’t decline as expected, further strengthening a first-quarter in which the industry reported a 5.6% year-over-year improvement. In other words, Americans registered nearly 211,000 more new vehicles during the first three months of 2015 than during the same period one year ago. Passenger car volume is flat. […]

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2015 honda cr-vMarch 2015 auto sales in the United States didn’t decline as expected, further strengthening a first-quarter in which the industry reported a 5.6% year-over-year improvement.

In other words, Americans registered nearly 211,000 more new vehicles during the first three months of 2015 than during the same period one year ago. Passenger car volume is flat. SUVs and crossovers produced first-quarter growth of nearly 12%, thereby earning market share of 34%, up four percentage points compared with the first-quarter of 2014.

On this list of the 20 most popular vehicles in 2015’s first-quarter, utility vehicles rank seventh, tenth, 11th, 13th, 14th, and 16th. The same six nameplates ranked ninth, 11th, 13th, 15th, 17th, and 19th at this time a year ago.

Pickup trucks don’t generate nearly as much volume as the vast utility vehicle sector, but the main contenders continue to rule the roost on best seller lists. 2014 was the first year since 2003 that the F-Series, Silverado, and Ram ranked one, two, and three. 2015 begins the same way, although the gap between the Ram and Toyota Camry is even slimmer than it was at this time a year ago, down from 2623 sales to 1006.

The fourth-ranked Camry leads all passenger cars, having opened a 9777-unit lead over its nearest competitor through three months. Competitor? Wait a second, the second-best-selling car in America this year isn’t the Honda Accord, nor is it any competing midsize sedan. Toyota Corolla sales are up 17%, year-over-year, and the smaller Toyota leads the next-best-selling Nissan Altima by nearly 4000 units heading into April. The Accord, after a dreadful March in which sales plunged 23%, slid from eighth place at the end of February to ninth at the end of the first-quarter.

Rewind one year to the top 20 list from Q1 2014 and you’ll see the GMC Sierra and Chevrolet Malibu. What’s changed? Sierra sales have grown in 2015, but the 7% rise to 45,173 units is insufficient. Malibu volume is down 12% to 42,401. The Nissan Sentra and Chrysler 200, on the other hand, have both reported significant year-over-year improvements in early 2015, with the 200’s 61% jump tops among the 20 best sellers and the Sentra’s 25% increase surpassed only by the 200, RAV4, Rogue, and Explorer.

Rank
Auto
2015 Q1
2014 Q1
% Change
#1
Ford F-Series
177,312 173,358 2.3%
#2
Chevrolet Silverado
126,694 107,757 17.6%
#3
Ram P/U
101,511 96,906 4.8%
#4
Toyota Camry
100,505 94,283 6.6%
#5
Toyota Corolla
90,728 77,737 16.7%
#6
Nissan Altima
86,875 89,285 -2.7%
#7
Honda CR-V
73,127 67,648 8.1%
#8
Ford Fusion
71,470 77,578 -7.9%
#9
Honda Accord
68,645 79,188 -13.3%
#10
Ford Escape
67,272 71,305 -5.7%
#11
Toyota RAV4
67,010 53,064 26.3%
#12
Honda Civic
66,722 71,096 -6.2%
#13
Chevrolet Equinox
65,613 56,073 17.0%
#14
Nissan Rogue
64,486 50,448 27.8%
#15
Chevrolet Cruze
60,592 65,185 -7.0%
#16
Ford Explorer
58,707 46,068 27.4%
#17
Hyundai Elantra
56,742 53,237 6.6%
#18
Ford Focus
52,994 51,903 2.1%
#19
Nissan Sentra
51,026 40,789 25.1%
#20
Chrysler 200
49,152 30,489 61.2%

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 Brand Sales Results – March 2015 YTD: Not As Bad As Expected http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/04/u-s-auto-brand-sales-results-march-2015-ytd-not-bad-expected/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/04/u-s-auto-brand-sales-results-march-2015-ytd-not-bad-expected/#comments Wed, 01 Apr 2015 18:58:53 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1036481 An anticipated 1% year-over-year decline in U.S. auto sales in March 2015, a slightly shorter sales month than March 2014, failed to materialize as a number of auto brands reported significant improvements and most decreases were slight. As a result, U.S. auto sales actually improved slightly last month and rose nearly 6% in the first-quarter […]

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2015 Audi A3 sedanAn anticipated 1% year-over-year decline in U.S. auto sales in March 2015, a slightly shorter sales month than March 2014, failed to materialize as a number of auto brands reported significant improvements and most decreases were slight. As a result, U.S. auto sales actually improved slightly last month and rose nearly 6% in the first-quarter of 2015.

Premium auto brands left an especially strong footprint on the improved March figures. Audi, BMW, Lexus, and Mercedes-Benz – the four top-selling luxury brands in March – posted 20%, 7%, 9%, and 9% gains, respectively.

Meanwhile, at the top of the heap, Toyota easily outsold Chevrolet to claim the second spot behind Ford, which said a retail sales increase was counteracted by a sharp fleet sales decline.

Automaker March 2015 march 2014 % Change 2015 YTD 2014 YTD % Change
Acura
 14,670 15,580 -5.8% 39,644 37,948 4.5%
Alfa Romeo
 73 217
Audi
 17,102 14,246 20.0% 40,098 35,228 13.8%
BMW
 34,310 32,107 6.9% 78,492 72,377 8.4%
Buick
 20,526 20,428 0.5% 50,497 52,898 -4.5%
Cadillac
 13,756 14,765 -6.8% 37,175 39,588 -6.1%
Chevrolet
 173,886 179,681 -3.2% 476,556 452,683 5.3%
Chrysler
 30,038 26,140 14.9% 81,933  72,483 13.0%
Dodge
 46,049 60,575 -24.0% 123,511 145,224 -15.0%
Fiat
4,494 4,738  -5.1% 11,038 11,425 -3.4%
Ford  226,091 234,448 -3.6% 570,422 558,657 2.1%
GMC
 41,707 41,173 1.3% 119,811 104,468 14.7%
Honda
 111,623 117,738 -5.2% 294,299 287,406 2.4%
Hyundai
 75,019  67,005  12.0% 172,029 160,013  7.5%
Infiniti
 12,525 12,494 0.2% 33,842 31,221 8.4%
Jaguar
 1,660 1,816 -8.6% 4336 4,715 -8.0%
Jeep
 71,584 57,983 23.5% 178,749 145,839 22.6%
Kia
 58,771 54,777 7.3%  141,100 133,006 6.1%
Land Rover
 6,778 4,399 54.1% 16,976 13,079 29.8%
Lexus
 31,054 28,593 8.6% 77,180 65,085 18.6%
Lincoln
 8,695 8,969 -3.1% 21,478 21,603 -0.6%
Maserati
 996 963 3.4% 1,929 2,368 -18.5%
Mazda
 32,123 34,903 -8.0% 78,044 78,057 -0.02%
Mercedes-Benz
 29,921 27,401  9.2%  78,156  72,614  7.6%
Mercedes-Benz Sprinter
 2,379 1,915  24.2%  5,559  4,624  20.2%
Total Mercedes-Benz
 32,300  29,316  10.2% 83,715  77,238  8.4%
Mini
 5,829 3,655 59.5% 12,777 8,657 47.6%
Mitsubishi
 9,764 8,996 8.5% 23,790 19,840 19.9%
Nissan
 132,560 136,642 -3.0% 333,786 323,745 3.1%
Porsche
 4,291 3,808  12.7% 11,430 10,136 12.8%
Ram
 45,023 44,479 1.2% 110,406 100,993 9.3%
Scion
4,424  5,917 -25.2% 11,978 14,457 -17.1%
Smart
 583 775 -24.8% 1,533 2,237 -31.5%
Subaru
 49,111 44,479 10.4% 131,281 112,388 16.8%
Toyota
 190,481 180,838 5.3% 486,462 441,455 10.2%
Volkswagen
 30,025 36,717 -18.2% 79,239 87,323 -9.3%
Volvo
 5,916 5,915 0.02% 13,722 13,698 0.2%
 —
BMW-Mini
 40,139 35,762 12.2% 91,269 81,034 12.6%
FCA/Chrysler Group
 197,261 193,915 1.7% 505,854 475,964 6.3%
Daimler
32,883 30,091 9.3% 85,248 79,475 7.3%
Ford Motor Company
 234,786 243,417 -3.5%  591,900 580,260 2.0%
General Motors
 249,875 256,047 -2.4% 684,039 649,637 5.3%
Honda Motor Company
 126,293 133,318 -5.3% 333,943 325,354 2.6%
Hyundai-Kia
 133,790 121,782 9.9% 313,129 293,019 6.9%
Jaguar-Land Rover
 8,438 6,215 35.8% 21,312 17,794 19.8%
Nissan Motor Company
 145,085 149,136 -2.7% 367,628 354,966 3.6%
Toyota Motor Corporation
 225,959 215,348 4.9% 575,620 520,997 10.5%
Volkswagen Group *
 57,638 55,051  4.7%  131,279 132,870 -1.2%
Industry Total **
1,545,710
1,537,282
0.5%
3,954,946
3,744,021
5.6%

* 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 (1200 March 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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U.S. February Sales: Acura RLX Takes An Uppercut To Its Glass Jaw http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/u-s-february-sales-acura-rlx-takes-uppercut-glass-jaw/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/u-s-february-sales-acura-rlx-takes-uppercut-glass-jaw/#comments Mon, 30 Mar 2015 12:51:49 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1030385 Acura RLX sales plunged 53% to just 173 units in February 2015, the fifth consecutive month in which U.S. sales of Acura’s flagship sedan were chopped in half, or worse. Year-over-year, RLX sales have decreased in each of the last nine months. Over these three quarters, the RLX is down 60%, a loss of 2873 […]

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Acura RLXAcura RLX sales plunged 53% to just 173 units in February 2015, the fifth consecutive month in which U.S. sales of Acura’s flagship sedan were chopped in half, or worse.

Year-over-year, RLX sales have decreased in each of the last nine months. Over these three quarters, the RLX is down 60%, a loss of 2873 sales compared to the preceding nine-month period.

Historically, the RLX (formerly known as the RL) wasn’t anything like a top-selling premium car, but it wasn’t typically this unpopular, either. In the seven years leading up to the recession, 2002 to 2008, Acura reported an annual average of more than 9000 RL sales in America.

The 5555 total sales achieved between 2009 and 2012 was explained away by the age of the existing model – the second-gen RL debuted in 2004 – as well as the low-volume nature of the car market at the time.

Acura
Feb. 2015
Feb. 2014
% Change
2 mos. 2015
2 mos. 2014
% Change
MDX
4,553 4,563 -0.2% 8,934 8,804 1.5%
RDX
3,862 2,911 32.7% 7,379 5,641 30.8%
TLX
3,419 6,311
ILX
959 1,301 -26.3% 1,951 2,458 -20.6%
RLX
173 371 -53.4% 349 791 -55.9%
TL
22 1,480 -98.5% 40 2,848 -98.6%
TSX
4 911 -99.6% 10 1,804 -99.4%
ZDX
8 -100% 22 -100%
Total
12,992
11,545 12.5% 24,974 22,368 11.7%

Indeed, sales of the new model perked up, rising to the highest level in six years and above 5000 units for the first time since 2007. Yet the dull styling of the RLX didn’t bode well, the high price has never sat well with luxury car buyers, and Acura’s less costly middle-rung cars (the TL and now the TLX) always rubbed up closely in terms of size, matched or exceeded the RLX in terms of performance, and their MSRPs have always undercut the RLX by many thousands of dollars. The RLX, especially in Sport Hybrid guise, is a very nice car, but not at the advertised price, and not with such sleepy exterior design.

Regardless, the uptick was terribly short-lived. Year-over-year volume shot forward from 2012 and early 2013 levels when there was hardly any remaining RLs available. But even in its most popular month so far, October 2013, when 830 RLXs were sold, it trailed low-volume premium players like the Audi A6, Lexus GS, and Lincoln MKS. That same month, Mercedes-Benz’s E-Class range outsold the RLX by nearly 8-to-1; the BMW 5-Series by more than 6-to-1.

From that peak, however, we’ve come a long way in a short time. RLX sales fell to a new low of just 173 units in February, the second consecutive and third month overall in which monthly RLX volume slipped below 200.

The good news for Acura? The TLX isn’t selling poorly. As a result, even with the ILX down 21% year-to-date and RLX volume down 56%, overall Acura car sales are up 10%. The TLX accounts for 6311 of the 8661 Acura cars sold so far this year. The MDX and RDX crossovers generate nearly two-thirds of the brand’s volume. With the TLX, MDX, and RDX rising, Acura sales were up 12% through the end of February.

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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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.

The post A New VW Van? We’re Trying To Remember The Flop That Was The Volkswagen Routan appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

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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.

The post You’re Not Just Seeing Things: Mitsubishi Breaks U.S. Mirage Sales Record In February 2015 appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

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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.

The post Cain’s Segments: Entry Luxury Sport Sedans – February 2015 YTD appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

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