By on April 3, 2012

Despite high gas prices and a still shaky economy, customers appear to be tired of their old cars and frequented the surviving car dealers en masse in March. Better inventories, juicy lease deals and new models light a fire under sales. We will update this table throughout the day as new numbers come in.

Chrysler continued its winning streak with group sales up 34 percent, sales of the Chrysler brand are up a whopping 70 percent. Up 5 percent, Ford reports more sedate numbers. GM is up a healthy 12 percent in  March, and 3 percent for the year.

Amongst the transplants, Nissan’s sales climbed 12.5 percent. Volkswagen reports a a gain of 34.6 percent for the VW brand,  group sales rose 30 percent.

Automaker   Mar. 2012   Mar. 2011   Pct. chng. YTD 2012 YTD 2011   Pct. chng.
BMW Group 29,838 26,412 13% 75,825 65,047 17%
BMW division 23,940 20,295 18% 61,549 52,616 17%
Mini 5,866 6,087 –4% 14,180 12,341 15%
Rolls-Royce 32 30 7% 96 90 7%
BMW Group 29,838 26,412 13% 75,825 65,047 17%
Chrysler Group 163,381 121,730 34% 398,051 286,950 39%
Chrysler Division 34,726 20,463 70% 79,338 42,796 85%
Dodge 52,076 44,102 18% 126,222 101,977 24%
Dodge/Ram 79,819 67,612 18% 195,717 158,801 23%
Fiat 3,712 500 642% 8,850 500 1670%
Jeep 45,124 33,155 36% 114,146 84,853 35%
Ram 27,743 23,510 18% 69,495 56,824 22%
Chrysler Group 163,381 121,730 34% 398,051 286,950 39%
Daimler AG 25,512 22,974 11% 66,925 57,281 17%
Maybach 4 3 33% 12 9 33%
Mercedes-Benz 24,509 22,546 9% 64,649 55,995 16%
Smart USA 999 425 135% 2,264 1,267 79%
Daimler AG 25,512 22,974 11% 66,925 57,281 17%
Ford Motor Co. 222,884 212,295 5% 537,822 495,508 9%
Ford division 214,081 203,794 5% 516,986 475,253 9%
Lincoln 8,803 8,501 4% 20,836 20,007 4%
Mercury –% 248 –100%
Ford Motor Co. 222,884 212,295 5% 537,822 495,508 9%
General Motors 231,052 206,621 12% 608,320 592,546 3%
Buick 13,105 15,663 –16% 37,336 44,739 –17%
Cadillac 10,537 12,164 –13% 30,966 40,513 –24%
Chevrolet 173,073 148,197 17% 448,134 416,505 8%
GMC 34,337 30,597 12% 91,884 90,789 1%
General Motors 231,052 206,621 12% 608,320 592,546 3%
Honda 126,999 133,650 –5% 320,165 307,978 4%
Acura 11,166 12,611 –12% 30,805 31,368 –2%
Honda Division 115,833 121,039 –4% 289,360 276,610 5%
Honda 126,999 133,650 –5% 320,165 307,978 4%
Hyundai Group 127,233 106,051 20% 301,633 247,393 22%
Hyundai division 69,728 61,873 13% 163,573 142,620 15%
Kia 57,505 44,178 30% 138,060 104,773 32%
Hyundai Group 127,233 106,051 20% 301,633 247,393 22%
Jaguar Land Rover 5,520 4,315 28% 13,987 10,768 30%
Jaguar 1,321 874 51% 3,328 2,501 33%
Land Rover 4,199 3,441 22% 10,659 8,267 29%
Jaguar Land Rover 5,520 4,315 28% 13,987 10,768 30%
Maserati 257 200 29% 602 473 27%
Maserati 257 200 29% 602 473 27%
Mazda 32,376 30,905 5% 82,023 64,559 27%
Mazda 32,376 30,905 5% 82,023 64,559 27%
Mitsubishi 7,160 7,560 –5% 16,607 20,167 –18%
Mitsubishi 7,160 7,560 –5% 16,607 20,167 –18%
Nissan 136,317 121,141 13% 322,361 285,358 13%
Infiniti 10,185 11,287 –10% 26,220 27,836 –6%
Nissan Division 126,132 109,854 15% 296,141 257,522 15%
Nissan 136,317 121,141 13% 322,361 285,358 13%
Porsche 2,460 2,588 –5% 7,159 7,007 2%
Porsche 2,460 2,588 –5% 7,159 7,007 2%
Saab Cars 830 –100% 2,069 –100%
Saab 830 –100% 2,069 –100%
Subaru 32,387 26,916 20% 80,568 67,457 19%
Subaru 32,387 26,916 20% 80,568 67,457 19%
Suzuki 2,631 2,497 5% 6,561 6,702 –2%
Suzuki 2,631 2,497 5% 6,561 6,702 –2%
Toyota 203,282 176,222 15% 487,283 433,924 12%
Lexus 20,140 20,682 –3% 49,096 47,356 4%
Scion 6,694 5,540 21% 15,171 12,759 19%
Toyota division 176,448 150,000 18% 423,016 373,809 13%
Toyota/Scion 183,142 155,540 18% 438,187 386,568 13%
Toyota 203,282 176,222 15% 487,283 433,924 12%
Volkswagen 48,379 37,131 30% 124,293 92,742 34%
Audi 11,585 9,818 18% 29,470 25,383 16%
Bentley 206 137 50% 450 320 41%
VW division 36,588 27,176 35% 94,373 67,039 41%
Volkswagen 48,379 37,131 30% 124,293 92,742 34%
Volvo Cars NA 6,693 6,369 5% 16,418 15,440 6%
Volvo Cars NA 6,693 6,369 5% 16,418 15,440 6%
Other (estimate) 262 255 3% 786 765 3%
TOTAL 1,404,623 1,246,662 13%   3,467,389   3,060,124 13%

Final table courtesy Automotive News [sub]

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17 Comments on “U.S. Car Sales: Forward, March!...”


  • avatar
    philadlj

    The Caddy CTS had a nice 15% bump in sales vs. 3/2011 (I wish they’d break it down by body style), but the ATS and XTS can’t come soon enough. A new Escalade couldn’t hurt, either.

    As for Buick, the Verano and Regal more than make up for no more Lucerne, but neither are selling that well, and an Enclave update is coming just in time.

  • avatar
    PenguinBoy

    Chrysler’s continued sales growth is all the more impressive considering they don’t have a class competitive C Segment offering yet. It will be interesting to see what happens when the Dart comes out.

    They seem to be doing the right things though, every new model that comes out is a significant upgrade on the one it replaced (although admittedly some of those were pretty awful…), and between the bankruptcy and the low dollar they now have a competitive cost structure so they can afford to put more money into their cars and still keep the costs reasonable.

    • 0 avatar
      PenguinBoy

      Here in Canada Chrysler was #1 in sales for each of the first three months of this year:
      http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-drive/new-cars/auto-news/chrysler-tops-canada-auto-sales-in-first-quarter-of-2012/article2390778/

      This is even more impressive in compact car loving Canada, where the Civic has been the top selling car for ages…

  • avatar
    MrGreenMan

    Are these consumer purchases or deliveries to dealerships? Detroit radio is running a piece from GM about how everything is “up, up, up!”, and then they say an oddly phrased sentence — the Volt is selling like hotcakes; *deliveries* were at 2,300 last month.

    If I understand correctly, sales are proportional to delivery, provided that days on lot remains constant. Channel stuffing comes back into play if you start delivering more cars to dealer lots and those lots have to hold the overflow for a number of days. I also understand the Old GM was one of the worst offenders at channel stuffing.

    From an informal survey, Volts are everywhere on lots, but not on the road. One of the Oakland County big boys who had one Volt for the last six months now has seven Volts on his lot.

    Not that I don’t love a hybrid that works — I’m positive about eAssist if it’s put in a sedan that can seat people like any early-90s Japanese midsize — and the Fisker with the same notion of range-extension looks cool and a better expense than the Volt — but the Volt continues to be a lightning rod because it always sounds like they’re lying about it. If those were real sales to consumers, and not just shoving cars on dealer lots, why are they slowing production again?

  • avatar
    gslippy

    Hyundai Group outsold Honda, and is outpacing Nissan for the year.

    Maybach proves there’s a sucker born every 7 days.

    • 0 avatar
      jaje

      For the next year we’ll hear Honda’s excuse that the Tsunami and flood in Thailand is the reason for their falling sales. It has nothing to do with their lackluster products (aside from the minivan and small SUVs) and completely forgettable Acura products. The past 10 years Honda has been focused on their hybrids that still are 2nd fiddle to the competition and sell poorly.

      • 0 avatar
        kenzter

        Honda and the fanbois can’t use the tsunami and flood excuse for March. Everything sold in March of last year was already here or was on a boat.
        In SoCal I hear and see deals from Honda for .9% financing everywhere. As a percentage of transaction price, their incentives are the same as GM.
        Honda is tanking because the salmon are finally realizing that their vehicles are penalty boxes compared to the competition.

      • 0 avatar
        SherbornSean

        Honda fanboi here. Yeah, Honda had a rough month. September can’t come soon enough, with a new Accord, refreshed Civic, new RDX and ILX almost here.

        It’s not so much that Honda vehicles have gotten worse, but that Hyundai, Ford, and even GM have gotten so competitive lately. Honda really needs to return to its roots and figure out what will be meaninigful differentiators in the marketplace going forward. This won’t be easy.

  • avatar
    Joss

    Fiat: cue John Philip Sousa & stars and stripes forever or maybe Sergio’s blasting Kate Smith and the Irvine Berlin ‘God Bless America,’ YTD 2012 … So Serg is it the stripes in the Gucci seatbelts or Abarth fever..?

  • avatar
    Speed3

    Honda is tanking. And good riddance, I gave up on them years ago.

    If these trends continue it will again be:
    1) GM
    2) Ford
    3) Chrysler/Fiat
    4) Toyota
    5) Hyundai/Kia
    6) Nissan
    7) Honda…wah wah.

  • avatar
    Speed3

    Oh just a few other observations, why isn’t Maserati grouped with Chrysler. Isn’t it part of Fiat. And speaking of Italian exotics, is it safe to assume that Ferrari and Lamborghini are lumped in the “other” category?

  • avatar
    86SN2001

    WOW did Ford fleet dump last month…

    • 0 avatar
      DanielCTA

      What am I missing on Ford. Overall their numbers were not that great, but per their release total sales were up 5% and retail up 9%, which does not suggest fleet dumping.

      • 0 avatar
        86SN2001

        That may be what Ford said……….

        But selling almost 30K Focuses and Fusion in a single month…when the cars are not that good raises an eyebrow.

      • 0 avatar
        mike978

        86 – are you suggesting Ford is lying? You might not like the Focus and Fusion but both have been good sellers for Ford. If their sales went up 5% and retail by 9% then fleet must have gone down. And if they increased fleet in Fusion and Focus then they musty have cut massively on something else – any suggestions?

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