By on April 1, 2014

2013WranglerJKUR

March saw a 6 percent bump in auto sales, with a 16.4 million unit SAAR calming fears about a stagnant market. Light truck sales were up 11 percent, with passenger cars up by just one percent.

Among the top auto makers were Chrysler, with a 13 percent gain (mostly due to trucks, as the car-heavy Chrysler brand fell 23 percent), with Daimler up 11 percent and Volvo up 10 percent. Subaru and Mitsubishi also posted strong gains of 21 percent and 70 percent respectively. Honda was the lone auto maker to take a hit, down 2 percent, despite the Acura brand being up 11 percent.

Among brands, luxury labels like Lincoln, Lexus, BMW and Mercedes-Benz all posted double digit gains. Buick was up 13 percent, while Jeep was up a whopping 47 percent. Mini posted a 40 percent decline (due to a new model changeover), while Scion was down 8 percent, with sales of the FR-S declining by 26 percent.

For a full table, see Automotive News.

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

56 Comments on “March 2014 Sales Surge, With SAAR Pegged at 16.4 Million Units...”


  • avatar

    > Subaru and Mitsubishi also posted strong gains of 21 percent and 70 percent respectively.

    WTF, did they sell like 50 more Mitsu’s than last month.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      I wonder if Mitsubishi will do a customer’s taxes. They could use the federal return as a downpayment on a subprime loan (with fees on the rapid refund). The same people going to ‘Mo Money Taxes buy Lancers and Galants. Do they still make either?

    • 0 avatar
      IndianaDriver

      Actually Mitsubishi sold a few thousand more cars last month here in the U.S.. Worldwide their sales are up 12.5% for the fiscal year. You can see the re-cap at Automotive News. The one that baffles me is Honda’s March sales drop.

    • 0 avatar
      billfrombuckhead

      It’s no longer a question of whether Chrysler can pass Toyota in North America but a question of when. Which has more upside, the new Camry or the hot selling Ram? Ram outsold Camry and Accord last month, watch this trend escalate.

      Jeep dealers are out of less expensive Grand Cherokees and more expensive Cherokees so there is a lot of upside there as well. Renegade will put Mopar over the top while 200 will hold it’s own.

      • 0 avatar
        SoCalMikester

        youve got to be kidding. toyota still has the corolla, a top selling small car. prius, the best selling hybrid ever. tacoma, the gold standard in small trucks. sienna, probably the nicest looking japanese minivan on the market. rav4, still a popular CUV. all are well known dependable nameplates.

        chrysler has ram and jeep. big trucks and niche 4x4s

        • 0 avatar
          Reicher

          Lol the Tacoma is a funny comment since their is pretty much no vehicles in that class so it’s irrelevant.

        • 0 avatar
          billfrombuckhead

          Jeep sold 59k units last month with severe product shortages and few incentives, there’s another 10 to 20 thousand units possible without adding the coming B class Renegade or the a three row Grand Wagoneer.

          The coming stampede of showroom traffic for the half ton diesel Ram will allow hundreds of thousands of customers to experience the superiority of the Hemi Rams, Pentatstar Rams, Cummins HD Rams and even the new Promaster Ducato vans with the result being even more Ram marketshare.

          Chrysler still retails the most minivans in North America.

          Better cars for Chrysler are on the way. Even Consumer Reports like the new 200. The coming renaissance at Maserati and Alfa will give Chrysler and Dodge great parts bin to build some great new cars. Gilles acknowledged the coming Hurricane 4 cylinder to compete with Ford’s eco-boost and improve the Dart. Suppliers are confirming investments in the new Alfa Guilia/ Dodge d-class.

          Marchionne is coming out with a new master plan in the next few weeks and I bet it’s going to be exciting.

          Mopar über Alles.

  • avatar
    J.Emerson

    Maserati posts a 342% gain over this time last year, an now is within spitting distance of 1000 units a month. I guess that Super Bowl ad was worth it. I will be watching this brand closely from now on. It could make things at the top end of the market very, very interesting.

    If you were thinking about buying a sedan, I’d suggest sooner rather than later.

    • 0 avatar
      billfrombuckhead

      It would be cool if Maserati provides the crucial sales boost to put FCA over Toyota in North America.

      Mopar über alles!

      • 0 avatar
        bobman

        I don’t think it would take much for FCA to overtake Toyota. In fact, if current trends continue, Chrysler should step into third within the third quarter. That would be “three in three”. There you go, that could be the battle cry. :-)

  • avatar
    TrailerTrash

    I am a little concerned here for all the dedicated Lincoln haters.
    Seems like LMCo did rather well.
    Considering it is just a couple thousand behind Infinity…and we never see anybody putting them on the death watch list.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      Once the MkC comes out, Lincoln will add another few thousand sales per month. It may cut Escape sales, but Ford will take that tradeoff.

    • 0 avatar
      SaulTigh

      I know, whatever will they do? I noticed that Cadillac (they have rear drive religion don’t you know!) sales were down. I also think of the Lincoln haters every time a new vehicle comes out that is based on the platform of a lesser vehicle. I was sitting on the john this morning launching a corn schooner and reading about the new Porsche Macan and how they don’t even bother to change or take off the Audi rings stamped on all the underneath mechanicals (it’s a Q5 underneath). I thought to myself how none of the Lincoln haters are going to denounce this Porsche because of it.

      In the real world, people who don’t read car mags by the dozen don’t have any idea that the MKZ and Fusion share a platform. The last generation, you have a point. I own a 2008 MKZ (so I’m a little biased) and I’ll be the first to admit that in the slab sides and center stack you can easily see the Fusion DNA (fortunately for me as an owner, it’s good DNA). Ford and Lincoln did an excellent job differentiating the new ones, and every time I see a new MKZ I think “what a gorgeous car.” Is it an Aston or a Maserati or even a hot Benz? No, but it’s still a good looking car.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Not a Lincoln hater (but an admitted Lincoln criticizer) and I’ll be happy to denounce Porsche and VAG. Real Porsches do not come with four doors, period. Everything else is poser.

        “I noticed that Cadillac (they have rear drive religion don’t you know!) sales were down.”

        Geez I haven’t seen a real Cadillac (without a blow up engine) in twenty years. Maybe they should come out with one?

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          What’s the last real Caddy?

          • 0 avatar
            PrincipalDan

            @bball40dtw, Whichever one it was you can be DAMN sure that it had an actual name and not an alphanumeric designation.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Toss up between Fleetwood Brougham and Deville 4.9. I see them as opposite drive lines of the same basic idea. Some might argue Northstar’d Deville, which I me’h.

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            I have an important announcement that pertains only to me, which will probably be of little interest to anyone else, but I do also have a follow up, related question:

            I have decided that because the roads in Michigan are so horrific in terms of potholes, frost heaves, sharp, jagged ruts, and other harsh impact zones all over the friggin’ place that, against my better financial judgment, I am –

            a) going to sell my current ride & get into the quietest, softest riding, least harsh cushmobile I can find. I am not an old man, in my late 30s, but feel like a bag of ragged bones after my commute as of late, given the aforementioned ABYSMAL roads. I want a PLUSH, QUIET, EEEEAAASY RIDING SLED.

            b) going to buy my next vehicle much sooner than I had anticipated even a month ago. There’s no escaping the lunar landscape roads no matter what route I take to and fro. I must be getting old fast, because the road disintegration is really stressing me out lately.

            Here’s my question; what vehicle, whether new or used, priced from 15k to 35k, should I buy that will best coddle me with a smooth, plush, quiet ride, all things being relative (I am leaning towards a 2014 Durango in modest trim believe it or not, despite not needing such a large vehicle, because it is soft riding with the 18″ wheels, and also quiet, and not too bad fuel economy wise with the the Pentastar V6 and 8 speed – I managed 27mpg @ 75mph on a 130 mile freeway trip with one a while back)?

            Any & all suggestions are invited.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Shocks on your current car might be a good place to start as opposed to blowing 30K. I put Gabriel shocks/struts on my W-body’s sadly worn out factory setup (at 78K) and it feels like a luxury car now (in terms of handling road disintegration).

            My next thought is if you do go for a new/used product as you describe, wait till summer, buy last year’s model during the closeout, and put normal aftermarket wheels and tires on it with the money you save. Not this one inch thick tire nonsense on 20in rims, normal 16 in wheels and thick tires.

            Models:

            Feel like spending money: Lex GS used
            Feel like being cheap: W-body Impala used
            Feel like a new car: Whatever’s on clearance
            Feel like makin’ love: Suburban or Yukon XL.

          • 0 avatar
            PrincipalDan

            @DeadWeight, on the “cheap” side the 3.6VVT W-body Impala LTZ rides like the last of B-bodys. Sure the back seat is small but if you don’t carry anybody, you don’t care. Higher priced used side could always go with a CPO MKS or (since I know you don’t have much Ford love) a CPO Chrysler 300.

            Now I’m a sedan guy. If you want SUV/CUV then Durango will work, Grand Cherokee has been well regarded and would be smaller.

            Dare to be Different choice would be Flex.

          • 0 avatar
            ajla

            Base 300 or Lacrosse.

            You could order a lower option air-suspension equipped Ram 1500 too. I personally think the Rams ride better than the Durango.

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            I arrived home at 9:15 pm tonight, and my 35 minute drive felt like torture.

            I never thought I’d consider a SUV or truck (the Durango does share a lot of the RAM drivetrain,so that’s a plus given the “beefiness”), but the extra ground clearance which allows for more tire/wheel rebound & compression is a plus given the size of these potholes.

            I would genuinely consider a Citroen if they sold them here at this point.

            I am leaning towards the Durango or 300 base (good suggestion).

            The W Body is a good choice given the long wheel base and smooth ride, but I have to be honest and just state upfront that the dash and interior materials would bum me out on a daily basis (this is subjective in terms of how much a priority it is).

            28 – I honestly don’t think softer shocks are available given my car’s handling -‘if anything, replacement upgrades, like Bilsteins, would be even more stiff.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            That’s a shame. I also like the 300 base suggestion but failing that Durango or JGC. JGC will probably have better resale and a nicer interior vs Durango, and probably more aftermarket options.

          • 0 avatar
            Dan

            The 300 is wonderfully smooth and quiet but it wouldn’t be my first choice to drive around a moonscape.

            A relaxing ride, at least to me, is as much psychological as physical and with car clearance and soft car tires you have to be aware of every dip and sharp edge. A truck with a live axle and 50 lb LT tires will never settle down the way a car will. But you can just point it and go with the confidence that no heave or pothole is going to do it any harm. Driving on disinterested autopilot makes the bumps and bounces that do make it through a lot less jarring.

            The Durango is halfway there but I’d be happiest in a Ram. No flies on a Ford or Toyota, either.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @DeadWeight
            Buy a new Ram and be one of the people reducing Silverado numbers.

            You get all of the features you want, a soft car suspension (as opposed to a suspension that can carry a load).

            An economical Pentastar (if you consider 24mpg highway good).

            Full separate ladder frame chassis to handle the harsh Detroit roads.

          • 0 avatar
            Zackman

            Deadweight, if you have a day job, then getting home at 9:15 (p.m. I assume), you have a bigger problem than finding a cushy ride!

            That said, no matter what you buy will solve the problem. Otherwise, buy a 1976 Caddy De Ville…

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            DW-

            You can’t go wrong with a Durango/JGC or a Ford D-platform CUV. Based on what I know about you from TTAC, I’d recommend the Mopar twins. My reservations about the Ford CUVs (Flex/Explorer) are almost exclusively related to MFT. My wife and I both like it and have had no issues for almost two years. However, it seems like a hot button for many.

          • 0 avatar
            Onus

            @DAN lt tires do take a beating.

            I have driven through pot holes on the highway @ 65mph in Western Mass on 91 ( hey mass can you please maintain your non toll roads, and highways not around boston?, Thanks )

            No bent rims, no damaged tire. It’s not very fun to drive over the pot holes but, nothing seems to get broken. This is with 235/85r16 huge sidewalls on these tires, load range e, lots of belting. Beasts. I still find it funny when friends kill a tire on a curb. I am still not aware that you can even kill a tire at all, let alone on a silly curb.

            I haven’t ridden in the ram. But, the recent f150 still rides like a truck on horrible roads around here. A car is the way to go for smooth rides.

          • 0 avatar
            TrailerTrash

            DeadWeight
            having just returned from the jamestown, ny york area for a sudden funeral, i can relate to your drive and pain. the holes were large enough to lose vw bugs!
            very painful for somebody from florida.
            why does anybody live near buffalo!!!???
            can your car be used? hopefully used is ok as the depreciation can be lessened.
            perhaps the last version of the fivehundred? if newer, the 20111,12 mks w/ecoboost (my fav engine) can be had at extremely low proces…and awd.

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            Peeps, I the roads are so baaaad this year that they’re far worse than anything I’ve witnessed in 37 years (or the 20 odd years I’ve been paying attention).

            They’re bad to an extent that I’m torn between buying a used hooptie where actual damage to my car will be less of an “emotional” and maybe financial concern or buying a new vehicle with the stoutest suspension.

            And there’s no way to be an “artful dodger” of these severe road defects this year; no matter how nimble & attentive one is, there are way too many bomb craters laying in wait to eat suspension parts, tires & wheels.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            The roads are bad. There isn’t even a way I can properly describe how bad they are. The intersection of 10 Mile and Southfield Rd is borderline impassable. Big Beaver/Metro Parkway might as well be Moab. And every single freeway in the Detroit area is littered with potholes of doom. I am in Ohio, Illinois, and Wisconsin once in awhile for work. Michigan’s roads are by far the worst. The only piece of road that holds up is the experimental section of NB I-75 between the Ford and Chrysler freeways that was poured at Autobahn depths.

      • 0 avatar
        Luke42

        The issue is that Lincoln just looks like a way to sell Fords with a higher margin.

        That’s all well and good, just so long as it’s other people. The problem occurs when someone tells me I should pay extra for a Ford because I’m in the six figure demographic. No thank you; I like having money in in the bank more than I like Lincoln branding.

        But if other people want to pay inflated margins for Ford vehicles, well, the economics classes I’ve taken suggest that leaving money on the table is economically inefficient. I hope the people who did so are happy with their decision!

        P.S. As for the Porsche/Audi sharing, sharing between two luxury brands doesn’t present one with the same choice that sharing between Ford (a commodity brand) and Lincoln (trying not to be a commodity brand) does. Nplatform sharing between, say, Lincoln and Cadillac would raise an eyebrow, but wouldn’t present you with the question of whether its prudent to buy a largely similar car in basic trim for half the price.

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          The same can be said for many luxury brands. The problem Lincoln has is that Ford has gone more upscale. There are a few Lincoln products that are different enough from the equivilent Ford product. The MKC will be the best at it when it comes out. The sheet metal is better, the interior is btter, the engine is better, and all the user interfaces are better. Its a product that can go toe to toe with any of the compact luxury CUVs. They also priced it right. It starts at $5K less than the competition.

        • 0 avatar
          TrailerTrash

          no, really luke42…you gotta trust me. the MKS and the Tuarus are different. Ya…not inthe way most talk about. But as far as materials used in the seating and other upgrades..there is a big, bg difference.
          I know. I test drove both many times. There was no way the Taurus seating was even close to the MKK. not in material or softness.
          I read about the details on suspension and the ecoboosted MKS has a ton more than the average Taurus.
          So the are not as copied as everybody says.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    Scion – dead brand walking

    • 0 avatar
      3Deuce27

      Fixed pricing leaves no flexibility to deal with overstock. My local little Scion dealer has 6 FRS’s, while the Subaru dealers are sold out on BRZ’s.

      A couple of weeks ago, the only available BRZ in Portland had a $1,7++ discount on the hood. I offered to buy a 2013 FRS from my local Scion dealer asking for a $1,500 discount. No way. They still have the car and three other 2013’s and now a couple of 14’s. Something has to give.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Fixed pricing, hmmmm sounds familiar from another failed brand.

      • 0 avatar
        J.Emerson

        I wonder if anyone at Toyota saw that coming: FR-S sales being undercut by Subaru dealers offering discounts on the BR-Z. In hindsight it seems fairly obvious. Perhaps they guessed demand would be so high that it wouldn’t matter.

      • 0 avatar
        APaGttH

        The bigger issue is the xB and xD are ancient and utterly uncompetitive. The iQ was doomed given it’s price point well above a larger Yaris, and around a stripper Corolla (2013 model). The Yaris and Corolla priced in the same showroom with cash on hood (again 2013).

        The FR-S never lived up to the hype, has a terrible interior and is a black dot special in CR.

        All they have is the tC, which is basically in a class of its own.

  • avatar
    Zackman

    Jeeps are selling like hotcakes, huh? Is Consumer Reports wrong about Jeep, then, since it’s always at the bottom of their lists.

    I guess the marketplace rules, no matter what CR says.

    Scoreboard counts.

    • 0 avatar
      Quentin

      I wouldn’t say that CR is wrong about Jeeps. By all quantifiable measurements, they are absolutely correct. A lot of the time, though, CR’s opinion doesn’t line up with the buying public because car buying isn’t a purely quantifiable act. The wrangler is a great example of this. It is dreadful on the road. It guzzles gas. It has terrible space efficiency. Those are all things that can be quantified. CR bases their judgments largely on things that can be quantified. What CR can’t quantify is emotional appeal. The Wrangler has that in spades and that glosses over a lot of the day to day annoyances of the Wrangler. It isn’t that CR or the buying public is wrong. They are just looking at things from different perspectives.

      The problem can come if the people buying the Cherokee were expecting some of that Jeep “glow” and the vehicle doesn’t deliver the charm of a Jeep after they’ve driven it a while and it turns out to be a not-so-great CUV. If the small cargo area infuriates them regularly, which is a legitimate complaint of the Cherokee, the Jeep glow will fade. I tend to feel that the less specialized a vehicle’s purpose, the less people are willing to deal with minor annoyances. That “jack of all trades” segment is the fat part of the market where a lot of vehicles do a great job. That is where the Cherokee has to at least keep pace with the rest of the market to be a long term success.

      • 0 avatar
        luvmyv8

        You know what? Your absolutely right about the Wrangler. Cargo space is a joke. It does guzzle fuel and they fit a thimble for a gas tank. The brakes aren’t the best. The ride can be punishing…. but you know what?

        I don’t give a damn. I love my ’12 Wrangler Sport. The Pentastar is a fantastic motor. Despite being nearly 2 tons and having the aerodynamics of the Empire State Building, my ‘JK’ flat out scoots. It’s easy to park and it’s nimble. It fits anywhere. Visibility is good. It’s honest about what it is. It’s fun to drive. The ‘Freedom Top’ is a nifty thing. Honestly I still get giddy before I take a spin. Plus it looks good and yes it can take me anywhere I want to go.

        My only legitimate complaints are that you have to get a loaded up Sahara, Rubicon or limited edition such as the Arctic to get navigation, it should have been an option on the Sport and that my radio doesn’t have Bluetooth, an annoyance, but easily amendable in both cases by either Mopar or aftermarket.

        Consumer Reports be damned. Drive what you like or makes you happy. The Jeep excels in the latter.

  • avatar
    jimmyy

    The story with these numbers is owning a car is just not cool anymore. Toyota and Honda understands this. Detroit does not.

    Example. Fusion. Luxury car looks. But, even with massive incentives, far more than Camry and Accord, Fusion only takes 4th place in sales.

    Ford was trying to buy themselves a first place show in the segment so they could paint the airwaves with the result. In fact, when Ford released their sales results to wall street, they were bragging about record Fusion sales. I think they thought they had bought themselves 1st place in the segment. I can only imagine the long faces in Dearborn when they nabbed 4th.

    In the Boston papers, you can get a new Fusion base model for 18K … far undercutting base Camry and Accord. Still, no win for Ford.

    Bottom line, cars are a commodity and nothing more. People flock to the Camry and Accord over the Fusion because the rear seat is much more useable, and because they are more reliable. Those two factors are much more important than Fusion looks. Detroit is still living in the 50s … a time when the shape of the sheet metal was status and more important than any other factor. No more.

    • 0 avatar
      jmo

      I can only imagine the long faces in Dearborn when they nabbed 4th.

      So, they should go back to the old Detroit ways of losing money on each one but making it up in volume?

    • 0 avatar

      Hey, I’m told you claim to make 6 figs regurgitating Fox News to even richer people. Is this like a yes-man role or some similar act other readers here can get in on? Thx.

      https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/04/gm-recalls-1-3-million-additional-vehicles-as-barra-heads-to-d-c/#comment-3036585

      • 0 avatar
        Loser

        @ u mad scientist, I misquoted;

        “Idiot? I don’t think so. For many years, I have been pulling down a 7 figure income because people what to hear what I have to say … and they frequently follow my advice. A few of these people have 8 figure incomes.

        What was your income last year? Has anyone with an 8 figure income asked you for advice? I did not think so.’

        https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/11/ford-to-idle-fusion-assembly-at-flat-rock-plant-for-one-week-in-december-to-control-inventory-camry-incentives-blamed/

        • 0 avatar

          > Idiot? I don’t think so. For many years, I have been pulling down a 7 figure income because people what to hear what I have to say … and they frequently follow my advice. A few of these people have 8 figure incomes.

          Does this imply your advice is an order of magnitude less idiotic than jimmyy’s?

          > What was your income last year? Has anyone with an 8 figure income asked you for advice? I did not think so.

          It’s not unexpected that the kind of advice those with 8 figure incomes ask for is more similar to this hollow praise than what I dispense.

          I didn’t use the word idiotic but in retrospect it does describe conflating money with judgement. In general there’s more money than worthy judgement in this world.

          • 0 avatar
            Loser

            “Does this imply your advice is an order of magnitude less idiotic than jimmyy’s?”

            Check the link, wasn’t me calling him an idiot.

          • 0 avatar

            > Check the link, wasn’t me calling him an idiot.

            It was never implied you did, but let’s explain in full. The argument seemed to be that since his supposed job is simply what you do in the small, implied lack of idiocy on your part extends to him in diminished capacity.

            The first sentence flips this to mock that assumption.

  • avatar
    bball40dtw

    After all these new, high profile Cadillac launches, the SRX moves over one third of Cadillac’s volume. Maybe Cadillac should add another CUV.

    • 0 avatar
      geeber

      Supposedly Cadillac will get a version of the next-generation Lambda CUV, but I’ve seen nothing beyond rumor or speculation.

      • 0 avatar
        bball40dtw

        Not like Lincoln is hitting it out of the park with the MKT. However, Lincoln will have an all new CUV lineup within 3 years. It should actually be one of their strengths.

  • avatar
    Pinzgauer

    Happy to say I generated a +1 on the Jeep line, picked up a Wrangler Unlimited on the last day of the month. Loving it so far.

  • avatar
    mike978

    I haven`t seen any explanation for Honda’s drop in a growing market. Any ideas?

    • 0 avatar

      Interesting question. The market is very competitive now, it could be that their models are in the mid cycle while a lot of others are new or newer. Plus, better design from others could be working and getting people to look and some to defect from Honda?

Read all comments

Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Recent Comments

  • 28-Cars-Later: “Maybe it’s because your political opinions are 90% maga BS” Dude, we don’t know you...
  • Scoutdude: If it is just a remote, for many you don’t need anything other than the remote. For example on my...
  • slavuta: “Check the number of police per capita. Or the overall police budgets. Police forces/services in the...
  • Jeff S: Leno has some really nice classic Imperials. Beautiful cars and at one time hand built.
  • Lou_BC: @slavuta – gotta be the orange toddie and play up those stereotype’s. California would be high...

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Who We Are

  • Adam Tonge
  • Bozi Tatarevic
  • Corey Lewis
  • Mark Baruth
  • Ronnie Schreiber