By on February 1, 2017

Mercedes-Benz C450 AMG Sedan - Image: Mercedes-BenzAuto sales slid 2 percent in January 2017, starting off the new year on the wrong foot after a record December ended 2016 by stealing this year’s sales.

Sharp declines at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and Toyota Motor Corporation brought down an industry that saw numerous notable gains. While FCA and Toyota tumbled by more than 11 percent, year-over-year, Honda, Nissan, and Subaru were among the biggest brands to report improvements compared with January 2016.

The Honda Civic topped all passenger cars in total January volume, despite falling 13 percent. With a 53-percent surge, the Honda CR-V held off the Nissan Rogue to begin 2017 as America’s top-selling utility vehicle. Pickup truck sales jumped by more than 4 percent, thanks mainly to a 13-percent uptick in Ford F-Series sales.

As Acura and Lexus saw their monthly sales volume fall to the lowest point in five years, Mercedes-Benz was America’s top-selling premium brand thanks to a 4-percent rise to 25,527 sales, boosted by a 27-percent C-Class increase.

The overall industry, however, lost roughly 22,000 sales as car sales continued to dive and minivan volume plunged for a sixth consecutive month.

January is nevertheless a poor predictor of future sales. Typically the lowest-volume month of the year, January accounts for 8.5 percent of the calendar but only 6.5 percent of the year’s sales.

Auto Brand January 2017 January 2016 % Change
 9,202 10,250 -10.2%
Alfa Romeo
108 68 58.8%
13,201 11,850 11.4%
18,109 18,082 0.1%
13,117 18,269 -28.2%
 10,298 10,740 -4.1%
135,170 137,803 -1.9%
 13,377 21,772 -38.6%
 40,109 48,302  -17.0%
 2,164 2,379 -9.0%
Ford  162,401  165,301 -1.8%
37,324 36,933 1.1%
97,178 90,247 7.7%
 44,689 45,011 -0.7%
11,558 8,514 35.8%
2,939 1,352 117%
58,415 62,767 -6.9%
 35,626 38,305 -7.0%
Land Rover
 6,163 5,655 9.0%
15,572 20,933 -25.6%
8,785 7,177 22.4%
889 525 69.3%
21,698 19,704 10.1%
Mercedes-Benz °
25,527  24,664  3.5% 
Mercedes-Benz Vans °
 2,049 1,899  7.9% 
Total Mercedes-Benz °
 27,576 26,563 3.8%
3,110 3,238 -4.0%
6,457 6,264 3.1%
100,761 97,220 3.6%
4,602 4,354 5.7%
 38,045 36,064 5.5%
 324 399 -18.8%
43,879 41,101 6.8%
127,476 140,350 -9.2%
23,510 20,079 17.1%
 3,472 4,244 -18.2%
21,219 21,320 -0.5%
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles
 152,218  171,352 -11.2%
Daimler AG
27,900 26,962 3.5%
Ford Motor Co.
171,186 172,478 -0.7%
General Motors
195,909 203,745 -3.8%
Honda Motor Co.
106,380 100,497 5.9%
82,133 83,316 -1.4%
Jaguar-Land Rover
9,102 7,007 29.9%
Nissan Motor Co.
112,319 105,734 6.2%
Toyota Motor Corp.
143,048 161,283 -11.3%
Volkswagen Group *
 41,074 36,037 14.0%
Industry Total

Source: Manufacturers

[Image Source: Mercedes-Benz]

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

° Mercedes-Benz USA releases sales figures for the Mercedes-Benz brand in the conventional sense, vans excluded, as well as totals for the Metris and Sprinter vans. The complete picture is included here.

° Scion’s sales figures are now folded in to Toyota’s.

** Industry total takes into account Automotive News figures/estimates for brands such as Tesla (2,800 January units) and other low-volume, high-priced manufacturers.

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

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44 Comments on “U.S. Auto Sales Brand-By-Brand Results: January 2017...”

  • avatar
    Adam Tonge

    Alfa moved over 100 cars last month! Progress!

    BOLD PREDICTION: Alfa will not meet its US sales goal this year.

  • avatar
    S2k Chris

    You suck, Acura.

    Also, Mercedes, you suck too by virtue of basically every one of your offerings under $60k being equipped with a 4cyl. Luxury my a**.

  • avatar

    Hey, that’s my car in the picture, although mine has different rims and is cardinal red. Kind of a bummer that the C450 AMG name existed for only one model year …

  • avatar

    Big drop in Lexus sales. Main culprit: predator grill. Secondary: reliability of most competitors has improved to the point where the Lexus advantage is not really a deal maker/breaker.

    • 0 avatar
      S2k Chris

      Maybe. I think it’s more likely that some of their core products are pretty old at this point (ES and GS, plus IS is getting up there in age) and their SUV lineup is somewhat silly. As much as I like and desperately want a GX, I don’t get why they aren’t offering an MDX or QX60 competitor (3-row crossover) instead of a giant BOF dinosaur to all those soccer moms. Plus I think their main powertrain, the 3.5L 300hp V6, is pretty dated.

      • 0 avatar

        You could just get an upper trim Highlander and call it a day. Is the Lexus badge that important?

        • 0 avatar

          I suspect for most Lexus buyers, that badge is VERY VERY important. I saw the Starbux guy made half a billion in the last decade selling overpriced coffee. Branding is everything.

        • 0 avatar
          S2k Chris

          Well, that’s neither here nor there, the point is if you want to fix Lexus sales you have to give Lexus customers what they want. Telling them to buy a Toyota will A) not increase Lexus sales and B) more likely increase competitor sales, not Toyota sales. Also, having been in plenty of Lexuses (Lexii?) and Highlanders, yes, the difference in cabin quality is world’s apart, plus there are tangible benefits of a Lexus over a Toyota like the dealership experience, the longer warranty, the loaner cars for servicing, etc.

          • 0 avatar

            Chris, I was just asking your opinion and reasons because you are a regular commentor and I want to hear what you think.

            I don’t work for Lexus and don’t have any aspirations to improve their sales.

        • 0 avatar

          No that won’t work because they would glue on that stupid fugly grill

          • 0 avatar

            xtoyota, I agree with you, if Lexus made a 7 seater CUV, they would slap the predator grill on it for one. And I would be extremely surprised if they made handling a priority, instead of a soft riding boat.

            But still, I think that would be better than the current BOF GX. Leaving the LX for real top of the line off road capable should be enough these days.

    • 0 avatar
      87 Morgan

      Von, my own experience recently (as in 1/31/17) is the Lexus product is just not that great for the dough they are asking.
      I was cross shopping a GS350 AWD to a Buick Lacrosse AWD. Both were 2014 models, as I am a buy it used kind of guy. GS was 31.5 at a no haggle BMW shop, Buick was 22.5 at ironically a Lexus dealer. Both had relatively same miles; L 39k B 33k.

      Buick was faster, quieter, more comfortable, it is the Premium option package so it has all the options vs the Lexus did not even have heated seats. It was no contest. I got the Buick at a ‘let’s close the month’ deal of 20k + tax and dealer handling and saved 11k to boot. I believe that Lexus as has been coasting on their name and reputation that in a lot of respects is well deserved. But their are a lot of really great cars available these days.

      • 0 avatar

        Morgan, you are right that the value proposition of Lexus has really been creeping up into near German territory.

        I’ve had the 2012 LaCross (FWD) as a company car in Asia and like it well enough. Compared to the GS, it’s a better highway cruiser. However, I do like the driving dynamics of the current gen GS much better.

    • 0 avatar

      What did lease offers look like in January vs. December? Subsidized lease offers typically drive the market for luxury cars. Also I suspect Lexus pulls a lot of sales forward into December every year with their December to Remember event.

  • avatar

    Will be interesting watching Genesis.

  • avatar

    Yay, Mazda!

    I really wish they’d have kept the 5 around and redesigned it and given it a more efficient powertrain. Alas, ’twas not to be. The inevtiable rise in gas prices will be interesting to see as far as the CUV/SUV boom.

    • 0 avatar

      Interesting the Tim omitted them in the following statement :

      “Honda, Nissan, and Subaru were among the biggest brands to report improvements compared with January 2016.”

      Mazda’s increase was bigger than ALL 3. But hey why get in the way of his narrative last year of Mazda’s decline. And before you say Mazda is small, so is Subaru compared to Nissan and Honda.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

  • avatar

    So the VW stain did not hit Audi, and even VW sales were up must be they are keeping a decent number of TDI turn in buyers? And well they do not get much love here Infinity had a very good month.

  • avatar

    Fascinating to see Toyota struggling because of a lack of gas guzzling iron to offer. It is…weird.

    If I was buying a new minivan today my only choice would be a Sienna. I wouldn’t even cross shop. (surprise).

    If I was buying a midsize pickup I would check out the Taco – actually unless I had to buy I would just wait to see what Ford’s offering is and shop all the options.

    I would argue that the very slow decontenting and almost imperceptible quality drop over the last 20 years is starting to hurt.

    The Camry is still a quality automobile, but from a fit/finish/material quality nothing they’ve built outside of Lexus has topped the ’96 Camry and ’97 Corolla. Both started going very slowly downhill after.

    Toyota’s product mix definitely leans on fat Camry, Corolla, and Prius sales, and all those segments are hurting. It isn’t the Camry, Corolla or Prius (well the current Prius is hideous), it is all those segments are hurting.

    • 0 avatar

      Our 2016 Sequoia and 2016 Tundra 4×4 are gas guzzlers in the old sense of the word, compared to most modern cars of today.

      Toyota is struggling for other reasons, more so. One of those reasons is antiquity of design. But Toyota has always been very slow to refresh and modernize. Just look at the Tacoma, or the Highlander, or even the best-selling Camry.

      Toyota’s philosophy is, “why mess with a good thing?” Or, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

      And Toyota’s stuff is still great stuff. Better than most in their espective classes.

    • 0 avatar

      Agree with your sentiments about the “death by a thousand cuts” content and quality drop.

      I also think that styling is really starting to hurt them.

      Many of their models are overstyled and just…so unrefined when it comes to styling. It’s to the point where the designs look downright silly compared to competition from the Americans and the Koreans (and Mazda). It’s to the point where people are embarrassed to be seen in them (new Prius).

      Americans don’t mind boring styling. They do mind ugly styling. Toyota was at its peak in the ’90s with boring styling and high quality. Quality has dipped, styling has plummeted, and competition has improved, so what’s the point.

      The “only Toyota for me” was very much a boomer / Gen X thing. Millennials still seem to love Honda but Toyota doesn’t have the same mojo as before.

    • 0 avatar

      Yeah, its amazing that they don’t offer any gas guzzling trucks or even a BOF SUV.

      Wait. They do. They just kinda suck (and I’m not talking about gas, although they do drink a lot).

      Ford, GM and Ram offer much more economical versions of their full size trucks than does Toyota. Doesn’t seem to be hurting their sales.

  • avatar

    Wow, only 946 C-Max sales in January. Will be interesting to see how the Niro does when it becomes widely available.

    I’m surprised about VW’s slight resurgence. They might actually do okay again once the Atlas and new Tiguan are available.

  • avatar

    Does 2800 units for Tesla mean orders or deliveries? Thanks!

  • avatar

    “…boosted by a 27-percent C-Class increase.”

    Mercedes was putting a lot of cash on the hood of the C-class. I got emails from them first offering $8k off MSRP on remaining 2016s, followed shortly thereafter by an ad for $7k off 2017s. When you’re starting negotiating that far under MSRP, it’s a pity other factors made me put car buying plans on hold.

  • avatar

    By the end of this year JLR could surpass Cadillac and Infinity and will be catching Audi and Lexus. So if JLR can turn it around who dare bet against Alfa?

    • 0 avatar

      No, No, No,
      JLR isn’t passing Cadillac or Infiniti, and its nowhere near Audi or Lexus. They have a nice bump from the F-Pace, but doesn’t mean they will be selling 3-5X as many vehicles suddenly.

  • avatar

    Then again Volvo is down….

  • avatar

    Infiniti sales up to 11558 is a surprise. Guess money on the hood is helping sales. But the new G60 3.0T is damn nice and is actually not so trendy, like previous designs. I’d like to see those sales numbers broken down to what actually is selling at Infiniti.

  • avatar

    Mitsubishi sold more vehicles than Volvo,fiat,and mini…hmmm.. maybe those 3 brand should just pull out of the U.S. market..

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