By on March 1, 2017

2017 Honda CR-V Touring – Image: Honda

Auto sales declined by a modest 1 percent in the United States in February 2017, dragged down by plunging sales at numerous Fiat Chrysler Automobiles brands and sharp declines at Toyota Motor Corp. and Hyundai-Kia. Ford Motor Company sales slid 4 percent because of a 26-percent decline in car sales at the Ford division.

Across much of the industry, there were signs of rude health, particularly if the car sector is ignored. Of the 20 most popular cars in America — a group topped by the Toyota Camry — 16 nameplates generated fewer sales this February than last. Yet America’s five leading utility vehicles (Rogue, CR-V, RAV4, Escape, Equinox) combined for more than 25,000 additional February sales in 2017. And while minivan sales plunged by a fifth, U.S. pickup truck sales were up 10 percent because of full-size truck strength.

These stark contradictions produced a market that produced slightly degraded numbers in one of the two traditionally weakest months on the calendar. Now one-sixth of the way into 2017, the poor selling season should be behind us. 

Mercedes-Benz led all premium auto brands in February 2017. Lexus, typically a top contender for luxury leadership, posted a harsh decline for a second consecutive month following a December surge.

Mitsubishi was the fastest-growing mainstream brand, rising 39 percent year-over-year. Infiniti, Audi, GMC, and Volkswagen all reported double-digit percentage increases, along with niche brands like Maserati, Jaguar, Bentley, and Alfa Romeo, which sold 412 Giulias.

On the flip side, Chrysler, Mini, and Lexus all reported declines of more than 20 percent.

America’s largest-volume automaker, meanwhile, rose 4 percent. GM sales improved thanks to meaningful gains at Chevrolet and GMC, despite drops at Buick and Cadillac.

Auto Brand Febuary 2017 February 2016 % Change 2017 YTD 2016 YTD % Change
10,864 12,773 -14.9% 20,066 23,023 -12.8%
Alfa Romeo
443 47  843% 551 115 379%
13,741 11,718 17.3% 26,942 23,568 14.3%
22,558 22,498 0.3% 40,667 40,580 0.2%
16,131 17,811 -9.4% 29,248 36,080 -18.9%
10,823 11,840 -8.6% 21,121 22,580 -6.5%
164,095 158,644 3.4% 299,265 296,447 1.0%
16,730 23,279  -28.1% 30,107 45,051 -33.2%
 43,878 46,985 -6.6% 83,987 95,287  -11.9%
 2,145 2,651  -19.1% 4,309 5,030 -14.3%
Ford 198,720 208,006 -4.5% 361,121 373,307 -3.3%
1,582 3,400
46,339 39,530 17.2% 83,663 76,463 9.4%
 110,822 106,212 4.3% 208,000 196,459 5.9%
51,438  53,009  -3.0% 96,127 98,020 -1.9%
13,737 10,371 32.5% 25,295 18,885 33.9%
 3,484 1,512 130% 6,423 2,864 124%
62,345 73,063  -14.7% 120,760 135,830 -11.1%
 42,673 49,737 -14.2% 78,299 88,042 -11.1%
Land Rover
5,747 6,417  -10.4% 11,910 12,072 -1.3%
18,338 23,090 -20.6% 33,910 44,023 -23.0%
 8,744 8,039 8.8% 17,529 15,216 15.2%
1,087 728 49.3% 1,976 1,253 57.7%
22,824 21,544 5.9% 44,522 41,248 7.9%
Mercedes-Benz °
24,522  22,941  6.9%  50,049  47,605  5.1% 
Mercedes-Benz Vans °
2,513  2,269  10.8%  4,562  4,168  9.5% 
Total Mercedes-Benz °
27,035 25,210 7.2%  54,611  51,773 5.5%
2,154 2,839 -24.1% 5,264 6,077 -13.4%
10,924 7,870  38.8% 17,381 14,134 23.0%
122,003 120,540 1.2% 222,764 217,760 2.3%
3,637 3,561  2.1% 8,239 7,915 4.1%
42,785 41,293  3.6% 80,830 77,357 4.5%
 348 422 -17.5% 672 821 -18.1%
 45,500 42,011 8.3% 89,379 83,112 7.5%
Toyota †
156,001 164,864 -5.4% 283,477 305,214 -7.1%
 25,145 22,321 12.7% 48,655 42,400 14.8%
 4,651 5,260 -11.6% 8,123 9,504 -14.5%
 24,712 25,337 -2.5% 45,931 46,657 -1.6%
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles
 168,326 187,318  -10.1% 320,544 358,670 -10.6%
27,383 25,632 6.8% 55,283 52,594 5.1%
Ford Motor Co.
207,464 216,045 -4.0% 378,560 388,523 -2.6%
General Motors
237,388 227,825 4.2% 433,297 431,570 0.4%
Honda Motor Co.
121,686 118,985 2.3% 228,066 219,4822 3.9%
95,693 102,746 -6.9% 177,826 186,062 -4.4%
Jaguar-Land Rover
 9,231 7,929 16.4% 18,333 14,936 22.7%
Nissan Motor Co./Mitsubishi
146,664 138,781 5.7% 265,440 250,779 5.8%
Toyota Motor Corp.
174,339 187,954 -7.2% 317,387 349,237 -9.1%
Volkswagen Group *
 42,678 37,662 13.3% 84,139  74,026 13.7%
Industry Total †

Source: Manufacturers

* 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.

† Toyota’s sales figures include those of Toyota’s discontinued Scion brand.

** Industry total takes into account Automotive News figures/estimates for brands such as Tesla (3,000 February 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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50 Comments on “U.S. Auto Sales Brand-By-Brand Results: February 2017 YTD...”

  • avatar

    Double digit increases for VW? So much for all those armchair TTAC quarterbacks who said “VW is finished and headed for bankruptcy”.

    • 0 avatar

      Two factors per the VW store I bought my Jetta from:

      1) Ridiculously cheap leases (like the one I did).
      2) TDI buybacks.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      I’m very surprised by VW’s increase, but FreedMike’s summary makes sense.

      The TDI-to-other-VW deals will last all year, artificially boosting sales for a while – but at great expense to VW.

    • 0 avatar
      Timothy Cain

      Keep in mind, it’s YOY. Volkswagen sales are up compared to? Early last year. And what was happening early last year? Volkswagen sales were way, way, way down. Compared with February 2013, VW sales last month were down 20%.

      • 0 avatar

        Which is about the percentage of diesel sales in their mix then, no? Since they haven’t replaced TDI with a “new thing” that all stands to reason. Also in 2013 they had a new, re-imagined Passat and a relatively new Jetta intro’d in 2011. Those same models are still on the market, which is probably why they can offer good discounts as the tooling’s paid off.

        • 0 avatar

          YDY for Lexus is tainted. Their December to Remember has it’s momements….down 20%?!

          • 0 avatar

            And as I had pointed out for January sales, “December to Remember” didn’t result in big sales for the Lexus RWD sedans, so there was ample supply for better sales in January and now Feb.

            GS sales have fallen off a cliff and IS sales are getting hammered by the Q50.

  • avatar

    How come Volvo is down 11%? The XC90 is still fresh and there is a new S90 sedan. Is the S90 not on sale yet?

    • 0 avatar

      I know anecdotes are only anecdotes, but apparently the XC90 has had LOTS of teething issues. A friend’s sister bought one and ended up Lemon Law-ing it, which surprised me, so I did some searching around various forums and it seems like it has had a pretty high rate of issues.

      Common problems seem to include battery drains leaving car dead multiple times, Sensus system blackouts and freak-outs, leaking sunroofs, and there seemed to have been a bad batch of ambient temp sensors that led to all sorts of systems malfunctioning like climate control and Auto Stop / Start.

      Nothing too crazy, but it seems like buyers are encountering Volvo dealers whose techs are extremely unfamiliar with the tech in the new gen, so issues are being addressed in real-time with Sweden, making repairs take a long time (and sometimes requiring several visits to fix). It almost feels like Volvo shipped the new model to dealers with little to no technical preparation for techs.

      This dealer experience seems to really grate on buyers, and I get it, and since many are high-tier buyers used to Audi / Lexus / Benz, they are extra unhappy and have spread the word about their experience, which I can believe has caused sales to dip.

      Hopefully the S90 shares enough tech with the XC90 that its intro will be much smoother, because I find the S90 very very tempting after seeing two on the road in the wild….

      • 0 avatar

        Which XC90, the P2 variety or the current one?

        • 0 avatar

          Current one. Most issues with the “First Edition” 2016s, but many talking about issues are buyers of the top-trim Inscription model.

          In fact I’m surprised at how many on the forums have the Inscription model. Looks like Volvo did good in capturing upmarket buyers.

          Love Volvo’s trim level names, btw. Inscription, Momentum, Momentum Plus…very pleasing to the ear.

          • 0 avatar

            That’s a shame, Volvo had similar issues with the early P2s but they really cannot afford to do it again in 2017.

      • 0 avatar

        But yet a remote start fault is enough to cause one to want to set fire to a Gulia, even though its an incredible sports sedan and a welcomed newcomer in a segment that had become fairly stale.

        • 0 avatar
          Domestic Hearse

          The Kill It With Fire crowd is judging Guilia (which is very attractive, and by all reports, an exceptional driver) not solely by its recent starter hiccups re: the C&D comparison. I believe Guilia’s detractors are already predisposed toward suspicion regarding the car because, A) history of Fiat in America (Fix It Again Tony), B) the general lack of reliability/quality across the entire FCA lineup, C) the fits and starts of Alpha as a brand in America, and C) the belief (whether true or false) that Italian cars are finicky and prone to expensive failure in general.

          If Guilia was German there’d be apologists everywhere for the starter issue. Being FCA and Italian, the pitchforks are out.

  • avatar

    Even if they doesn’t get the Eclipse Cross and Outlander PHEV to US shores this year, Mitsubishi could be looking at their first six-digit sales year in a decade.

    They’ll have to average just 8,262 sales in the last ten months of CY17 to do so.

    Good for them!

  • avatar

    Audi up 17%
    Maybe all that fake research from CR is helping sales.

    • 0 avatar

      The CR haters are really beyond tedious. It’s the largest gathering of car data on the planet, it’s broken down by test scores, crash test data, owner satisfaction, and owner-reported reliability (and then broken down into 20 categories after that). Then when they simplify the data for people who don’t like analyzing that data themselves (read: most Americans), they get vilified by some fanboy who swears his Dodge Caliber was the peak of automotive manufacturing. It’s mind-boggling, but you’re right, the way the term “fake news” got co-opted proves that people reeeeally hate facts they don’t like.

      • 0 avatar

        My posting was basically making fun of the low information users that think CR research is made up. Sad to see that alternative facts works for so many. CR is the place for reality.

        • 0 avatar

          People don’t search for truth. They search for validation of their beliefs. Anything that does not fit one’s world view is demonized.

          • 0 avatar

            Lou, you are 100% correct. This is also true outside of automotive research. Just look at atmosphere of politics in the United States.

          • 0 avatar

            Well said. Especially true over the last couple of years here in the US and even more so now that the biggest proponent of this methodology is in office.

    • 0 avatar

      Audi has definitely improved its reliability (not so much for VW) – Audi’s reliability rankings have not only shot up in the various US-based rankings, but overseas reliability rankings as well.

  • avatar
    87 Morgan

    I am thinking that in a conference room somewhere a group of Acura department heads are being asked by someone from Honda to explain one more time how it is that Mitsubishi sold more units?

    I am curious as to the drop over at Lexus.

    • 0 avatar

      Lexus sales are down because they look like Disney designed them for an up and coming kids show

      • 0 avatar

        Seems like Lexus pulled forward sales on December. BMW was, rightly, criticised for this a few years ago to exaggerate their previous years sales.

        • 0 avatar
          Dave M.

          Lexus’ December to Remember has been their schtick for 15-20 years. I’m sure it does pull some sales forward (mostly to clear out the previous year’s model), but aren’t they running thin with their stock of lower-end models (NX, RX, ES, IS)?

      • 0 avatar

        It had been posted around here last month that Lexus sold so many vehicles in December, that they didn’t have enough stock for January demand. Perhaps that just carried over.

        • 0 avatar

          I don’t believe the December to Remember theory holds water for this past year. The hard data from Automotive News has Lexus cars off nearly 6,000 units YOY to only 14,615 in December of ’16. Lexus “trucks” are up about 5,500 units YOY in 12/16 to 26,567. Overall Lexus sales were off by a few hundred units in 12/16 and over 3,000 for the calendar year of ’16.
          I believe that xtoyota may have discovered a hard truth.

        • 0 avatar

          Lexus PR made it seem like Lexus sold so many vehicles in December so was short on supply – but what they didn’t note was that it was only the Lexus crossovers/SUVs.

          Sales of the IS, RC, GS and LS didn’t get their usual sized bump in December and there was ample supply for Jan. sales, much less Feb.

    • 0 avatar

      It’s because they got rid of the beak. Everyone loved the beak.

    • 0 avatar

      Lexus needs a better big SUV the GX is not up to par.

    • 0 avatar

      The current crop of Lexus vehicles are the most ugly lineup on the US market to my eyes.

  • avatar

    Interesting that Tim didn’t say anything about Mazda exceeding the market and companies like Honda in February and YTD. If they had declined like some months last year he would have said so.ethong along with others. Silence truly is golden.

    On a more serious note I wonder why Toyota is having declines since it has a strong SUV/CUV lineup.

    • 0 avatar

      Mazda increase in sales directly correlates to major incentives. When you knock off $4-6k on a $25-30k vehicle. Sales will go up. Mazda is the new Nissan for the low credit score buyer.

      • 0 avatar

        Nice pulled from your ass info. Unless you think $500 or 0% APR is Major Incentives..

        I sell them. If we had that kind of incentives… Ima keep my mouth shut in case anybody reads this that could hurt me but yeah no.

        Maybe you confused Mazda with Mitsubishi?

        • 0 avatar

          Just about two months ago my local Mazda dealer had cx-5 with $4600! Off sticker and the 6 had about the same money off. Guess they were still trying to ride of the 2016 models. This is a diffident dealer and they are offering $2300 off before you even before you step into the dealer for 2017 Mazda 6’s.

        • 0 avatar

          Not sure about incentive but 3 Mazda dealers in SoCal have emailed/mailed me over the last 3 monhs promising “great” price for my 2013 Mazda5 if I would buy their CX5, packaged with “savings” on the CX5. Didn’t take up on it so I don’t know what those would have been.

      • 0 avatar

        Gotta move the aged-inventory Mazda’s off the lot with some incentives before they start corroding away…

    • 0 avatar

      Their CUVs are outdated, the only reason you think they’re “strong” is because Toyota.

      I recently detailed a late model Highlander. Oh geeze if something can make a Malibu seem well-built, its this ill-fitting thing. They bought it certified, and its a certified cheap 1994 Kia. The expanse between where the glove box door rested and where the dash ended (it was supposed to meet) was big enough to parallel park a Mack truck in.

      The trim falling off from around the rear side window was pathetic. Oh the dealer said they’d fix that first oil change, but they forgot. Lol, the clips are there, not broken, I put it into place and it stays for 3 seconds and pops back out. Rattle here, clunk there, steering that seems to want to do anything but return to center in any normal fashion.

      It was something I’d laugh at if they showed it to me on the lot. My cousin’s wife’s Traverse was a freaking vault compared to this thing. BUT ITS A TOYOTA, as though every other 2015-2017 vehicle will need rebuilding twice a year, but not the Toyota.

      She should have bought the Chevy (the one who bought the Toyota is the step daughter of the one who had earlier bought a Traverse).

      In the years they had the Traverse, the only thing they didn’t like was its fuel mileage. Other than that, it was a decent vehicle with no issues, trim or otherwise (I drove and detailed it often).

      They ended up selling it and buying their daughter a 2011 Fusion for college, and the Traverse driver got her Mustang GT back that the daughter drove to high school previously. They didn’t use it as much as they thought they would. It was just too much vehicle (like we all tried to tell them before they got it LOL). Quality wise, it was excellent. I was in every seat of it at one time or another. Quiet, smooth, well-fitting. Boring, but well done boring. That’s what Toyotas used to be, circa 1994. Now, they’re BOLD and still boring, just with worse quality and more dated platforms.

      The Highlander is practically new, its not 1978, that isn’t normal for it to look like it does, especially given what they paid for it.

      I would be surprised and ashamed at similar issues on a 1-3 year old Cutlass Ciera, from the other thread, back when they were at least as common.

      • 0 avatar

        My coworker had a 2012 Highlander. It required a 4k repair to the rear hatch that Toyota didn’t cover any of the coast on. It was only 3 years old at the time but it did have 60k miles on it. He looked it up online, he wasn’t the only one.

    • 0 avatar

      While Toyota has the largest crossover/SUV/pick-up lineup among all the import brands, it has a capacity issue.

      Right now, too much of their capacity is dedicated to the Camry and Corolla (Toyota is in the process of switching more of their capacity to light trucks).

  • avatar
    Jeff Waingrow

    Maybe sales figure are misleading because profitability is more to the point. Any company can move a lot of metal if they are willing to make slim profits or even lose on some models. I’d imagine that companies that sell to rental and other fleet operators can artificially boost sales numbers while not making any money.

    • 0 avatar

      It would be very interesting to know what Toyota makes per Camry vs. what Honda makes on an Accord. Or Ford makes on an F-150. Or GM makes on a Denali.

      You wonder they they can just keep throwing §h¡t at the wall for Cadillac cars but keep the brand alive? Because I betcha every Escalade makes up for two or three discounted-to-death sedans.

      • 0 avatar

        GM makes enormous profit on Denali trucks. They make, as I remember, about 10 percent profit on REGULAR trucks. Denali are nearly twice that. A bean counter relative at GM told me.

      • 0 avatar

        The Camry has had one of the lowest ATPs (if not the lowest, after the discontinuation of the Dodge Avenger) in the segment; the Accord has continued to be near the top in the segment for ATP.

  • avatar

    Is there somewhere with a more detailed breakdown? I would love to know sales by model.

    • 0 avatar

      I agree with you. Sadly, it is difficult to find sales by model and the more detail will cost you more money.

      Automotive News will publish monthly model sales data roughly a week after the new month arrives. (February sales data will be in their March 6th issue) It is fascinating to pour over that data, but AN costs about $100/yr and you have to be in the auto industry to get subscribe.

    • 0 avatar

      Check out Tim’s site, Lots of data there.

  • avatar

    Jaguar up 130% and nipping at Porches heels, yay!

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