U.S. Auto Sales Brand-By-Brand Results: April 2017 YTD

Timothy Cain
by Timothy Cain

U.S. auto sales declined nearly 5 percent in April 2017, the fourth consecutive month where U.S. auto sales failed to live up to 2016’s prodigious pace.

Auto sales are now down by more than 2 percent through the first one-third of 2017, a year-over-year decline of roughly 130,000 sales caused in no small part by a bevy of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ brands. Chrysler’s 27-percent year-over-year downturn is the worst decline of any brand. Fiat and Jeep — yes, Jeep — have each posted double-digit percentage losses. Dodge is down, too.

But it’s not just FCA. Through the end of April, 18 different auto brands have lost ground, from Lexus and Acura through to Cadillac and BMW, with Buick, Chevrolet, Hyundai, Kia, and Toyota in their midst.

The bright spots, aside from niche luxury brands and Volkswagen’s dead cat bounce, are Infiniti, Audi, and Subaru, all three of which are selling at record levels. Among auto brands with more than 4,000 sales per month, Infiniti is growing fastest. Audi sales are up 8 percent this year, fuelled now by the arrival of a new Q5. And Subaru just topped the 50,000-sale mark for the eighth time in the last ten months.

On the one hand, auto sales volume is by no means low. Only against the backdrop of a superb 2016, in which the U.S. auto industry reported more sales than ever before, does 2017 appear disappointing. But a closer look reveals a major turning of the tide away from passenger cars and a major turning of the tide towards incentive-laden purchases and leases.

While the average transaction price for a new vehicle in April 2017 rose 2 percent, year-over-year, to $34,552 according to KBB, ALG says incentive spending was up 14 percent compared with April 2016.

Auto BrandApril 2017April 2016% Change2017 YTD2016 YTD% ChangeAcura 14,13216,206-12.8%45,89454,081-15.1%Alfa Romeo677591,047%1,783217722%Audi 18,71117,8015.1%64,35859,7617.7%BMW 22,62424,951-9.3%94,30695,564-1.3%Buick 20,73517,72017.0%70,94072,007-1.5%Cadillac 12,30011,2369.5%46,28246,869-1.3%Chevrolet 164,367183,442-10.4%636,090656,172-3.1%Chrysler 17,30917,891-3.3%64,38588,315-27.1%Dodge 39,44540,488-2.6%173,508181,404-4.4%Fiat 2,5393,098-18.0%9,77011,213-12.9%Ford 203,745219,963-7.4%790,207836,645-5.6%Genesis 1,399——6,554——GMC 47,00447,159-0.3%180,615168,2077.4%Honda 124,254132,623-6.3%457,785452,4511.2%Hyundai 61,65162,213-0.9%225,288235,543-4.4%Infiniti 10,79710,4323.5%54,35843,09226.1%Jaguar 3,230 1,087197%14,6066,084140%Jeep 68,87982,537-16.5%257,622294,907-12.6%Kia 53,35856,508-5.6%181,086202,829-10.7%Land Rover 5,211 5,1880.4%25,08625,993-3.5%Lexus 22,11624,882-11.1%83,96199,103-15.3%Lincoln 9,6919,776-0.9%36,77434,6816.0%Maserati 1,2651,06618.7%4,5533,31637.3%Mazda 24,16426,195-7.8%93,23590,8392.6%Mercedes-Benz ° 26,93229,236 -7.9% 106,073 105,005 1.0% Mercedes-Benz Vans ° 2,1932,589 -15.3% 9,626 9,829 -2.1% Total Mercedes-Benz ° 29,12531,825-8.5%115,699114,8340.8%Mini 3,4814,796-27.4%13,73215,635-12.2%Mitsubishi 8,3759,674-13.4%37,52234,8867.6%Nissan 111,201113,429-2.0%484,531480,9730.7%Porsche Ram 47,32744,9325.3%179,906171,0865.2%Smart 365466-21.7%1,4261,766-19.3%Subaru 52,36850,3803.9%196,618182,7777.6%Toyota † 179,810 186,244-3.5%650,576681,103-4.5%Volkswagen 27,55727,1121.6%103,84796,4267.7%Volvo 7,1216,16915.4%20,60022,530-8.6%————— ——BMW-Mini 26,10529,747-12.2%108,038111,199-2.8%Fiat Chrysler Automobiles177,441190,071-6.8%686,974747,142-8.1%DaimlerAG29,49032,291-8.7%117,125116,6000.5%Ford Motor Co.213,436229,739-7.1%826,981871,326-5.1%General Motors 244,406259,557-5.8%933,927943,255-1.0%Honda Motor Co.138,386148,829-7.0%503,679 506,532-0.6%Hyundai-Kia 116,408118,721-1.9%412,928438,372Jaguar-Land Rover 8,4416,27534.5%39,692 32,07723.7%Nissan Motor Co./Mitsubishi130,373133,535-2.4%576,411558,9513.1%Toyota Motor Corp.201,926211,126-4.4%734,537 780,206-5.9%Volkswagen Group *51,96550,4343.0%187,172174,2077.4%———————Industry Total **1,426,883 1,496,913 -4.7% 5,461,882 5,594,702 -2.4%

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 (4,400 April 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.

Timothy Cain
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  • Tstag Tstag on May 03, 2017

    Land Rover sales are only down/static at the moment because the old Discovery went out of production and there has been a delay introducing the new one. Expect sales to start rising quickly over the next 2 months and accelerate again around September when I'm guessing the Velar is introduced.

  • Speedlaw Speedlaw on May 03, 2017

    What the market really wants is a reliable used Hon-Yota for $5k. What it gets is that car new priced according to ability to pay on a long, long note. In my area, that 10 year old car has at least another ten years in the hands of the recent immigrant population. Marketers do the exact same for the high end cars too, which is why the desireable cars tend to be 40-50k, as that boils lease prices back to the ablilty to pay of the target market....and why they depreciate like stones when dropped on the real world without new car warranty. I've made it a point to check out Chinese cars whenever I travel. While very unscientific, what I have seen in Europe and various islands doesn't impress me, and I'm comparing to Yaris, Civic and Sentra....Much like Japan, I'm sure they can go from a joke to serious too, but they aren't there yet.

  • M B When the NorthStar happened, it was a part of GM's "rebuilding" of the Cadillac brand. Money to finance it was shuffled from Oldsmobile, which resulted in Olds having to only facelift its products, which BEGAN its slide down the mountain. Olds stagnated in product and appearances.First time I looked at the GM Parts illustration of a NorthStar V-8, I was impressed AND immediately saw the many things that were expensive, costly to produce, and could have been done less expensively. I saw it as an expensive disaster getting ready to happen. Way too much over-kill for the typical Cadillac owner of the time.Even so, there were a few areas where cost-cutting seemed to exist. The production gasket/seal between the main bearing plate and the block was not substantial enough to prevent seeps. At the time, about $1500.00 to fix.In many ways, the NS engine was designed to make far more power than it did. I ran across an article on a man who was building kits to put the NS in Chevy S-10 pickups. With his home-built 4bbl intake and a 600cfm Holley 4bbl, suddenly . . . 400 horsepower resulted. Seems the low hood line resulted in manifolding compromises which decreased the production power levels.GM was seeking to out-do its foreign competitors with the NS design and execution. In many ways they did, just that FEW people noticed.
  • Redapple2 Do Hybrids and be done with it.
  • Redapple2 Panamera = road porn.
  • Akear What an absurd strategy. They are basically giving up after all these years. When a company drinks the EV hemlock failure is just around the corner.
  • Graham The answer to a question that shouldn't have been asked LOL