U.S. Auto Sales Brand-by-Brand Results: September 2017 YTD

Timothy Cain
by Timothy Cain
u s auto sales brand by brand results september 2017 ytd

U.S. auto sales exceeded analyst expectations with a big 6 percent year-over-year increase to 1.5 million units in September 2017, the first monthly improvement in 2017 so far.

After auto sales fell 3 percent during the first two-thirds of 2017, big September increases from Toyota Motor Corp., General Motors, Ford Motor Company, American Honda, Nissan’s trio of brands, and numerous smaller outfits brought the sales pace achieved through the first three-quarters of 2017 within sight of 2016’s record rate. By the end of September, U.S. auto sales are down by less than 2 percent compared with last year.

Pickup trucks played a major role in September’s improvements, growing at twice the rate of the industry at large. The Honda Civic expanded its lead as America’s best-selling car on a quest to end the Toyota Camry’s 15-year run. Minivan sales plunged to barely more than 33,000 units. The Toyota RAV4 topped 42,000 sales for a second consecutive month, leading a booming SUV/crossover class.

For a change, brands that posted declining volume stood out more than brands that improved. Buick, Dodge, Fiat, Hyundai, and Smart all reported double-digit percentage losses. At the other end of the spectrum, double-digit percentage improvements were reported by 11 brands: Alfa Romeo, Chevrolet, Genesis, Infiniti, Jaguar, Land Rover, Mitsubishi, Porsche, Toyota, Volkswagen, and Volvo. Indeed, Volvo sold 5,483 XC60s and XC90s for a 51-percent year-over-year SUV uptick.

Meanwhile at Jeep, where sales declined for a 13th consecutive month, the discontinued Patriot’s demise played an outsized role in the decline. Excluding the Patriot, Jeep showed signs of a forthcoming rebound, climbing 12 percent to 71,465 units.

In order for the industry to rise to these September highs — the industry has averaged fewer than 1.3 million September sales over the last half-decade — there had to be contributing factors besides natural demand. A degree of replacement necessities in places like southeast Texas provided a boost. Incentives rose 1.5 percent to $3,742 per vehicle, according to ALG, with the biggest increases coming at Hyundai and Kia. BMW, Mercedes-Benz, FCA, Ford Motor Company, General Motors, and Nissan/Infiniti all relied on incentives worth more than $4,000 per vehicle in September.

Auto BrandSeptember 2017September 2016% Change2017 YTD2016 YTD% ChangeAcura 12,94612,8131.0%114,126119,727-4.7%Alfa Romeo1,268412,993%7,3524181,659%Audi 19,30817,6179.6%160,914152,1795.7%BMW 25,57125,3890.7%220,175230,133-4.3%Buick 16,73720,922-20.0%159,830169,767-5.9%Cadillac 15,53015,3681.1%113,846119,286-4.6%Chevrolet 199,801170,23717.4%1,516,1921,531,912-1.0%Chrysler 15,75918,797-16.2%143,809186,497-22.9%Dodge 29,93842,935-30.3%365,790394,940-7.4%Fiat 2,2062,913-24.3%21,25225,099-15.3%Ford 212,841194,6479.3%1,841,6651,896,858-2.9%Genesis 1,7361,21143.3%15,1022,708458%GMC 47,32943,2689.4%405,634391,4323.6%Honda 129,776120,8427.4%1,117,4771,108,6530.8%Hyundai 55,27165,399-15.5%496,638584,980-15.1%Infiniti 12,74511,41311.7%113,71496,77517.5%Jaguar 3,2962,66223.8%30,22820,34948.9%Jeep 73,40976,331-3.8%622,242707,106-12.0%Kia 52,46849,2206.6%457,930491,764-6.9%Land Rover 6,4075,63713.7%54,48154,3910.2%Lexus 26,19625,8011.5%219,659236,193-7.0%Lincoln 8,8028,7970.1%82,72280,4352.8%Maserati 1,1191,185-5.6%9,9898,15622.5%Mazda 25,73824,8893.4%220,297224,2671.8%Mercedes-Benz ° 29,00829,500 -1.7%242,250 249,204 -2.8% Mercedes-Benz Vans °3,088 2,970 4.0% 25,227 25,156 0.3% Total Mercedes-Benz ° 32,09632,470-1.2%267,477274,360-2.5%Mini 3,7364,024-7.2%34,78738,911-10.6%Mitsubishi 8,4307,19117.2%79,19574,3516.5%Nissan 127,187116,3849.3%1,082,5271,086,249-0.3%Porsche 5,0594,479 12.9%41,23740,2462.5%Ram 51,68651,866-0.3%418,693400,3004.6%Smart 241605-60.2%2,6354,044-34.8%Subaru 55,12054,9180.4%478,848446,8877.2%Toyota 200,436171,46316.9%1,611,8201,586,2681.6%Volkswagen 32,11224,11233.2%252,456231,2689.2%Volvo 7,9005,61540.7%46,96658,532-2.7%————— ——BMW Group29,30729,4130.4%254,962269,044-5.2%Fiat Chrysler Automobiles 174,266192,883-9.7%1,579,1381,714,360-7.9%Daimler AG32,33733,075-2.2%270,112278,404-3.0%Ford Motor Co.221,643203,4448.9%1,924,3871,977,293-2.7%General Motors 279,397249,79511.9%2,195,5022,212,397-0.8%American Honda142,722133,6556.8%1,231,6031,228,3800.3%Hyundai-Kia Automotive Group109,475 115,830-5.5%969,6701,079,452-10.2%Jaguar-Land Rover 9,7038,29916.9%84,70974,74013.3%Nissan / Infiniti / Mitsubishi148,362134,9889.9%1,275,4361,257,3751.4%Toyota Motor Sales, USA. Inc.226,632197,26414.9%1,831,4791,822,4610.5%Volkswagen Group *56,635 46,49121.3% 456,279425,1687.3%———————Industry Total †1,512,5631,425,5666.1% 12,785,71413,013,328-1.7%

[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.

† Industry total takes into account Automotive News figures/estimates for brands such as Tesla (4,620 September units) and other low-volume, high-priced manufacturers.

Timothy Cain is a contributing analyst at The Truth About Cars and Autofocus.ca and the founder and former editor of GoodCarBadCar.net. Follow on Twitter @timcaincars.

Join the conversation
4 of 24 comments
  • Dividebytube Dividebytube on Oct 04, 2017

    huh - BMW sales are up a tick, while MINI sales continue to slide.

  • Brettc Brettc on Oct 04, 2017

    VW sold 4095 Atlases and 3075 Tiguans in September. Who would've guessed that Americans want large SUVs with long B2B warranties? Maybe VW has finally figured out the U.S. market. Passat sales took quite a hit, below 5000 units.

    • See 1 previous
    • Brettc Brettc on Oct 04, 2017

      @SCE to AUX With the warranty change, I'm considering another VW once I do the TDI buyback. Not sure but it depends on the trims and the pricing offered for the 2018 Golf family.

  • SCE to AUX I charge at home 99% of the time, on a Level 2 charger I installed myself in 2012 for my Leaf. My house is 1967, 150-Amp service, gas dryer and furnace; everything else is electric with no problems. I switched from gas HW to electric HW last year, when my 18-year-old tank finally failed.I charge at a for-pay station maybe a couple times a year.I don't travel more than an hour each way in my Ioniq 1 EV, so I don't deal much with public chargers. Despite a big electric rate increase this year, my car remains ridiculously cheap to operate.
  • ToolGuy 38:25 to 45:40 -- Let's all wait around for the stupid ugly helicopter. 😉The wheels and tires are cool, as in a) carbon fiber is a structural element not decoration and b) they have some sidewall.Also like the automatic fuel adjustment (gasoline vs. ethanol).(Anyone know why it's more powerful on E85? Huh? Huh?)
  • Ja-GTI So, seems like you have to own a house before you can own a BEV.
  • Kwik_Shift Good thing for fossil fuels to keep the EVs going.
  • Carlson Fan Meh, never cared for this car because I was never a big fan of the Gen 1 Camaro. The Gen 1 Firebird looked better inside and out and you could get it with the 400.The Gen 2 for my eyes was peak Camaro as far as styling w/those sexy split bumpers! They should have modeled the 6th Gen after that.