Shifting Up: Auto Sales Rise in March 2018

Matthew Guy
by Matthew Guy
shifting up auto sales rise in march 2018

Spring is springing in most parts of the country and, as if on cue, more customers are beating their way to a dealership’s door. The market is up, in both monthly and year-to-date measures.

Mazda, Toyota, and Volkswagen are all up on their own merits both from a monthly and year-to-date perspective. In fact, compared to the same month last year, just about all the major automakers moved more metal in March.

FCA enjoyed a year-over-year sales jump of over 13 percent last month, largely thanks to the Jeep brand. Year-to-date, the company is about flat, despite declines at Fiat and Ram. The new Wrangler has paid off, leading to the best month ever for that model. In the first three months of 2018, Jeep has moved nearly 40,000 extra units compared to last year, offsetting drops at all other FCA brands (save for Alfa).

The General is also performing well in 2018, up nearly 4 percent — not a small number considering the company’s volume. Buick itself has jumped more than 13 percent, accounting for an extra 6,000 sales. Most of those extra sales came in the month of March. Chevrolet, GMC, and Cadillac all posted gains.

Hyundai dropped a precipitous 11.2 percent last month, year over year, and 11.8 percent year to date. Both the Hyundai and Genesis brands were off, with the corporation bleeding over 20,000 sales since the start of January. All those new crossovers can’t come soon enough, apparently.

Other bright sparks in the first quarter of 2018 include Acura, Mazda, and Mitsubishi. Wait, what?

This may very well be our final monthly sales report using official numbers, as General Motors announced this morning that it will only release performance data on a quarterly basis going forward. We’ll take our numbers fix where we can get it, though, and remain committed in keeping an ear to the ground.

[Image: Ford]

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  • Vehic1 Vehic1 on Apr 04, 2018

    ernest: As long as Hyundai keeps falling, it could slip a place; Subaru's sales increases are nowhere nearly what they were from 2012 - 2015 (the Love ad campaign has largely reached its peak). Without the massive Crosstrek increase, they'd be (-); but perhaps the new Ascent will help.

  • Dal20402 Dal20402 on Apr 04, 2018

    Crossover and truck mania! These sales reports net out to: if you sold CUVs, SUVs, or pickups, your sales increased; if you sold conventional passenger cars, your sales tanked.

  • Art Vandelay I always liked those last FWD 300's. Been ages since I've seen one on the road though. Lots of time in the RWD ones as rentals. No complaints whatsoever.
  • Cardave5150 I've had 2 different 300's - an '08 300SRT and an '18 300C. Loved them both a LOT, although, by the time I had the second one, I wasn't altogether thrilled with the image of 300's out on the street, as projected by the 3rd or 4th buyers of the cars.I always thought that the car looked a little stubby behind the rear wheels - something that an extra 3-4" in the trunk area would have greatly helped.When the 300 was first launched, there were invitation-only meet-and-greets at the dealerships, reminding me of the old days when new model-year launches were HUGE. At my local dealer, they were all in formalwear (tuxes and elegant dresses) with a nice spread of food. They gave out crystal medallions of the 300 in a sweet little velvet box (I've got mine around the house somewhere). I talked to a sales guy for about 5 minutes before I asked if we could take one of the cars out (a 300C with the 5.7 Hemi). He acted like he'd been waiting all evening for someone to ask that - we jumped in the car and went out - that thing, for the time, seemed to fly.Corey - when it comes time for it, don't forget to mention the slightly-stretched wheelbase 300 (I think it was the 300L??). I've never found one for sale (not that I've looked THAT hard), as they only built them for a couple of years.
  • Jkross22 "I’m doing more for the planet by continuing to drive my vehicle than buying a new one for strictly frivolous reasons."It's not possible to repeat this too much.
  • Jeff S Got to give credit to Chrysler for putting the 300 as a rear wheel drive back on the market. This will be a future classic.
  • Lou_BC How to Fix Auto Media? Stop fixating on soft touch plastics and infotainment systems. I did quite a bit of research on my ZR2. There was no mention of the complexity of putting the transfer case into neutral. (9 step process). They didn't talk about how the exhaust brake works with tow/haul mode. No mention that the exhaust brake does not work with off-road mode. Nannies only stay turned off with the lockers engaged. Only one review mentioned the tail pipe as a vulnerability.