It's a New Year: January 2019 Sales Roundup
The long slog that is January provided a mixed bag of sales results for America’s automakers, with some enjoying the fruits of their new products while others stared down the barrel of red ink as they tried to kick their fleet habit. Frightening and frigid weather patterns didn’t help anyone, either.
Talking heads are expecting this calendar year to be the first since 2014 in which total vehicle sales in America drop below 17 million units. While it seems a bit early to sound that alarm, it cannot be denied that some companies have already dug themselves a big hole.
It is important to note that two of the Detroit Three have effectively gone dark, with both Ford and GM refusing to release monthly sales reports. Instead, we are only deemed worthy of quarterly results. Until then, guesstimates must be made, and are done so taking a lead from the experts at Automotive News. Popular speculation pegs the Blue Oval at a 7.1 percent jump, year over year, with The General taking an estimated 6.9 percent hit compared to concrete numbers we have on hand for January 2018.
Meanwhile, Fiat Chrysler saw its fortunes rise by 2.5 percent in January, with Ram carrying the load. Now that the company has figured out production of the new Ram 1500 truck, the brand recorded a very healthy 39,649 sales (34,889 of which were Ram pickups), making for a 23.8 percent jump. Jeep and Dodge were roughly flat, while Chrysler and Alfa both fell off the proverbial cliff.
Toyota was down a not-insignificant 6.6 percent compared to January 2018. In fact, the only nameplate recording any growth at all were Corolla, C-HR, 4Runner, and Tacoma. The latter was roughly flat, with 16,852 choosing to drive off the lot in a mid-size Toyota pickup (and make for that model’s best-ever January). Whatever the company has up its sleeve for the Chicago Auto Show will only serve to increase the truck’s seemingly unstoppable appeal.
Nissan announced total American sales for January 2019 of 90,439 units, a murderous decrease of 19.9 percent compared to twelve months prior. One month does not a year make, but starting the year 22,464 units behind the 8-ball is not a great way in which to kick things off. Murano, Rogue, and Titan were off by 39.9, 27.8, and 25.2 percent respectively. Save for the Leaf, every single car model was down by a wide margin. Reducing one’s dependency on fleet sales is tough.
Hyundai, Kia, Honda, and Subaru all posted gains largely thanks to their SUV and crossover offerings. In fact, the Exploding Galaxy has now had a remarkable eighty-six months of year-over-year monthly gains. Also, Mitsubishi was somehow a “-3” on Lancers for the month.
The boffins at J.D. Power estimate the average incentive spend per new light vehicle was $3,720, down about a hundred bucks from January 2018. Average transaction price? Roughly $34,200, according to those in the know.
There were 25 selling days in January, the same as last year.
[Image: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles]
Matthew buys, sells, fixes, & races cars. As a human index of auto & auction knowledge, he is fond of making money and offering loud opinions.
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