The Toyota Camry, America’s best-selling passenger car in 2016 for a 15th consecutive year, was not the best-selling overall vehicle in any one state last year.
According to registration figures tabulated by Kelley Blue Book and highlighted by USA Today, the Honda Accord, Honda Civic, and Toyota Corolla were the only cars to claim any state-wide auto sales victories.
In 15 other states, utility vehicles of one variety or another (Ford Escape, Honda CR-V, Subaru Outback, and Toyota RAV4) were tops in overall vehicle sales. Hawaii’s sales crown stayed in the hands of the Toyota Tacoma. GM’s full-size truck twins ruled the roost in eight states, largely east of the Mississippi.
That leaves the Ford F-Series’ F-150 variant, the top-selling vehicle in America, to take top honors in 22 states, including its biggest market of Texas.
By broadening its lineup, rethinking the dealer approach, and focusing on prime markets, Nissan intends to increase its Titan pickup truck’s share of America’s full-size market to 5 percent.
5 percent. One in twenty trucks. One Titan for every 19 Ford F-Series, Chevrolet Silverado, Ram P/U, GMC Sierra, and Toyota Tundra.
That doesn’t sound so crazy, does it?
Nah, at least until you realize that in 2016, Nissan sold fewer than 22,000 Titans, or slightly less than 1 percent market share.
Bernhard Kuhnt takes over as the chief executive officer of BMW’s U.S. outpost on March 1, Automotive News reports, replacing BMW’s western hemisphere boss, Ludwig Willisch, who is likely to retire by the end of the decade.
BMW sales grew year after year during Willisch’s tenure, reaching annual records in 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015. There were, at times, questionable tactics employed to maintain rapid growth.
Yet in 2016, as U.S. auto sales shot to record levels, BMW’s U.S. volume plunged by more than 9 percent. In 12 consecutive months, U.S. sales declined on year-over-year terms. At BMW’s Mini brand, three years after volume climbed to record levels in 2013, sales fell to a six-year low in 2016.
And yet no automaker is incentivizing to such a lofty degree.
– John Mendel, American Honda Executive Vice President
It took eight years for American Honda to break 2007’s U.S. sales record. But after muscling past the eight-year-old barrier in 2015, the Honda brand shot past the new mark with ease in 2016.
And Honda, typically prudent-verging-on-pessimistic, intends to report record sales at the end of 2017, as well.
There’s good news. And there’s bad news.
U.S. sales of minivans in 2016 rose 6 percent, year-over-year, to nearly 554,000 units.
Yet after shooting out of the blocks with a 23 percent increase through the first seven months of the year — partly a response to a slow start one year earlier — minivan sales tanked in the final five months of 2016.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ U.S. dealers entered 2017 with more than six-months’ worth of Chrysler 200 supply, according to Automotive News.
That’s enough inventory for America’s latest discontinued midsize sedan, production of which ended eight weeks ago, to linger well into summer, assuming demand remains on an even keel.
Of course, demand for the Chrysler 200 has not flatlined, but rather continues to shrink. This means 200s built in the fourth-quarter of 2016 — or earlier — may well be readily available at a Chrysler dealer near you, not just this summer, but even toward the end of 2017.
You therefore have plenty of time to decide whether you want to take the plunge into a world of defunct nameplates. Based on recent results, it appears that more than 98 percent of midsize sedan buyers don’t.
Five members strong, America’s midsize pickup truck sector reported nearly 450,000 sales in 2016.
After claiming only 11 percent of the overall pickup truck market’s volume in 2013 and 2014 and 14 percent in 2015, 17 percent of all pickup truck sales in 2016 were produced by the Toyota Tacoma, Chevrolet Colorado, Nissan Frontier, GMC Canyon, and Honda Ridgeline.
Midsize pickup truck sales growth wildly outperformed the overall auto industry in 2016, leaping forward nine times faster than the full-size truck sector, year-over-year.
Every candidate got in on the action, but one truck in particular did more than its fair share of the heavy lifting.
Jaguar Land Rover North America LLC sold its first 10,016 Jaguar SUVs in the United States in the final eight months of 2016. The new F-Pace was a major factor contributing to Jaguar’s 116-percent year-over-year growth last year.
Jaguar also reported a 47-percent jump in passenger car sales — yes, car sales — in 2016.
As a result, no auto brand operating in the United States posted more significant sales growth in 2016.
So, Jaguar’s back? Not quite.
“People keep asking if we’re going to go away,” Mitsubishi Motors North America COO Don Swearingen told reporters earlier this month.
Seemingly anticipating yesterday’s TTAC QOTD — Does Mitsubishi Need To Exist? — Swearingen was defending Mitsubishi’s approach to the North American market following the automaker’s partial takeover by its Nissan compatriot.
Renault-Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn claimed the Mitsubishi chairmanship in October after spending $2.3 billion in exchange for 34 percent of the company’s automobile manufacturing business.
Three months later, The Detroit Bureau reports, Mitsubishi North America’s Swearingen said, “We are separate companies and will remain competitors.”
As recently as 2014, U.S. sales of midsize cars were on the rise, albeit marginally. As recently as 2015, U.S. sales of midsize cars were shrinking only modestly, falling less than 2 percent compared with 2014.
In 2016, however, U.S. sales of midsize cars decreased by more than 250,000 units — an 11-percent drop that exceeded the rate of decline witnessed elsewhere in the car market.
This is the seventh edition of TTAC’s Midsize Sedan Deathwatch. The midsize sedan as we know it — “midsizedus sedanicus” in the original latin — isn’t going anywhere any time soon, but the ongoing sales contraction will result in a reduction of mainstream intermediate sedans in the U.S. market.
How do we know? It already has.
The midsize sedan segment continues to be a hugely consequential part of the car market and the overall new vehicle market, but the segment has greatly contracted over the last few years — including the demise of yet another nameplate in 2016.
That makes 2017 the best time to replace the 15-time best-seller with an all-new model.
Set aside TTAC’s Midsize Sedan Deathwatch for a moment to mourn the passing of a compact car: the Mitsubishi Lancer.
Motor1 reports production of the Lancer will end in August 2017. There will be no replacement.
Mitsubishi vacated the midsize segment four years ago in the service of providing evidence — along with the defunct Dodge Avenger, Chrysler 200, and Suzuki Kizashi — to support TTAC’s Midsize Sedan Deathwatch. Mitsubishi’s overall U.S. sales volume hasn’t suffered as a result. 2016 was the brand’s fourth consecutive year of improved sales in America.
With plans to bolster its crossover lineup, it now appears Mitsubishi’s U.S. dealers won’t suffer greatly from the loss of the increasingly low-volume Lancer, either — at least, not relative to the recent past.
Ford F-Series Owns Full-Size Truck Market In 2016, General Motors Sells The Most Trucks, Pickups Reach Nine-Year High
Thanks to improved midsize-truck sales, record Ram volume, and the best annual results for the Ford F-Series in more than a decade, U.S. sales of pickup trucks climbed to 2.69 million units in 2016.
The 6-percent year-over-year growth rate among pickup trucks shamed the industry at large — auto sales grew only 0.3 percent in 2016. Yet while auto sales reached record levels, spurred along in part by pickup improvements, truck sales haven’t quite returned to the glory days. Not yet.
Americans acquired an average of more than 3 million pickup trucks per year during a five-year period ending in 2007, the last time total pickup truck sales volume was stronger than it is now.
Some things haven’t changed, however. Ford sells the most popular full-size pickup truck line; 2016 was the F-Series 40th consecutive year as the segment’s top seller. And America’s top-selling manufacturer reigns as the top-selling manufacturer of pickup trucks.
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