– Bob Carter, Executive Vice President, Toyota North America
37 percent of the new vehicles sold in the United States in the first seven months of 2017 were passenger cars. That’s correct. 63 percent of the new vehicles now sold in America are pickup trucks, SUVs, crossovers, and vans.
But how did we get to this 37-percent basement? When did we get here? How long did it take to get here? And is it really the basement?
After two consecutive years of growth, including record-setting U.S. sales achievements in 2014, what does the Subaru WRX do for an encore performance?
An all-time monthly record of 3,716 WRX/STI sales in July 2015 starts the second-half off strongly after a first-half in which sales of Subaru’s rally-inspired nameplate jumped ahead of last year’s sales pace by 14 percent.
When setting a brand-wide sales record in 2014, Subaru’s WRX/STI-specific record of 25,492 units accounted for 5 percent of the brand’s total U.S. sales volume.
We’re finally beginning to see the impact a new SUV can have in Volvo showrooms.
The second-generation XC90 posted a 209% year-over-year increase to 1,176 U.S. sales in July 2015. That equalled 796 more sales this July than last and the highest monthly total for the XC90 since December 2010.
So is Volvo back? Well, not quite. Not yet.
Because the auto market is so seasonal, year-over-year change is a valid figure to consider, but it’s less useful when the previous year in the year-over-year comparison was the 13th year in the model’s lifespan. XC90 sales in July 2014, for instance, were 88% lower than in July 2004.
Not since January of last year had the Honda Odyssey finished a month as America’s top-selling minivan. Indeed, not since October of last year had the Toyota Sienna not been America’s best-selling minivan.
But in July 2015, Odyssey sales jumped 18 percent, year-over-year, enough to overtake the Sienna on a monthly basis.
U.S. sales of SUVs and crossovers jumped 14 percent in July 2015, a year-over-year improvement equal to more than 67,000 extra sales compared with July 2014.
As a result, just under 36 percent of the U.S. auto industry’s volume was produced by utility vehicles in July 2015, a three-percentage-point increase over the same period one year ago.
Passenger car volume, meanwhile, slid 3 percent last month, a drop of around 18,000 sales as the overall market grew by more than 5 percent, or 75,000 units.
There were six new full-size SUVs from General Motors. Ford refreshed the Expedition. Lincoln did the same with their upmarket Expedition, the Navigator.
The year was 2014, and U.S. sales of Detroit’s biggest, baddest, full-size SUVs were booming, relative to the recent past.
In each of the last 28 months, the Toyota Tacoma has been America’s fifth-best-selling pickup truck nameplate.
One might imagine, however, that its ability to succeed in its own sub-category of small/midsize trucks would have weakened over the last ten months. With the introduction of new midsize pickup trucks from General Motors, the best-selling manufacturer of pickup trucks in America, the number of Tacoma competitors increased from one, the Nissan Frontier, to three.
Each and every month, a great deal of attention is paid to the length of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ U.S. growth streak. July 2015, for example, was the 64th consecutive month in which FCA, formerly known as the Chrysler Group, reported a year-over-year sales gain.
Yet so much of FCA’s rate of expansion in the U.S. market is muddied by dreadful results in a few small corners of their lineup.
General Motors reported 86,051 U.S. pickup truck sales in July 2015, the highest figure for a seventh month of the year since 2006, GM says.
It does not appear as though the advent of new midsize GM trucks – Colorado and Canyon – have had any measurably negative impact on their full-size siblings. Combined, the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra outsold the class-leading Ford F-Series by 9,900 copies in July. They lead the F-Series by more than 29,000 units heading into August.
Since 2010 — when America’s auto industry was in tatters but also in recovery — General Motors, Ford Motor Company, Toyota USA, and American Honda have lost 5.5 percentage points of market share.
Through the first half of 2015, those four automobile manufacturers produced 56.1 percent of all new vehicle sales in the United States, down from 61.6 percent in calendar year 2010.
FCA Canada only sold 220 Dodge Darts in June 2015, a 79-percent year-over-year decline. Through the first six months of 2015, Dart volume is down 55 percent to only 1,979 sales, one-fifteenth the total achieved by the best-selling Honda Civic and equal to just 1.1% of the compact car market.
The Dart’s market share in the United States, meanwhile, grew from 3.4 percent in the first-half of 2014 to 4.2 percent in the first half of 2015. Though no industry observer would suggest that the Dart’s U.S. uptick relates purely to increased desirability and demand – and not to cash allowances and fleet-friendliness – the car’s Canadian dive speaks volumes about FCA’s emphasis on light trucks and SUVs north of the 49th parallel.
In June 2015, BMW USA finally began providing a breakdown in their monthly sales report for the 3-Series and 4-Series. We’re grateful.
You’ll recall that in prior generations, the 4-Series was the 3-Series. The 3-Series was the 3-Series, too, but the 4-Series cars were versions of the 3-Series with two doors.
The story is still the same, except now you can get a version of the 4-Series with four doors and a hatch. You can get a 3-Series with four doors and a hatch, too, except it’s ugly. The 4-Series with four doors and a hatch is a decent looker.
As General Motors prepares to carve out space in between their best-selling utility vehicle, the Equinox, and their large three-row crossover, the Traverse, Ford reports significant improvement with the launch of their second-generation tweener crossover.
U.S. sales of the Ford Edge jumped 44 percent to 40,083 units in the second-quarter of 2015. The May 2015 total of 14,399 units was the best May ever for the Edge, which slots in between the Escape, one of America’s best-selling utility vehicles, and rubs up alongside the longer, three-row Explorer.
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- Lou_BC " GMC Canyon sales during the second quarter of 2023 kept Big Red’s midsize pickup last in its segment when ranked by sales volume. The Toyota Tacoma continued to command the top spot, while also being the only model to be in the green with a 14 percent bump to 63,262 units year-over-year, representing nearly half of all segment deliveries. The Chevy Colorado (see running Chevy Colorado sales), the Canyon’s corporate cousin, placed second with a 12 percent dip to 19,909 units. The Nissan Frontier took third with a 17 percent slide to 17,213 units, followed by the Jeep Gladiator in fourth with a 34 percent drop to 13,751 units. The Ford Ranger (see running Ford Ranger sales) took fifth with a 22 percent decline to 12,618 units. The GMC Canyon (see running GMC Canyon sales) finished out the short list with an 11 percent slip to 6,708 units"
- 2ACL If you weren't throwing away your Mercedes after the warranty expired, this will fix that. This is an overly complex answer to the AMG question I don't think will endure the test of time.
- Kwik_Shift Looks like what a redesigned Nissan Murano would be. I believe Murano is done.
- MaintenanceCosts This is a Volvo EX90 with swoopier styling and less interior room. I'm really not sure I understand the target audience.
- Stuki Moi If government officials, and voters, could, like, read and, like, count and, like, stuff: They'd take the opportunity to replace fixed license numbers, with random publicly available keys derived from a non-public private key known only to them and the vehicle's owner. The plate's displayed number would be undecipherable to every slimeball out there with a plate reader who is selling people's whereabouts and movements, since it would change every day/hour/minute. Yet any cop with a proper warrant and a plate scanner, could decipher it just as easily as today.