U.S. February Sales: Acura RLX Takes An Uppercut To Its Glass Jaw

Acura RLX sales plunged 53% to just 173 units in February 2015, the fifth consecutive month in which U.S. sales of Acura’s flagship sedan were chopped in half, or worse.

Year-over-year, RLX sales have decreased in each of the last nine months. Over these three quarters, the RLX is down 60%, a loss of 2873 sales compared to the preceding nine-month period.

Historically, the RLX (formerly known as the RL) wasn’t anything like a top-selling premium car, but it wasn’t typically this unpopular, either. In the seven years leading up to the recession, 2002 to 2008, Acura reported an annual average of more than 9000 RL sales in America.

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Truck Sales: What Does "58 Consecutive Months Of Growth" Mean For The Ram P/U?
“Sales of the Ram pickup truck were up 7 percent in February; its 58th consecutive month of year-over-year sales gains.” – FCA US LLC press release, March 3, 2015.

What do 58 consecutive months of year-over-year U.S. sales improvement look like? The accompanying chart is one way of looking at it. Ever since May 2010, Ram P/U sales have been on the rise. Most recently, this translated to a 24% year-over-year increase in calendar year 2014, a 14% jump in January 2015, and a 7% improvement last month.

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Chart Of The Day: GM's U.S. Sales By Brand Over The Last Decade

Two weeks ago we published a chart that showed GM’s decreasing passenger car emphasis over the last 14 months. Last Saturday, we showed GM’s annual U.S. sales volume by vehicle type. This week, we’re continuing the GM examination with a look at the brand allotment over the last decade.

Aside from the Chrysler Group, no automaker has undergone such a dramatic restructuring during the last decade. The public face of the GM restructuring, apart from the shuttering of dealerships, congressional hearings, and a revolving door of new faces in the executive’s chair, was the dismissal of a number of brands. Hummer, Saturn, Oldsmobile, and Pontiac were killed off. Saab is still kind of a thing, but not GM’s thing.

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Cain's Segments: Small Luxury Crossover Sales In The United States – February 2015

Sales of small luxury crossovers jumped 40% in February 2015 and so far this year are up 40% compared with the first two months of 2014.

Subtract the newcomers from that equation and the continuing nameplates, those which were on sale at this time last year, posted a 3% February improvement but are down 1% through two months.

Those new players – NX, MKC, Macan, X4 – generated 29% of the small lux CUV activity in January and February. Yet their collective arrival, both at the lower end with the NX and MKC and at the higher end with the Macan and X4, aren’t slowing down the Acura RDX, Volvo XC60, and Range Rover Evoque.

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Ford's Graying Car Lineup Relying On Mustang To Boost U.S. Sales Numbers

Through the first two months of 2015, U.S. sales of non-Mustang Ford brand cars are down 2% to 91,026, a marginal loss of 1813 units. The overall Ford brand car lineup tumbled 6% in the month of February despite the Mustang’s 32% year-over-year improvement. The five non-Mustangs slid 11%, a loss of 5592 units to 45,234. The Mustang was Ford’s third-best-selling car, contributing another 8454 sales.

That February result was more in keeping with the Ford brand’s recent car sales disappointments. But we can’t be surprised to see Ford’s car division falling after 2010’s 22% improvement, 2011’s 14% jump, the 7% increase in 2012, and 2013’s 10% uptick. Ford’s share of the overall passenger car market increased to 10% in 2010, climbed to nearly 11% in 2011 and moved past 10% in 2013 again. Mustang aside, the results we’re now seeing from Ford’s cars reflect the age of the lineup.

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You're Not Just Seeing Things: Mitsubishi Breaks U.S. Mirage Sales Record In February 2015

Mitsubishi Motors USA broke its one-month-old, sixth-generation Mirage sales record in February 2015, soaring up to 1863 units, a 67% year-over-year improvement.

The Mirage is a penalty box in the classic sense of the automotive term – in genuine penalty boxes you’re forced to sit beside a guy who takes notes like a secretive therapist while a camera looks up your nostrils.

But by the relative standards of Mitsubishi’s current U.S. status as a low-volume mainstream automaker in a high-volume market, the Mirage is a hit. And by, “a hit,” we mean it does ok. By Mitsubishi’s standards and our expectations for an 74-horsepower subcompact.

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Cain's Segments: Entry Luxury Sport Sedans – February 2015 YTD

Trivia time: which cars combined to sell less than half as often in the United States in the first two months of 2015 as the BMW 3-Series and its 4-Series two-door (and four-door) offshoot?

The Audi A4 and Cadillac ATS. Or a number of other pairings listed in the chart below. Take your pick.

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Cain's Segments: Full-Size SUV Sales In America – February 2015 YTD

Sales of full-size, body-on-frame, pickup truck-based SUVs from volume brands are up 58% through the first two months of 2015.

The Chevrolet Suburban and Tahoe, GMC Yukon and Yukon XL, Ford Expedition, Nissan Armada, and Toyota Sequoia produced 41,557 sales in January and February, or about the same number as the Toyota RAV4, America’s second-best-selling SUV/CUV. RAV4 sales are up 25%, year-over-year.

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Canada Auto Sales Recap: February 2015

FCA Canada outsold the Ford Motor Company by 3690 units in February 2015, stretching the company’s year-to-date lead over second-ranked FoMoCo to 7162 sales.

Keep in mind, FCA (formerly Chrysler Group) was more than 5000 sales ahead of Ford Canada at this time last year but couldn’t hold on for an annual title.

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Volvo Moved More Wagons Than Sedans In Canada In February 2015

Volvo is having a hard time moving most of its wares out of the showroom in Canada, with its wagons being the silver lining to its cloud.

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Is Infiniti Getting Back To Normal? Two Whole Consecutive Months Of YOY U.S. Sales Growth

Infiniti USA reported a 20% year-over-year February 2015 sales improvement, a gain of nearly 2000 sales during a period which saw Cadillac, Buick, Jaguar, and Lincoln sales decrease. Among premium brands, only Land Rover (up 23%), and Lexus (up 22%) posted greater February gains than Infiniti.

In fact, Infiniti’s February improvement was the second consecutive for Nissan’s upmarket brand – Infiniti sales rose 7% in the first month of 2015 – a meaningful statistic given the way 2014 ended. Second-half sales last year slid 10%.

Moreover, it marked the best February ever for the brand: 27% better than February 2013, 26% better than February 2012, 28% better than February 2011, 66% better than February 2010.

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Chart Of The Day: GM's Gradual Car Sales Decrease

GM passenger car volume decreased 15% through the first two months of 2015 in the United States, tumbling by more than 18,000 units, or 21%, in February alone.

With vastly improved U.S. pickup truck volum e, steadily growing full-size SUV sales, and growth from the brand’s crossovers, GM was easily able to overcome the car deficit to post a 10% overall sales improvement in America through the end of February.

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Hurry Up, Envision: Encore Isn't Quite Able To Carry Buick On Its Back

What is Buick in America without the Encore, the automaker’s most disparaged product on these pages?

Buick reported 16,114 LaCrosse, Regal, Verano, and Enclave sales in February 2014, a figure which fell 22% in February 2015, when the aging products were, quite obviously, one year older.

Year-to-date volume of non-Encore Buicks tumbled 20% through the first two months of 2015, a loss of 5441 sales across four nameplates.

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Dodge Dart Sales Are Actually On The Upswing

Often criticized for its poor performance in North American markets, the Dodge Dart has performed significantly better over the last five months, a period in which its midsize sibling, Dodge’s Avenger, gradually disappeared.

After generating nearly 50,000 U.S. sales in the first three-quarters of 2014, the discontinued Avenger dried up at the end of the year, generating only 2342 sales in the fourth-quarter and 461 in the first two months of 2015. The clear-out of deeply discounted, V6-engined, midsize cars from the Dodge portfolio opened up an opportunity for the Dart.

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Beyond Official: A 12-Month-Long 40K Sales Streak Proves Subaru USA Is Mainstream

It’s official: Subaru is now routinely the seller of more than 40,000 new vehicles per month in the United States. That’s an impressive achievement considering that in 2013, the company averaged 35,390 monthly sales in what was the automaker’s best year ever. Between 2002 and 2012, Subaru USA averaged fewer than 19,000 monthly sales.

In each of the last twelve months, Subaru sales have shot past the 40,000-unit mark. Subaru USA had crested the 40K barrier twice in the previous seven months. But now all the brand’s best-ever performances have occurred in the recent past.

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  • HotRod It took longer than it should have, but I respect VW for openly acknowledging the system's numerous flaws. Hearing that they intend to bring back physical controls for commonly used features, and that they wish to standardize them across their lineup was the biggest surprise in VW's announcement. It's just so sensible. Rather than using completely different configurations of physical buttons, capacitive controls and touchscreens for every single model, Hyundai/Kia/Genesis would be wise to consider a similar strategy.
  • Zerofoo Ugh - a MKIV VW. Heavy, slow and terrible interior durability to boot. The 1.8t in these things had awful lag, and was made worse by owners swapping K03 for K04 turbos.No Thanks.
  • Oberkanone I'm into it. An occasional trip on the WABAC machine is of interest to me.Thinking of Nissan I have to suspect being an underachiever is their goal. Not since the SE-R has the Sentra been class leading. "Most likely to be a rental" is as appropriate in Nissans yearbook in 2022 as it was 2012.
  • EBFlex Quality though? Was never on the table at Ford.
  • Oberkanone Prefer Trail Duster on rarity basis. Here is a nice one. 1979 Plymouth Trail Duster Sport 4x4 for sale on BaT Auctions - closed on May 14, 2020 (Lot #31,407) | Bring a Trailer