By on September 29, 2014

2015 Lincoln MKC whiteCanadians continued to buy new vehicles at a record-setting pace in August 2014 as the market expanded in all corners, SUVs and crossovers; pickup trucks; commercial vans; minivans; and even passenger cars.

The industry’s 8% year-over-year improvement equalled more than 12,000 extra sales in the Canadian market for automakers of virtually all stripes, from Ford and General Motors to the Volkswagen Group and Toyota. (Read More…)

By on September 28, 2014

2015 Infiniti Q40Infiniti’s G37 sedan continues to attract a meaningful amount of attention from entry-level luxury car buyers in the United States, long after it was replaced by the Q50.

It’s still a fast car. It may be the better driver’s car. And it’s the cheaper of the two, as well, with a base price (including destination and handling) of $33,855, $4200 below the price of the least costly Q50.

11,327 G sedans have been sold in the United States over the last eight months, almost precisely one G37 per two Q50s. (Read More…)

By on September 27, 2014

Jeep USA sales chart 2014Outside of Maserati, which sold more cars than Jaguar in August 2014, Jeep is America’s fastest-growing auto brand in 2014. Through the first eight months of 2014, Jeep’s U.S. volume is up 45%, an increase of more than 143,235 sales.

Total FCA/Chrysler Group sales are up 14%. That’s no small feat, but it’s abundantly apparent that Jeep is motivating much of the Chrysler/Dodge/Fiat/Jeep/Ram gains. (Ram brand sales are up by nearly 58,000 units year-to-date.)

As FCA/Chrysler Group car volume plunges, sliding 18% this year according to the automaker, Jeep’s massive improvements are all the more important.

And it’s not all Cherokee-derived. Sales of Jeep’s other models, the Wrangler, Grand Cherokee, Patriot, and Compass, are up 11% in 2014. The Chrysler family now relies on the brand for more than three out of every ten sales, well up from fewer than two out of every ten in 2004.

By on September 26, 2014

2012 Fiat 500 AbarthWe can look at this two different ways. “Chrysler Group LLC today reported U.S. sales of 198,379 units, a 20 percent increase compared with sales in August 2013 (165,552 units), and the group’s best August sales since 2002,” their press release said at the beginning of this month. 

Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat, Jeep, and Ram combined for an industry-leading 19.8% year-over-year improvement. With 198,379 sales, Chrysler Group LLC eclipsed their previous 2014 best (May) and reached a twelve-year August high and marked the 53rd consecutive month of year-over-year growth and climbed to the highest sales level since May 2007, when 199,393 vehicles were sold by Chrysler, Dodge, and Jeep brands.

(Read More…)

By on September 25, 2014

2015 Nissan MicraNissan Canada markets their new entry-level car with a $9998 base price. (It’s $11,398 with destination, $14,698 with a 4-speed auto and air conditioning.)

The Micra is a sub-Versa car in a small car lineup that includes the Sentra and Juke, but no longer the Cube. It is the cheapest car in Canada. Its most obvious direct rival, aside from the Versa, would be the Mitsubishi Mirage. Our managing editor, a certain Mr. Kreindler, says the chassis is “promising” and “shockingly adept.”

You might also be shocked to see the level of popularity achieved by the Micra so early on in its Canadian tenure. (Read More…)

By on September 22, 2014

2015 Acura TLX SH-AWD V6U.S. sales of passenger cars at the Acura brand are down 32% through the first eight months of 2014, yet total Acura brand volume is down just 3%, a loss of 3264 units. Acura’s trio of crossovers, including 66 sales from the cancelled ZDX, have improved 20%, a gain of more than 12,000 units, not quite enough to offset the car division’s 15,552 lost sales.

It’s a tough year on which to judge Acura’s car output. Acura is replacing the TL sedan, TSX sedan, and TSX wagon with a single model, the TLX sedan. The TLX operates in a broad and rather affordable price spectrum, with four and six-cylinder powerplants, front or all-wheel-drive, and eight or nine-speed transmissions.

But this year’s car sales decline at Acura is nothing new. Moreover, it stretches beyond the disappointing sales of the disappearing TL and TSX. (Read More…)

By on September 21, 2014

porsche-macan-2013-la-auto-show-02You’ve closely tracked the Porsche Cayenne’s success by scanning parking lots outside fancy restaurants. You understand that the Cayenne’s omnipresence in Orange County translates directly to the mere presence of a 918 Spyder in Porsche’s lineup, which is important to you, the owner of a Buick Verano Turbo, just like every other TTAC reader.

As a result, you know that the Macan is simply the next rung on Porsche’s ladder. Oh, it’s the lesser of the two SUVs; smaller in size and price and probably status, too. But this is the vehicle which moves Porsche from niche luxury player closer to the mainstream premium arena. Three sports cars won’t do it, not even with the addition of an SUV and a massive four-door hatchback. (Read More…)

By on September 20, 2014

Subaru vs Volkswagen sales chartIt’s not a brand new thing, this Subaru-besting-Volkswagen trend. But when Subaru outsold the Volkswagen brand in the United States in 2009 and 2010, Subaru was on a rapid upswing despite the market’s sharp decline, and all auto sales results were thought to be skewed by the recession.

(Read More…)

By on September 16, 2014

2013 Ford FusionWith fewer than 1.7 million sales through the first eight months of 2014, U.S. sales of conventional midsize cars are down 0.2% in 2014. Just 0.2%? Out of context, it’s not a bad number, suggesting that midsize sales are basically level with the totals achieved a year ago. Yet in an overall new vehicle market that is on pace for its first 16 million unit sales year since 2007, sluggish sales in a massively important category is in fact a consequential result.

In 2013, when the new vehicle market grew 7.5% compared with calendar year 2012, Camry-class car sales in America were up less than 2%. (Read More…)

By on September 10, 2014

Kia Soul SXLast year was a difficult pill to swallow for Kia in America. After claiming record sales in 2012, Kia volume slid 4% even as America’s auto industry grew 8%.

There were inventory issues, but there was also concern that the new Sorento, though revamped under the skin, didn’t appear new on the outside. The Forte launch didn’t send shock waves through the compact segment. The Cadenza was never expected to be a volume leader.

Explanations for the decline didn’t stop Kia from “restructuring” either, as Kia Motors America’s executive VP of sales, Tom Loveless, was replaced by Michael Sprague.

Through the first eight months of 2014, however, Kia is back on track. Compared with the same period last year, brand-wide sales are up 7%. Compared with the first eight months of that record-setting 2012, sales are up 4.5%. (Read More…)

By on September 9, 2014

2014 Chevrolet SSThe Cadillac ELR flopped. Not because there wasn’t any for you to buy, but because there weren’t any buyers. This is what we knew back in April, and again back in May.

July volume, however, was double what General Motors managed in June, which was nearly double what the ELR managed one month before.

Now get this: August sales increased yet again. (There are no year-over-year figures available yet, as the ELR only arrived in December 2013.) 196 Cadillac ELRs were sold in the United States in August 2014, more than the total number of ELRs sold in December, January, February, and March combined.

196 sounds like a lot, right? Well, it sounds like a lot if we’re comparing ELR volume to the sales totals achieved by the Chevrolet SS.  (Read More…)

By on September 8, 2014

2013-Toyota-RAV4. Photo courtesy ToyotaDuring a month in which the Toyota Camry took a rare break from leading America’s passenger car sales results, the Toyota RAV4 soared to the top of the SUV/crossover leaderboard.

RAV4 sales hit record levels in July 2014, when 26,779 were sold, enough to make the RAV4 America’s second-ranked utility vehicle.

That record was smashed one month later, however, as Toyota reported 35,614 RAV4 sales in August 2014, enough to finish the month 1535 sales ahead of the Honda CR-V, which declined 2%, and 6618 sales ahead of the Ford Escape.

(Read More…)

By on September 7, 2014

2015 Honda Accord coupe and sedanHonda sold more Accords in the United States in August 2014 than at any other point in the model’s rather illustrious history, securing a place as the top-selling passenger car in America last month.

Year-to-date, the Toyota Camry leads the Accord by 35,045 units heading into September. For the Accord to overtake the Camry, the Accord’s margin of victory in each of the remaining four months on the calendar would have to be even stronger than it was in August, the first time since February that the Camry wasn’t America’s top-selling car. (Read More…)

By on September 5, 2014

2013 Ford Fusion Hybrid Fuel Economy Display, 49MPG, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes

The University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute’s monthly United States new-car fuel economy report is out, and it’s a doozy: August 2014 saw an all-time high of 25.8 mpg.

(Read More…)

By on September 5, 2014

U.S. auto sales growth by units gained August 2014Forecasts didn’t call for rain on August 2014’s auto sales parade, but there was definitely a general feeling of overcast heading into Wednesday as automakers prepared to release their monthly and year-to-date sales results.

The rate of growth in the U.S. auto industry since the recession ended has been striking, but the chances of that growth lasting forever – particularly when a month like August is compared with a very strong month like August 2013 – seemed slim.

Yet auto sales increased by 5.5% to more than 1.58 million in August 2014, an improvement of more than 80,000 units. (Read More…)

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