USA July 2017: Toyota #1 brand, RAV4 breaks records, market down 7%

The Toyota RAV4 breaks its volume and ranking record in July. Picture caranddriver.com

* See the Top 15 groups, Top 40 brands and Top 290 models by clicking on the title *

Seventh consecutive month of year-on-year decline for U.S. sales, and it’s the steepest so far this year at -7% to 1.415.139 units, a deficit of almost 107.000 sales compared to July 2016. Year-to-date, U.S. sales are down 2.9% or almost 300.000 units over the same period last year at 9.867.276. 2017 is now well on track to be the first negative year since the dreadful 2009 which was the culmination of the economic crisis. The Seasonally Adjusted Annualised Rate is down more than 1 million over July 2016 at 16.78 million.

This month both passenger cars, down 13.8% to 525.020, and light trucks, down 2.5% to 890.119 are in negative territory, with large vans (-26.6%), minivans (-22.5%), midsize cars (-16.2%), large SUVs (-14.9%), small cars (-12%) and luxury cars (-11.8%) the hardest hit. In contrast, crossovers (+1.8%) and small SUVs (+2.7%) are the only segments in positive territory in July. Overall, SUV/crossover sales are stable at 591.998, once again outselling passenger cars. The truck/car ratio is 63/37 in July vs. 62/38 year-to-date.

The Honda Civic becomes the #1 passenger car in the U.S. YTD. Picture caranddriver.com 

It’s a difficult month for the Detroit three, all losing significant volume. General Motors is down 15.4% to 226.107, holding onto the #1 Group title by the skin of its teeth with Toyota Motor up 3.7% to 222.057. Ford Motor is down 7.4% and FCA down 10%. American Honda (-1.2%), Nissan Motor (-5.3%) and Hyundai-Kia (-18.4%) also lose volume year-on-year. The Volkswagen Group (-2%), Daimler AG (-10.7%), the BMW Group (-13.9%) and Jaguar Land Rover (-1.3%) also decline. Year-to-date, the Volkswagen Group (+5.9%) and Jaguar Land Rover (+15.4%) manage a positive result.

We witness a rare feat atop the brands ranking: thanks to deliveries up 7.4%, Toyota overtakes Ford to become the #1 marque in the U.S. with 193.155 sales vs. 190.443 for Ford, down 7.6%. Chevrolet is hit even harder at -15.3% in third place. Honda (-1.7%) passes Nissan (-4.1%) to rank 4th overall, while Jeep (-12%) and Hyundai (-30.1%) both fall faster than the market in the Top 10. In contrast, Subaru continues to be totally unaffected, the Japanese carmaker is up another 6.9% to jump to 8th place overall. Further down, Lexus (+3.6%), Audi (+2.5%), Acura (+3.7%), Infiniti (+9%), Mitsubishi (+1.7%) and Porsche (+0.6%) progress in a month favourable to premium brands.

GMC Acadia sales are up 30% year-on-year. 

The Ford F-Series widens the gap with its followers thanks to sales up 6% to 69.467 vs. just 45.966 (-15%) for the Chevrolet Silverado. Surging 31% year-on-year, the Toyota RAV4 beats a few records this month. It delivers its largest ever monthly volume and first above 40.000 units at 41.804, beating its previous record of 38.356 hit last May, leaps onto the U.S. podium for the very first time in third place, beating its previous best of #4 hit last May and June. As a bonus, the RAV4 overtakes the Honda CR-V (-12% this month) to become #5 year-to-date. It still trails the Nissan Rogue in the YTD race to the title of #1 crossover in the U.S. The RAV4 knocks the Ram Pickup down to #4.

Another game-changing event happens in 5th place: the Honda Civic is up 11% to bypass bot the Toyota Camry and Corolla YTD and become the best-selling passenger car in the country at 212.446 units. If the Civic maintains this advantage until the end of the year, it would be the first time it ever ranks #1 passenger car in an annual U.S. ranking. This event remains doubtful though as the Camry should see a sales bump due to the arrival of the new generation. Other great performers in the Top 50 this month include the Toyota Highlander (+25%), Subaru Outback (+20%), Hyundai Tucson (+46%), Chevrolet Colorado (+22%), Subaru Impreza a(+26%), Honda HR-V (+32%) and GMC Acadia (+30%).

The Honda Clarity makes its first appearance in the U.S. sales charts. 

Among recent launches (<12 months), the Toyota C-HR leads the way but is still far along the sales charts, breaking into the Top 100 for the first time at #99 with a record 3.444 sales. The Kia Niro is up 23 spots on June to #117, the Chevrolet Bolt up 15 to a best-ever 1.971 units, the Genesis G80 up 5 to #166, the VW Atlas down 38 to #170, the Hyundai Ioniq down 4 to #173 and Alfa Romeo Giulia up 11 to #176. Launched last month, the Alfa Romeo Stelvio is up 29 ranks to #257 and we welcome the Honda Clarity in 256th place this ,month.

Previous post: USA First Half 2017: Rogue, CR-V and RAV4 outsell Altima, Civic and Camry in crossover push

Previous month: USA June 2017: Market down 3% for 6th consecutive month of decline

One year ago: USA July 2016: GM, Ford, Toyota down in market up just 0.5%

Full July 2017 Top 15 groups, Top 40 brands and Top 290 models below.

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USA First Half 2017: Rogue, CR-V and RAV4 outsell Altima, Civic and Camry in crossover rush

The Nissan Rogue is up 30% to #4. 

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Halfway through the year, the U.S. new light vehicle market shows a disappointing picture with sales down 2.1% on the same period in 2016 to 8.452.134 registrations, a drop of almost 185.000 units. If U.S. sales have clearly peaked, let’s keep in mind the comparison base is unusually harsh: 2016 marked a second consecutive record year and 7th consecutive year of growth, a pace that couldn’t be sustained forever. The thorn in the side of the U.S. market this year has more than ever been “classic” passenger cars, with the U.S. customer accelerating its migration towards light trucks, namely crossovers. Passenger cars are down a debilitating 11.4% over the First Half of 2017 to 3.224m units, with midsize cars down 14.2% to 1.42m, small cars down 9.8% to 1.35m and luxury cars down 6.3% to 0.453m. Reversely, light trucks gain 4.6% to 5.229m sales, with crossovers the engine of growth of the U.S. market at +8.6% to 2.516m, SUVs up 2.4% to .883m and pickups up 4.4% to 1.337m. A new element has reinforced the truck domination in the U.S. this year: the combined sales figure for SUVs and crossovers now outpaces passenger cars, up 7% to 3.398.585 vs. 3.223.549. This is a very symbolic overtaking as we’ll see further down this analysis.

The Honda CR-V is up 18% to #5. Picture caranddriver.com

Group-wise, the Detroit Three drop 4.1% to total 3.776m sales, with General Motors (#1) down 1.7%, Ford Motor (#2) down 3.8% and FCA (#4) down a harsh 7%. The “Japan There” resist better at -0.8% to 2.767m sales. Toyota Motor drops 3.6% and Honda Motor is down 0.1% but Nissan Motor manages to go against the grain with a 2.7% improvement to just under 820.000 sales. Hyundai-Kia suffers at -8.6% but Volkswagen Group (+9.1%) and Jaguar Land Rover (+18.6%) shine.

In the brands ranking, Ford remains comfortably in the lead despite a 4.2% decline while Toyota (+1.3%) steps away from Chevrolet (-3.8%) keeping in mind all ex-Scion models are now Toyota-branded. Nissan (+1%) and Honda (+0.7%) keep their head above the water, rounding out the Top 5. Just below, Jeep (-13.2%), Hyundai (-10.1%) and Kia (-9.9%) struggle while Subaru continues to march ahead at +9.1%, the largest year-on-year gain in the Top 20. Ram (+8%), Volkswagen (+8.2%), Buick (+5.9%) and Audi (+6.6%) also post solid gains. Outside the Top 20, notice Infiniti (+21.8%), Tesla (+42.7%), Jaguar (+88%), Maserati (+35.6%) and Alfa Romeo (+1152%) all posting spectacular gains.

The Toyota RAV4 is up 11% to #6. Picture caranddriver.com 

Over in the models ranking, the Ford F-Series sails off with a stunning 9% gain to just under 430.000 units in just six months. This is the second-highest H1 volume ever delivered by the F-Series, only a couple of thousand sales below the 432.939 hit over H1 2014 which ended up being the best year ever for the F-Series at 939.511 units. This means Ford’s best-selling pickup is in position to beat its all-time record this year, as it would only need a slightly higher H2 result to do so. Keep in mind though that the F-Series’ 2004 score was help by near-100.000 unit-months in both September and December… In 2nd place, the Chevrolet Silverado is in difficulty with a 4% drop to just under 263.000 units. It was outsold during three consecutive months (March to May) by the Ram Pickup, itself up 7% to a little over 250.000 sales.

The Ford F-Series posts its second highest ever H1 volume. Picture caranddriver.com

It’s just below that we witness the most symbolic changeover the U.S. market has witnessed in the past decade, no less. Now that all manufacturers have reorganised their factory allocation to quench the never-ending thirst for crossovers and SUVs of the American public, the inevitable has happened. All “Japan three” manufacturers have a crossover for best-seller, not a passenger car anymore. What is remarkable about this trend is that it has happened simultaneously for the three carmakers. Nissan replaces the Altima (-15%) by the Rogue, up an incredible 30% and 8 spots year-on-year to #4 overall. Honda replaces the Civic (-7%) by the CR-V up 18% and five ranks to #5 and Toyota replaces the Camry (-11%) by the RAV4 up 11% and three spots to #6. If you were still in doubt that crossovers were the engine of U.S. growth, here is your proof.

The Chevrolet Cruze is up 22%. Picture caranddriver.com

In the passenger car battle, the Toyota Camry is now feeling the heat from its smaller sibling the Toyota Corolla (-8%) now that the ex-Scion iM sales are added into the Corolla’s total as the Corolla iM. Good performers inside the Top 20 include the Chevrolet Equinox (+10%), the Jeep Grand Cherokee (+16%), Chevrolet Cruze (+21%) and Toyota Highlander (+22%). As far as recent launches are concerned, there are no all-new nameplates in the Top 130 but the Chrysler Pacifica (+440%) climbs up to #36, the Cadillac XT5 is up 313% to #81, the Nissan Titan up 301% to #95 and the Buick Envision up 15-fold to #100. The Kia Niro lands at #138, the Infiniti QX30 at #157, the Genesis G80 at #170, Chevrolet Bolt at #172, Lincoln Continental at #188 and the Toyota C-HR at #192.

Previous post: USA June 2017: Market down 3% for 6th consecutive month of decline

One year ago: USA First Half 2016: Is this the first soft landing in a decade?

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USA June 2017: Market down 3% for 6th consecutive month of decline

The Chevrolet Equinox shoots up 49% to #10, symbolising the U.S. rush to crossovers.

* See the Top 15 groups, Top 40 brands and Top 289 models by clicking on the title *

It’s a sixth consecutive month of decline for new light vehicle sales in the U.S. with 2017 yet to see a positive month. June is down 3% year-on-year to 1.474.041 units, pulling the year-to-date tally down 2.1% to 8.452.134. The weakness of passenger cars we’ve seen for the past couple of years accentuates this month with a harsh 13.2% decline to 540.590 units. In the detail, midsize cars are down 14.3% to 230.061, small cars down 15.9% to 228.289, luxury cars down 0.8% to 82.158 and large cars down 56.1% to just 82. The picture in the light truck segment is almost diametrically opposed: up 4.2% to 933.451 or a record 63.3% share. The SUV/Crossover combination continues to outsell passenger cars, something that never happened before this year, up 5.4% to 599.500. In the detail, crossovers are up 7% to 447.501, SUVs up 1% to 151.999 and pickups up 5.6% to 240.732.

The Atlas is already Volkswagen’s best-selling truck in the U.S. 

All Detroit Three carmakers lose more market share this month as they all drop faster than the market: General Motors reclaims the top spot but drops 4.7%, Ford Motor is down 5% and FCA down 7%. In contrast, the “Japan Three” all gain volume: Toyota Motor is up 2.1%, Nissan Motor up 2% and Honda Motor up 0.8%. Hyundai-Kia tumbles down 14.9% but the Volkswagen Group is up 10.1%.

Brand-wise, 6 in the Top 10 post declines, starting with market leader Ford down 5.4%, Chevrolet down 6.4%, Honda down 1.3%, Jeep down 11%, Kia down 10.3% and Hyundai down 21.7%. Toyota bucks the trend with a splendid 7% gain, Nissan is up 1.2%, Subaru posting the largest gain in the Top 10 at +11.7% and Ram up 6%. Further down, notice Volkswagen up 15%, Buick up 16.4%, Acura up 23.7%, Infiniti up 11% and Tesla up 25.8%. Alfa Romeo is up 28-fold (!) thanks to the Giulia and Stelvio.

The Chrysler Pacifica breaks into the U.S. Top 30 

Still ultra-dominant in the models ranking, the Ford F-Series increases its advantage over its followers with a 10% year-on-year gain, signing its fourth consecutive month above 70.000 sales. The Chevrolet Silverado, outsold for three straight months by the Ram Pickup, reclaims the 2nd spot in June, gaining 2%, while the Ram is up 5% to third place. The Toyota RAV4 (+25%) posts another stellar month – its fourth straight above 30.000 sales – ahead of the Nissan Rogue (+11%) once again very impressive at #5. The Toyota Corolla leads passenger cars at #6 above the Honda Civic and Accord while the traditional leader, the Toyota Camry (-10%), awaiting the new generation, is relegated to #9 overall. The Chevrolet Equinox, shooting up 49%, is inside the Top 10 for the first time since April 2015. The Chrysler Pacifica continues to climb, reaching a record #30 and 12.399 sales, the Toyota C-HR is up 32 spots on May to #118 and the VW Atlas is up 28 to #132 and already the brand’s best-selling SUV.

Previous month: USA May 2017: Market down 0.5% despite strong light truck sales

One year ago: USA June 2016: Trucks pull market up 2% but SAAR is down

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USA May 2017: Market down 0.5% despite strong light truck sales

The Toyota RAV4 now outsells the Camry year-to-date. Picture caranddriver.com

* See the Top 15 groups, Top 40 brands and Top 295 models by clicking on the title *

The U.S. new light vehicle market has yet to post a positive month this year with May sales down slightly at -0.5% to 1.519.175, bringing the year-to-date tally down 2% to 6.978.089. This time passenger cars are solely responsible for the market’s drop with a 9% year-on-year decline to 584.005 units whereas light trucks are up 6% to 935.170 or 61.6% market share. In the detail, pickup trucks are up 9.3% to 236.429, crossovers are up 5.2% to 449.046 and SUVs up 2.8% to 155.855. Once again, the crossover+SUV category outsells passenger cars at 604.901 (+4.6%). Year-to-date, passenger cars are down a harsh 11% to 2.682.955, light trucks are up 4.7% to 4.295.134 with pickup trucks up 4.1% to 1.095.974 and crossovers/SUVs the everlasting engine of growth at +7.3% to 2.799.085.

The Ram Pickup outsells the Chevy Silverado for the third consecutive month. 

Group-wise, Ford Motor Co. takes the lead this month thanks to deliveries up 2.3% to 240.250, overtaking General Motors down 1.3% with Toyota Motor Co (-0.5%) and FCA (-1%) also in decline. Honda Motor (+0.9%) and Nissan Motor (+3%) buck the trend and post positive results as do the Volkswagen Group (+4.1%) and Jaguar Land Rover (+13.9%). Hyundai-Kia (-11.5%) and the BMW Group (-11.1%) suffer this month.

Ford is also the most popular brand in the U.S. this month, up 2.2%, distancing Toyota up 3.7% and Chevrolet down 3.8%. Honda and Nissan round up the Top 5, with Kia (-7%), Jeep (-15%) and Hyundai (-18%) falling heavily whereas Subaru (+12.1%) and Ram (+18%) continue to climb up. Subaru still has the lowest average incentives in market and is headed towards a 9th consecutive record year. Further down, Volvo (+12%), Infiniti (+15.6%), Buick (+28.5% thanks to the Envision), Maserati (+33.9%), Tesla (+37.3%), Jaguar (+43.9%) and Alfa Romeo (+1988.6% thanks to the Giulia) all post spectacular gains.

The VW Atlas has landed in the U.S. sales charts… 

Over in the models ranking, the Ford F-Series surges 13% to post its strongest May figure in 13 years at 76.027. It is followed for the third consecutive month by the Ram Pickup up 16% to once again outsmart the Chevrolet Silverado (-3%). The Silverado remains #2 year-to-date for now. The Toyota RAV4 jumps 19% to land in 4th place overall, overtaking the Camry year-to-date to become the brand’s best-seller in the U.S. If the RAV4 keeps this spot until the end of the year it would be a first. The Honda Accord (+5%) is the best-selling passenger car in May ahead of the Corolla (-10%) and Camry (-12%). The Nissan Rogue (+19%) and Honda CR-V (+10%) retreat to the bottom of the Top 10 but still post very strong figures. They rank #4 and #5 respectively year-to-date.

…as well as the Lexus LC. 

Notice also the Ford Explorer up 18%, the Jeep Grand Cherokee up 14% and the Toyota Highlander up 23%, all strong performing SUVs inside the Top 20. The Chrysler Pacifica nudges up to #35 with a record 11.720 sales, the Hyundai Tucson is up 44%, the GMC Acadia up 38%, the Chevrolet Camaro up 35% and the VW Golf up 61%. The Kia Niro is now the most popular recent launch (<12 months) at #127 but the Toyota C-HR (#150) and Hyundai Ioniq (#153) are catching up fast. We welcome two new nameplates inside the U.S. ranking this month: Volkswagen’s long awaited seven-seat SUV, the Atlas directly at #160 and the Lexus LC at #227.

Previous month: USA April 2017: Fourth consecutive month of year-on-year decline

One year ago: USA May 2016: Market down 6%, largest drop since August 2010

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USA April 2017: Fourth consecutive month of year-on-year decline

The Ram Pickup outsells the Chevrolet Silverado for the second straight month. 

* See the Top 15 groups, Top 40 brands and Top 290 models by clicking on the title *

April figures confirm the U.S. market has now plateaued, with a fourth consecutive month of year-on-year decline at -4.7% to 1.426.126 units, leading yo a year-to-date tally down 2.4% to 5.458.914. This is the longest negative period since the market plunged in 2009… The industry is now getting to terms with the fact that an 8th consecutive year of gains and a third record year is now highly unlikely, just as the Seasonally Adjusted Annualised Sales Rate (SAAR) reaches 16.92 million, up from 16.6 million in March but down from 17.42 million a year ago.

Confirming the slowdown is the fact that incentives are at a very high level, reaching 10.5% of sticker price on average, which is a red alert according to Auto Nation. If passenger cars continue their freefall at -11% to 557.312 units, this month light trucks are also down at -0.1% to 868.814 albeit up 3% year-to-date to 3.359.964. This is the first year-on-year decline for the light truck segment since September 2013. Pickups are down 3.5% but the SUV/crossover category continues to post impressive scores at +3.5% to 564.488, outselling passenger cars once again.

The Honda CR-V is up 13% to #4 overall in April. 

All the main carmakers post year-on-year declines this month. General Motors registers its first drop since January at -5.8% as it continues to pull out of the fleet sales segment, Ford Motor posts a fourth consecutive month of decline at -7.1%, Toyota Motor is down 4.4%, FCA down 6.6% with no sales gain since last August, Honda Motor down 7%, Nissan/Mitsubishi down 2.4% and Hyundai-Kia down 1.9%.

Brand-wise, Ford (-7.4%), Toyota (-3.5%) and Chevrolet (-10.4%) dominate ahead of Honda (-6.3%), Nissan (-2%) and Jeep (-16.5%), with Subaru (+3.9%) the first marque posting a year-on-year gain at #9 and on track for a 9th consecutive annual volume record. Ram, up 5.3%, is the only other brand to gain ground in the Top 10. Below, Volkswagen (+1.6%), Buick (+17%), Audi (+5.7%), Cadillac (+9.5%), Infiniti (+3.5%) and Volvo (+15.4%) shine, while among smaller brands, Tesla (+71%), Jaguar (+197%) and Alfa Romeo (+1047%) make themselves noticed.

Nissan Rogue sales are up 18% year-on-year in April.

In the models ranking, below the Ford F-Series ever so reliable and stable in pole position, the Ram Pickup (+5%) outsells the Chevrolet Silverado (-20%) for the second consecutive month and only the fourth time this century at 43.321 units vs. 40.154. The Silverado remains in 2nd place year-to-date though at 168.621 deliveries (-6%) vs. 162.520 (+5%). In March, average incentives reached $6.010 for the Ram vs. $5.844 for the Silverado according to Autodata. It’s another very strong SUV month with the Honda CR-V up 13% to #4 overall and the Toyota RAV4 up 5% to #5, both outselling the Toyota Camry (-8%), Honda Civic (-12%) and Toyota Corolla (-8%) just as the Nissan Rogue gains 18% in 9th place.

Outside the Top 10, the Chevrolet Cruze benefits from its facelift with sales up 51% to #13 this month and up 46% to #16 year-to-date. Among recent launches, the Chrysler Pacifica continues to step up at #37 vs. #44 year-to-date, the Buick Envision is up to #89 vs. #100 YTD, the Kia Niro up to #115 vs. #142, the Hyundai Ioniq up to #167 vs. #223 and the Chevrolet Bolt up to #169 vs. #185. Finally, we welcome the Toyota C-HR at #214 in the U.S. ranking this month.

Previous post: USA February 2017: SUVs above passenger cars again, market at -1.1%

One year ago: USA April 2016: Strong incentives and light trucks push market up 3.5%

Full April 2017 Top 15 groups, Top 40 brands and Top 290 models below.

Full March 2017 Top 290 models below.

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USA February 2017: SUVs above passenger cars again, market at -1.1%

Nissan Rogue sales are up 54% to #4 overall (picture caranddriver.com)

* See the Top 15 groups, Top 40 brands and Top 290 models by clicking on the title *

February sales in the U.S. are almost a duplicate of January: the market is down slightly at -1.1% to 1.333.637 registrations, meaning the year-to-date tally now stands at 2.477.186, down 1.4% after two months. Last month, SUV/crossover segment outsold passenger cars for the first time in history. In February, the same situation happens with SUV/crossovers registering a 9.3% spike to 540.042 units and +9.6% to 1.015.324 year-to-date whereas passenger cars as a whole continue to freefall at -12.1% to 502.300 and 929.896 so far in 2017. As it has now become the norm, light trucks (+6.9%) – including SUV, Crossovers and pickup trucks – account for over 60% of the market at 62.3% in February vs. 62.6 in January and 60.7% over the Full Year 2016 which was a record.

The Ford Escape is up 16% to #6 overall (picture caranddriver.com) 

Group-wise, General Motors is the only one in positive territory in the Top 4 at +4.2% to 237.388 units, while Ford Motor drops 4%, Toyota Motor is down 7.2% and FCA Fiat Chrysler Automobiles crashes 10.1% to 4th place. Nissan North America sales now include Mitsubishi and are up 5.7% to 146.664, a fair way above American Honda at 121.686 (+2.3%) while Hyundai-Kia closes the Top 7 as usual with 95.693 units (-6.9%). The Volkswagen Group signs the second largest year-on-year gain in market at 13.3% albeit off a very low base a year ago when its emission scandal and stop-sale orders hit deliveries full frontal. Daimler AG is up 6.8% but the BMW Group is down 2.5%. Jaguar Land Rover tops them all at +16.4%.

The Chrysler Pacifica is up to a best-ever 37th spot this month in the U.S. 

In the brands ranking, Ford dominates as usual but skids down 4.5% to 198.720 units whereas Chevrolet gains 3.4% to 164.095. GM’s strategy of less reliance on artificial sales such as fleet deliveries seems to slowly be paying off. Toyota (-1.9%), Nissan (+1.2%) and Honda (4.3%) follow while Volkswagen (+12.7%), GMC (+17.2%) and Audi (+17.3%) post the strongest year-on-year gains in the Top 20. On the other hand, Kia (-14.2%), Jeep (-14.7%), Lexus (-20.6%) and Chrysler (-28.1%) deliver that largest losses. Among smaller brands, Infiniti (+32.5%), Mitsubishi (+38.8%), Tesla (+43.7%), Maserati (+49.3%), Jaguar (+130.4%), Alfa Romeo (+843%) make themselves noticed.

Three Ford GT found a buyer in the U.S. this month.

Model-wise, the Top 6 best-sellers are all in positive territory  in another case of market concentration on the tried and tested nameplates available. The Ford F-Series gains 9% to 65.956 units, the Chevrolet Silverado surges 17% to 50.504 and the Ram Pickup is up 5% to 39.046 to make the podium 100 pickup truck as it has oe become the routine. It’s outside the podium that things are getting very interesting indeed. The Nissan Rogue posts another out-of-this-world 54% surge to rank 4th overall and #1 SUV in the country It is followed closely by the Honda CR-V (+26%) and Ford Escape (+16%) meaning the Top 6 is 100% light trucks. The Toyota Camry (-15%), Corolla (-11%), Honda Civic (-2%) and Nissan Altima (-6%) follow in order for passenger cars to save face and place four in the Top 10 but they are all in negative. The Toyota RAV4 (+3%) has let itself distanced by the three aforementioned SUVs at #11 overall.

The Hyundai Ioniq makes its first appearance in the U.S. sales charts in February. 

Among recent launches (<12 months), the Chrysler Pacifica continues to climb up the U.S. charts now that the Town & Country has all but disappeared from the ranking: up another 13 spots to a best-ever #37. The Pacifica is one of only two recent launches inside the Top 10 along with the Cadillac XT5 down one spot on January to #83. Below, we find the Honda Ridgeline at #104 (+5), the Buick Envision at #105 (+12) and the Infiniti QX30 at #124 (+49). Launched last month, the Kia Niro goes from 42 sales in January to 2.143 now, allowing it a spoy inside the Top 150 (#133). The Chevrolet Bolt for its part is down 18 ranks to #190 but the Alfa Romeo Giulia is up 36 to #216. In February we welcome the Ford GT at #280 and the Hyundai Ioniq at #284.

Previous month: USA January 2017: SUVs outsell passenger cars in market down 1.7%

One year ago: USA February 2016: Market up 7% to best February in 15 years

Full February 2017 Top 15 groups, Top 40 brands and Top 290 models below.

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USA January 2017: SUVs outsell passenger cars in market down 1.7%

honda-cr-v-usa-december-2016-picture-courtesy-caranddriver-comThe CR-V is up 52% to #4 and #1 SUV in the U.S. in January. (picture caranddriver.com)

* See the Top 15 groups, Top 40 brands and Top 280 models by clicking on the title *

In January, U.S. new car sales feel the hungover of December sales artificially pushed by particularly generous incentives leading to a second straight all-time record year. Sales are down 1.8% to 1.143.549, January traditionally being the slowest month of the year here. The seasonally adjusted annualised sales rate (SAAR) remains solid though at 17.57 million vs. 17.87 million in January 2016 and 18.38 million last month but keeping in mind 2016 ended with an actual 17.55 million units. Trends observed last year accentuate in January: passenger cars freefall down 12% with midsize cars down 21%, minivans are down 35% but pickups gains 4% to 177.964 sales, SUVs are up 6% to 123.944 and crossovers up 11% to 351.338. Overall, light trucks are up 5.7% to 715.953 or 62.6% of the market vs. 60.7% over the Full Year 2016 which was a record, but light trucks frankly outselling passenger cars has become the routine. The new news is SUV/crossovers (475.282 vs 432.468 a year ago) now outsell passenger cars (427.596 vs. 487.011) is new news.

The Nissan Rogue shoots up 46% to #5 overall (picture caranddriver.com) 

General Motors (-4%), Ford Motor (-1%), FCA (-11%, its fifth consecutive decline), Toyota Motor (-11%) and Hyundai-Kia (-1%) all drop volumes year-on-year with only Nissan Motor and Honda Motor gaining ground, both at +6% on the back of record light truck sales and average incentives up 24% and 35% year-on-year respectively. In fact, if the industry average incentive per vehicle is down 3.3% on December to $3.635, it is in fact up a whopping 22% on January 2016… BMW leads the way with $6.016 worth of incentives per car on average (+44%), ahead of Daimler at $4.648 (+29%), GM at $4.504 (up a modest 10%), FCA at $4.408 (+14%), Nissan at $4.335 (+24%), Volkswagen Group at $4.117 (+31%) and Ford at $4.114 (+35%). Below average are Kia at $3.411 (+21%), Hyundai at $2.602 (+37%), Toyota at $2.538 (+21%), Honda at $2.231 (+34%) and Subaru at $1.120 (+97%). These figures sourced with ALG and quoted by Automotive News.

The RAV4 is Toyota’s best-seller for the second month running.

Brand-wise, Ford (-2%), Chevrolet (-2%) and Toyota (-6%) make the podium unchanged on December and FY2016 while Nissan (+4%) overtakes Honda (+8%) and Jeep struggles at -7% in 6th place. Hyundai (-1%) is back above Subaru (+7%) but in negative, Dodge (-17%) surges back up 5 spots on December to #9 with Ram up 15% to #10. Volkswagen (+17%), Mazda (+10%) and Audi (+14%) are the only other carmakers posting double-digit gains inside the Top 20, in the case of VW and Audi partly due to low bases a year ago in the wake on the company’s emissions scandal. Below, spectacular gains are reserved to luxury brands, such as Lincoln (+22%), Infiniti (+36%), Ferrari (+42%), Alfa Romeo (+59%), Maserati (+69%), Rolls-Royce (+70%), Tesla (+82%), Bentley (+83%) and Jaguar (+117%).

The Chevrolet Cruze hits its best U.S. ranking in over two years. 

In the models ranking, the Ford F-Series goes agains the grain and posts a stellar 13% increase to 57.995 sales, over 22.000 units above its archenemy the Chevrolet Silverado at 35.553 (-3%), now threatened by the Ram Pickup at 33.769 (+13%). For the second month running, the Top 5 is passenger car-free, with the Honda CR-V leaping up 52% to #4 thanks both e new generation and the Nissan Rogue endlessly impressive at +46% to 28.760 sales in 5th place. The Honda Civic tops passenger cars at #6 overall despite a 14% plunge, and the RAV4 is Toyota’s best-seller for the second consecutive month at 22.155, distancing the Corolla (21.567) and most strikingly the Camry (20.313) down 24% and awaiting the new generation with trepidation.

The Volvo V90 Cross Country somehow made its way to the U.S. ranking, but is yet to be officially available. 

The Chevrolet Cruze surges 39% to #11, its best U.S. ranking since November 2014, the Jeep Grand Cherokee is up 24% to #16, the Subaru Outback up 18% to #20, Hyundai Elantra up 33% to #21, Jeep Renegade up 52% to #30, GMC Acadia up 65% to #32, Hyundai Santa Fe up 54% to #39 and the Accent up 40% to #48. Among recent launches, the Chrysler Pacifica settles inside the Top 50 for the fourth time in the past five months, the Tesla Model X (#119) outsells the Model S (#135) for the first time, the Jaguar F-Pace improves 14 spots on December to a record #151 and the Chevrolet Bolt is up 49 ranks to #172. In January, we welcome the Kia Niro at #266 with 42 sales and the Volvo V90 at #276 with 4 units.

Previous post: USA Full Year 2016: Incentives lift market to second straight record

Previous month: USA December 2016: Nissan Rogue shoots up 53% to 4th overall

One year ago: USA January 2016: SAAR up to 17.55m units despite snowstorms

Full January 2017 Top 15 groups, Top 40 brands and Top 280 models below.

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USA Full Year 2016: Incentives lift market to second straight record

ford-f-250-usa-2016-picture-courtesy-caranddriver-comThe Ford F-Series celebrates 35 consecutive years as #1 in the U.S. 

* See the Top 15 groups, Top 40 brands and Top 310 models by clicking on the title *

Check out over 100 years worth of U.S. Historical Data here

Contact us here for detailed 2017 forecasts brand by brand of the U.S. market

After three consecutive months of year-on-year decline (August to October) leading to a YTD also in negative after 10 months, the U.S. new light vehicle market surprisigly rallied back during the last two months of 2016. Helped by post-election stick market gains, November sales shot up 5% and December was up 3%, that month even hitting the highest SAAR of the past decade at 18.38 million. The result: a second consecutive all-time annual record at 17.550.351 registrations, beating the previous all-time high established in 2015 by a slim 71.000 units or 0.4% margin. 2016 marks the 7th straight year of growth from the U.S. market recovering splendidly from a 27-year low of 10.4 million in 2009, in the midst of the financial crisis. The last time U.S. sales gained volume for so long was almost a century ago: 9 straight years of growth from 1909 to 1917, a time when the Ford Model T was the most popular model both here and around the world.

toyota-camry-usa-2016-picture-courtesy-caranddriver-comThe Toyota Camry has been the best-selling car in the U.S. for the past 15 years.

Even more so than 2015, 2016 is the year of the light truck in the U.S. with sales of this segment surging 7.2% to break the symbolic 10 million annual unit barrier for the first time in history at 10.445.189 units. Light trucks account for a record 60.7% of all light vehicle sales in the U.S. in 2016. The growth rate are pretty evenly spread across the different light truck sub-segments: Crossovers are up 8.5% to 4.9850.966, Minivans are up 8% to 553.131, Pickups up 5.9% to 2.692.540 and SUVs up 4.4% to 1.785.419. Strikingly, all passenger car segments are in sharp decline this year: -8.1% overall to 7.105.162 with small cars down 6.2% to 2.892.600, midsize cars down 8.4% to 3.213.880, luxury cars down 12.4% to 997.661 and large cars down 44.7% to 1.021.

honda-cr-v-usa-2016-picture-courtesy-caranddriver-comThe Honda CR-V remains the best-selling SUV in the country, but just. 

The forecast for 2017 isn’t that rosy as U.S. light vehicle sales have now hit a plateau. The market will be stable at best, which still means it will remain at all-time record levels. Yet if pent-up demand, more leasing, favourable finance deals and steady job growth have driven new-vehicle sales since the downturn according to Automotive News, rising interest rates and a retail market that has already hit its peak will endanger further growth. The larger incentives manufacturers have offered in 2016 have only prevented decline and not spurred any significant volume gains, and we may be reaching the high-end limit for artificially boosting sales (average incentives per vehicles were up 20% year-on-year in December to $3,673 according to ALG. An increasing volume of off-lease vehicles are now hitting the second-hand market with extremely attractive prices, and this will hurt retail sales further in 2017. Contact us here for detailed 2017 forecasts brand by brand of the U.S. market.

Nissan Murano 2016. Picture courtesy caranddriver.comThe Nissan brand sells a record 1.43m units in the U.S. in 2016. Picture caranddriver.com

Among the six biggest automotive groups in activity in the U.S., the Detroit Three (General Motors, Ford and FCA) add up to 7.89m sales, down 0.7% for a 44.9% market share vs. 45.4% a year ago whereas the Japan Three (Toyota, Nissan, Honda) combine 5.65m sales, up 1.5% for a 32.2% share vs. 31.9% in 2015. These six group account for 77.1% of the U.S. market in 2016 vs. 77.3% last year. Add Hyundai-Kia, up 2.5% to 1.42m units, and this share climbs to 85.2%. GM (-1.3%) remains the top seller and announced rental sales down 74.000 vehicles or 18% in a bid to focus on more profitable sales. It towers above Ford Motor (-0.1%), Toyota Motor (-2%) and FCA (-0.4%) while American Honda (+3.2%), Nissan Motor (+5.4%) and Hyundai-Kia (+2.5%) all break annual sales records.

Jeep Wrangler USA 2016. Picture courtesy caranddriver.comDespite a troubled second half, Jeep beats another volume record in 2016.

The Ford brand is once again the most popular in the country despite sales down 0.6% to 2.49m units, ahead of Chevrolet at 2.1m (-1.4%), Toyota at 2.06m (-1.6%), Honda at a record 1.48m (+4.8%) and Nissan also breaking an all-time record at 1.43.m (+5.5%). No less than four additional Top 10 brands reach all-time high sales in 2016: Jeep is up 6.1% to 926.376 (best-ever month in May at 90.545), Hyundai up 0.8% to 768.057 (new monthly record at 75.310 in March), Kia up 3.5% to 647.598 (highest month ever in May at 62.926) and Subaru up 5.6% to 615.132 (December highest ever at 63.177). Outside the Top 10, Ram (545.851) also snaps a new annual record.

Mercedes GLE USA 2016. Picture courtesy caranddriver.comMercedes overtakes BMW to become the #1 luxury marque in the U.S. in 2016. 

A lot of annual records were also broken in the luxury segment. The leaders however are in decline: Mercedes overtakes BMW to grab the luxury crown for the first time since 2013 despite sales down 0.8% to 340.237 excluding Sprinter variants, with Lexus coming 2nd at 331.228 (-3.9%) and BMW – leader for 4 of the past 6 years – at 313.174 (-9.5%). After 11 consecutive years of Lexus reign between 2000 and 2011, BMW had won the luxury crown in 2011, 2012, 2014 and 2015, while Mercedes was tops in 2013. Audi is up 4% to an all-time high 210.213 deliveries, Infiniti up 3.6% to a record 138.293, Land Rover up 4.6% to an all-time high 73.861, Porsche up 4.9% to a record 54.280 and Tesla up 69% to a new high of just under 40.000 sales.

Subaru Outback USA 2016. Picture courtesy caranddriver.comSubaru sells a record 615.000 units in the U.S. in 2016. 

There is no surprise atop the models ranking: the three most popular vehicles in the U.S. are full-size pickup trucks for the third straight year and the 4th time in the past two decades along with 20032014 and 2015. The Ford F-Series, now in full gear with new generations of the F-150, F-250 and F-350 in dealerships, gains 5% on 2015 to pass 820.000 deliveries. This is the F-Series’ highest volume in 11 years and its fourth highest ever: it only did better in 2004 (939.511), 2005 (901.463) and 2003 (845.586). This means the F-Series can now celebrate 40 consecutive years as the best-selling pickup truck in the U.S. (since 1977) and 35 straight years as the best-selling vehicle in the country (no interruption since 1982). With the Chevrolet Silverado down 4% to 575.000 units and the GMC Sierra down 1% to 222.000 adding up to 797.000, Ford is back above GM in the full-size pickup race after being outsold for the first time since 2009 last year. The Ram Pickup continues its forward march at +9% to 490.000 sales despite no design tweaks.

Honda Civic USA 2016. Picture courtesy caranddriver.comHonda Civic sales go against the grain in the passenger car segment: +9%. 

Yes, the Toyota Camry is America’s favourite car for the 15th straight year and for the 19th time in the past 20 years but it falters 9% to 389.000 deliveries, distancing the Honda Civic at 367.000 (+9%) and the Toyota Corolla at 360.000 (-1%) while the Honda Accord lags behind at 345.000 (-3%). 2016 marks the 20th consecutive year that U.S. passenger car sales have been dominated by a Japanese model: the last American sedan to be titled #1 is the Ford Taurus in 1996. In fact, like in 2015 there are no U.S. SUVs or passenger cars in the overall 2016 Top 10 (the Ford Escape ranks #12 and the Fusion #13).

Hyundai Tucson USA 2016. Picture courtesy caranddriver.comThe Tucson (+61%) helps Hyundai to a record year… 

But 2017 may be the first year when Japanese manufacturers have crossovers instead of cars as their best-sellers, as it was the case twice this year (July and December) for Toyota, Honda and Nissan all at the same time. The Honda CR-V holds onto its U.S. SUV crown in 2016, but just: at +3% to 357.335, it has struggle to keep the Toyota RAV4 at bay, up 12% to 352.154 and will need its new generation to perform optimally to keep the title. Lurking in third place in the SUV race but up by the largest margin is the Nissan Rogue at +15% to 329.904, it passed the Altima as Nissan’s best-seller for the very first time and could be the surprise winner of 2017.

Kia Sportage USA 2016. Picture courtesy autocosmos.com.mx…as does the Sportage lifting Kia to an all-time high volume in 2016.

Other success stories of 2016 include the Chevrolet Colorado up 29% to #48 and reviving the mid-size pickup truck segment, the Jeep Renegade up 75% to rank 50th for its first full year of sales, the Hyundai Tucson up 61% to #60 thanks to the new model, the Kia Sportage up 51% to #68 for the same reason and the Nissan Maxima up 55% to #80 despite the confronting design of its new generation. The Chrysler Pacifica is the most popular all-new nameplate, arriving at #81 and the only newcomer in the Top 100 yet still a notch below the performance of its predecessor the Town & Country. The Cadillac XT5 (#114), China-made Buick Envision (#186), Jaguar F-Pace (#200), Cadillac CT6 (#203), Buick Cascada (#209), Jaguar XE (#214) and Genesis G80 (#218) follow, while Chevrolet expects a lot of the Bolt which landed in December and ranks at #275 for 2016.

Previous month: USA December 2016: Nissan Rogue shoots up 53% to 4th overall

Previous year: USA Full Year 2015: 15 year-old annual record eclipsed: 17.470.659 units

Two years ago: USA Full Year 2014: Podium 100% pickup trucks for the first time in 11 years

Full Year 2016 Top 15 groups, Top 40 brands and Top 310 models vs. Full Year 2015 data below.

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USA December 2016: Nissan Rogue shoots up 53% to 4th overall

nissan-rogue-usa-december-2016-picture-courtesy-caranddriver-comThe Nissan Rogue is the best-selling SUV in the USA in December.

* See the Top 15 groups, Top 40 brands and Top 285 models by clicking on the title *

Surpassing forecasts, the USA new light vehicle market is up 3% year-on-year in December to 1.690.429 units, leading to a second consecutive annual record for the Full Year 2016 (more on this in our detailed FY2016 Report). Helped by one additional weekend compared to December 2015, the seasonally adjusted annualised sales rate (SAAR) reaches 18.38 million, the highest in the past decade and fifth-highest of all time. Replicating a trend we’ve seen all year, passenger cars are down 5% to 624.837 this month whereas light trucks are up 8% to 1.065.592

honda-cr-v-usa-december-2016-picture-courtesy-caranddriver-comThe CR-V is Honda’s best-seller… (picture caranddriver.com)

This last minute, record-enabling surge has almost everything to do with much higher average incentives compared to a year ago: ALG estimates they soared by a mammoth 20% on December 2015 to $3.673. The biggest spenders are BMW at $5.815 (+22%), General Motors at $4.611 (+14%), Daimler at $4.607 (+2%), Volkswagen Group at $4.392 (+23%), FCA at $4.291 (+22%) and Ford at $4.190 (+34%). Needing less incentives than the market average are Kia at $3.416 (+21%), Toyota at $2.723 (+13%), Hyundai at $2.606 (+31%), Honda at $2.154 (+24%) and Subaru at $1.162 (+103%).

Toyota RAV4 USA December 2016…while the RAV4 is Toyota’s most popular vehicle in the US in December.

Sales-wise, General Motors posts a 2nd consecutive double-digit gain at +10% to 319.108, with both rental and retail sales rising and all brands up: Chevrolet (+13%), GMC (+6%), Cadillac (+3%) and Buick (+2%). Toyota Motor (+2%) spends a second consecutive month above Ford Motor (+0.1%) at 243.229 vs. 237.78 with its namesake brand up 3% but Lexus down 0.5% while the Ford brand is down 0.8% and Lincoln up 18%. FCA posts its third straight double-digit drop at -10%, pulled by a 34% freefall of its fleet sales, a 6% drop at Jeep, -21% at Dodge, -32% at Chrysler at -54% at Fiat. Only Ram (+10%) keeps its head above water. American Honda is up 6%, Nissan Motor up 10% (Nissan +8%, Infiniti +21%) and Hyundai-Kia down 1%. Further down, the Volkswagen Group recovers up 16% (Volkswagen up 20%, Audi up 14%), Subaru continues to gallop up 12% ut the BMW Group (-5%), Daimler AG (-5%) and Mazda (-2%) all decline. Notice also Tesla up 39%, Maserati up 58%, Smart up 77% and Jaguar up 259%.

gmc-acadia-usa-december-2016-picture-courtesy-caranddriver-comGMC Acadia sales are up 68% year-on-year in December.

Over in the models aisle, below the traditional Top 3 pickup trucks – Ford F-Series (+3%), Chevrolet Silverado (-14%) and Ram Pickup (+15%), the Nissan Rogue surfs on its Star Wars-related sponsorship and shoots up 53% to land at a record-breaking 4th place overall, #1 SUV with 40.477 sales which obliterates its previous monthly record of 33.298 from last July… In a very symbolic move, the Honda CR-V at 37.778 (+21%) and Toyota RAV4 at 37.214 (+17%) are also the most popular nameplates for each brand, meaning all of the Big Three Japanese manufacturers (Toyota, Honda and Nissan) have crossovers as their best-sellers for the second time in history after last August. Traditionally, the Altima, Accord/Civic and Camry hold these titles but 2016 is the year of the light ruck, with the Honda Accord the best-selling passenger car in December at a paltry 7th place overall.

chevrolet-bolt-usa-december-2016-picture-courtesy-caranddriver-comThe Chevrolet Bolt has landed. Picture caranddriver.com

The Chevrolet Equinox (+25%), Toyota Highlander (+58%), Subaru Outback (+29%), Lexus RX (+25%), Ford Edge (+24%), GMC Acadia (+68%), Jeep Renegade (+39%), Chevrolet Tahoe (+22%) and Subaru Crosstrek (+26%) are some of the best-performing SUV and crossovers this month, lifting their count to a stunning 25 in the Top 50. The only passenger car really standing out in the Top 50 is the Chevrolet Malibu (+87%) potentially on the back of end-of-year discounted fleet sales. Among recent launches (<12 months), the Chrysler Pacifica is down two spots on November to #48, the Cadillac XT5 is up 8 to #70, the Buick Envision up 32 to #117 and we welcome the all-electric Chevrolet Bolt at #221 with 579 deliveries for the month.

Previous month: USA November 2016: Incentives revive annual record hopes

One year ago: USA December 2015: Jeep shoots up 42% in market up 9%

Full December 2016 Top 15 groups, Top 40 brands and Top 285 models below.

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