Archive for the ‘USA’ Category

USA Exclusive: Ford shares F-Series production mix for 2014

November 27th, 2014 1 comment

2. Ford F-250 GallupFord F-250 in Gallup New Mexico

* See the 2014 F-150 and Super Duty monthly production figures by clicking on the title *

Exclusive data communicated by Ford Motor Corporation USA shows for the first time the production mix for the F-Series nameplate, namely separating the F-150 full-size pickup from the Super Duty variants (F-250 and up). During my ongoing USA Coast to Coast 2014 series, I have repeatedly pointed out the surprising strength of the F-250 and F-350 in some towns like Savannah for example. JATO Dynamics state by state data has confirmed these observations, with the Ford F-250 Super Duty even finding its way among the 5 best-selling nameplates in Texas (#5), Oklahoma (#4) and New Mexico (#5).

Ford F250 Oklahoma CityFord F-250 in Oklahoma City OK

Ford does not communicate the F-Series sales mix. Why? Because doing so could cost the nameplate the overall U.S. sales crown it has held for the past 32 consecutive years. So far this year at end October, a total of 783.583 F-Series pickup trucks have been spit out of Ford factories. 67.5% of them (528.958) were F-150, the rest or 32.5% (254.626) were Super Duty pickups: the F-250 and up. This production mix is higher for the Super Duty variants than I had expected and confirms the exceptional strength of higher variants at the moment, a trend that should continue on the way up partly because of a once-in-a-lifetime surge in heavy duty pickup sales triggered by the fracking boom the country is experiencing at the moment. (see STRATEGY How US fracking is boosting heavy duty pickup sales)

Chevrolet Silverado 1500 USA October 2014. Picture courtesy of motortrend.comBig deal – The Chevrolet Silverado could actually be the best-selling nameplate in the country…

Production data is always a good indication of sales for US pickup trucks as these are sold almost exclusively in North America. Indeed YTD F-Series sales across USA+Canada come to 727,059 units, logically under the production figure as most of 2014 was spent in over capacity for the outgoing F-150 to prepare for the successive idling of both F-150 factories to upgrade tooling for the aluminium 2015 model. Things start to get interesting if we zoom in on U.S. sales figures where the F-Series totals 620,447 units vs. 429,119 for the Silverado. Applying the 67.5% production ratio to estimate F-150 U.S. sales gives us a total of 418,802 units, actually below the Silverado.

There are a few asterisks to this though. Firstly, the F-Series overall production mix may not be applicable exactly as is to U.S. sales. Secondly, you can argue the Silverado is also divided into full-size (1500) and super duty (2500 and above) pickups and would therefore need to split their sales as well to be ‘fair’. I say the F-150 may in fact not be the best-selling nameplate in the country, especially given that with the 2015 model now in dealerships, differences with the Super Duty F-250 variants and above are much more significant than between Silverado 1500 and Super Duty 2500 and above. It’s actually not the same vehicle at all anymore.

Ford F150 USA September 2014. Picture courtesy of motortrend.comUntil the 2015 F-150 reclaims its crown?

Another element brought to light by Ford’s production figures is the idling of the Dearborn Truck Plant for almost two months. This was no joke: production stopped (zero units produced) in September and only ramped up to 2,688 in October. Meanwhile the Kansas City plant continued to spit out F-150 unhinged but will now be idled to allow conversion for the 2015 model. The first ‘consumer’ version of the 2015 F-150 pickup came out of the Dearborn production line on November 11. (see USA November 2014: 2015 F-150 production debuts) As a result, and this is of course a one-off event due to the transition between the 2014 and 2015 F-150, production of Super Duty variants came dangerously close to the F-150 both in September (28,587 vs. 29,685) and October (29,783 vs. 33,219). Note the Super Duty hit its strongest two production months of the year then.

Ford making more Super Duty F-Series to smooth out the transition to the new F-150? Makes sense.

2014 Monthly production data for F-150 and Super Duty by plant below.

Read more…

Categories: USA

STRATEGY: How fracking is boosting US heavy duty pickup sales

November 27th, 2014 No comments

Chevrolet Silverado 3500 USA October 2014Chevrolet Silverado 3500

A recent article published on the U.S. version of Automotive News brings to light a fascinating recent development on the new heavy duty pickup market. An ongoing explosion of domestic energy production — primarily from a highly controversial extraction process commonly called fracking — is transforming rural communities across North America. Local farmers and landowners can lease the mineral rights to their property for one-time payments of $4,000 an acre or more. More money — much more, in the form of residual payments — is expected in the coming decades. Result: both the companies involved in fracking in these areas and the newly cashed-up local landowners are rushing to car dealerships to buy heavy duty pickups at an unprecedented rate.

Ram 3500 Laramie Longhorn USA October 2014Ram 3500 Laramie Longhorn

This has prompted Automotive News to declare: “Considering the staggering number of heavy-duty pickups sold in fracking areas, neither factories nor dealers can afford to miss this opportunity. If automakers want to take full advantage, they should precede energy exploration companies into areas where shale plays are happening to make sure their rural dealerships are also up to speed.”

Marietta OH locationMarietta OH

Autonews reporters visited Marietta OH and this is what they saw: “Until 2013, median household income here trailed the nation’s average by more than one-third at $33,445. Yet for more than a year, fracking has sent gushers of cash into the community. Here hotels are full. Restaurants are booming. The city’s median household income shot up more than 20%  in one year to a 2013 estimate of $40,286, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. At Marietta’s auto dealerships, the increase in business has been immediate and dramatic. “Three months ago, we couldn’t get them financed on a $5,000 car,” Marietta dealer Jim Cobb says of one of his recent Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge-Ram customers. “Suddenly, they come in and buy a $60,000 truck and pay you cash for it.”

Ford F-350 Super Duty USA October 2014Ford F-350 Super Duty

Autonews continues: “Before long, according to government estimates, these same changes will come to vast swaths of the continental United States and Canada. Appalachia, the Great Lakes basin, the mid-Atlantic, the Gulf Coast, the central plains, Texas — all are home to shale deposits thought to contain extractable oil and natural gas. It is a boom — with all the good and bad the term entails — that also has hit West Virginia, Colorado, North Dakota and elsewhere. And while fracking’s short- and long-term environmental impact on vital resources such as groundwater remain under intense debate, there is no doubt its economic impact is changing the fortunes of auto dealers as well as their customers.

“It’s kind of a heartwarming scene when you’ve got somebody that’s never bought a new vehicle in their life, and all of a sudden they’ve got a million dollars,” says Jeff Summers, who holds the Buick-GMC franchises in Marietta. “It’s kind of nice to be able to deliver them a brand-new truck, and that’s the first new vehicle that they’ve ever owned.”

More detail below.

Read more…

Categories: STRATEGY, USA

USA 10 months 2014: Discover the Top 275 best-selling models

November 13th, 2014 No comments

Lincoln MKC USA October 2014. Picture courtesy of motortrend.comThe Lincoln MKC is one of only two new nameplates in the Top 200.

* See the Top 275 best-selling models, Top 38 brands and Top 15 groups by clicking on the title! Now with complete analysis *

As is the tradition on BSCB, after exploring the US sales charts for October, we look into the year-to-date rankings to try and extract longer term trends. In October the US new light vehicle market has stabilised at a sturdy 6% year-on-year growth, the same rate it displays year-to-date at 13.72 million units. Lifted by GMC gaining 9% on 2013, General Motors accentuates its advantage over Ford in the groups rankings, adding up to 2.43 million units in 10 months vs. 2.06 million (-1%). Toyota Motor Corporation goes with the market at +6% to 1.97 million sales and though FCA Fiat Chrysler is catching up (+15%) it is still 250,000 units below vs. 370,000 a year ago. Nissan Motor (+13%) passes Hyundai-Kia (+4%) for 7th place overall.

Maserati Ghibli USA October 2014. Picture courtesy of largus.frThe Ghibli has lifted Maserati above 10,000 US sales in 10 months for the first time in its history.

Brand-wise, Ford continues to struggle at -1% year-on-year to just under 2 million sales in 10 months, while Chevrolet (+3%) keeps Toyota (+6%) at bay for now with a 17.800 unit-advantage vs. 14.900 a month ago but 56.900 a year ago. Nissan continues its march forward at +14% and now 74.100 units below Honda vs. 196.400 a year ago. Jeep remains the best performer in the Top 33 (!) at +46% to a record 571,585 sales, already well above its Full Year 2013 result (490.000 units). Other great performers include Subaru (+20%), Ram (+26%), Lexus (+14%), Audi (+15%), Lincoln (+14%), Mitsubishi (+29%) and Maserati (+265%).

Mitsubishi Mirage USA October 2014. Picture courtesy of motortrend.comMitsubishi is up 29% thanks to the arrival of the Mirage (14,240 sales).

In the models ranking, just as the first 2015 generation F-150 rolls out of the production line, the Ford F-Series holds at -0.5% and despite being outsold by the GM full-size pickup truck duo Silverado/Sierra for the third month in a row, is in no danger of losing its pole position, having sold almost 200,000 units more than the #2 the Chevy Silverado. Haloed by another very strong showing in October, the Ram Pickup is frankly catching up on the Toyota Camry for the annual third spot, nearly halving its gap on last month from 15.000 units to 8.400. At this rate it will jump up to third place next month. The Honda CR-V is also gaining ground on the Civic for #8.

Lexus IS USA October 2014. Picture courtesy of motortrend.comLexus IS sales are up 59% so far in 2014, the biggest gainer in the Top 100 bar the Jeep Cherokee.

The only two changes in the YTD Top 20 are the Ford Focus getting back above the Hyundai Elantra at #15 and the GMC Sierra kicking the Chevrolet Malibu out to #20. The only American models in the Top 100 to gain more than 25% on 2013 are the Jeep Cherokee launched exactly one year ago and the Buick Encore at +55%, with the other best performers being the Lexus IS (+59%), Toyota 4Runner (+47%), Nissan Sentra (+45%), Kia Sportage (+41%), Subaru Forester (+35%), Acura MDX (+33%), Kia Soul (+28%), Mazda CX-5 (+27%), Toyota RAV4 and Mazda6 (both at +26%). Notice also the GMC Yukon at +54%, Chevrolet Corvette at +146%, Mercedes S-Class at +105% and Audi A3 up 1889% to #150 thanks to the new sedan.

Acura TLX USA October 2014. Picture courtesy of motortrend.comThe Acura TLX is now the best-selling new nameplate in the US so far this year.

Now that the Jeep Cherokee and Ram ProMaster are out because one year old, the Acura TLX becomes the best-selling all-new nameplate in the US after only 3 months in market at #171 and 11,060 sales, up 28 spots on last month. It is followed by the Lincoln MKC at #189 and 8,615 units (+1), the Ford Transit at #207 and 5,567 examples (+14)  and the Porsche Macan at #208 and 5,390 deliveries (-2). The BMW i3 at #214 (+11), Mercedes GLA at #234 (+16) and BMW i8 at #260 (+5) also move up.

Previous post: USA October 2014: Honda CR-V up 30% to 5th place

Previous month: USA 9 months 2014: Discover the Top 275 best-selling models

One year ago: USA 10 months 2013: Discover the Top 278 best-selling models!

Full 10 months 2014 Top 275 models, Top 38 brands and Top 15 groups Ranking Tables below.

Read more…

Categories: USA

USA November 2014: 2015 Ford F-150 production debuts

November 12th, 2014 No comments

2015 Ford F-150 USA November 2014. Picture courtesy of thedetroitbureau.comThe very first 2014 Ford F-150 to come out of the Ford Dearborn Truck Plant yesterday.

Yesterday on November 11, the first production version of the all-new aluminium-bodied 2015 Ford F-150 rolled out the production line at the Dearborn Truck Plant near Detroit. The Detroit Bureau says Ford is taking what many observers have called its biggest risk in decades switching from a traditional, steel-bodied pickup to one that uses an “aluminium-intensive” design. The F-150 is the first truly high-volume product in the industry to go with an aluminum-intensive design. According to Ford, the benefits are numerous: better fuel economy, improved towing and larger payload capacity.

Ford produced 647,697 of the trucks last year. The entire F-Series line-up – including heavy-duty duty versions such as the F-250 and F-350 – has been the nation’s top-selling truck for 37 years running, and the country’s best-selling overall vehicle for the past 32 consecutive years! The F-Series is generally considered the top contributor to Ford’s bottom line, and CEO Mark Fields said he didn’t expect that to change. But not everyone is convinced. Some analysts have warned of a slow ramp-up of production, and they have warned that the higher cost of aluminum could drive up production costs.

GMC Sierra New Orleans September 2014GM’s pickup trucks have outsold the F-Series lineup for the past 3 months straight.

To prepare for the new F-150, Ford had to make major changes to its big truck plant in the Detroit suburbs – and it is now converting operations at its second F-Series plant near Kansas City. Ford’s competitors have used the transition to close the sales gap with the Ford F-Series, with the General Motors duo of full-size pickup trucks, the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra, outselling the F-Series for the past 3 months in a row. Ford has said it will put a focus on quality, rather than quantity, as it launches the F-150, Fields noting “We’ll be at full speed in terms of production (only by) the end of Q2 2015.” Even then, not everyone is convinced Ford will be able to maintain sales at the traditional flat-out pace that saw its two plants rolling out a new F-150 at the rate of one every 49 seconds. The 2015 F-150 will hit North American dealerships in December.

Ford F-250 USA October 2014Next in line to go aluminium: the Ford F-250 and F-350 Super Duty

Ford says it expects buyers to be drawn in by the new truck’s improved fuel economy. While official EPA-certified numbers won’t be revealed until later this month, CEO Fields suggested that compared to the old F-150, the new truck should get “between 5 and 20% better mileage…depending on engine.” The timing of the launch, however, comes as fuel costs slip to their lowest level in at least four years, an estimated 30 states now averaging below $3 a gallon for regular unleaded, according to various tracking services. Longer-term, however, Fields stressed that fuel costs are likely to rise again, and even now, fuel economy is a major factor for truck buyers, so are the improved towing and payload numbers that come from trimming about 750 pounds off the weight of some new F-150 models.

Ford has already confirmed the heavier F-Series Super Duty lines will go aluminium-intensive. The new F-Series is “important, with a capital ‘I,’”said Fields, if anything an understatement. Ford has only rarely taken such a big risk on a single product. If it succeeds it would likely cement its leadership in the profitable full-size segment. Anything less could pose serious problems for Detroit’s second-largest automaker.

Source: The Detroit Bureau

Categories: USA

USA October 2014: Honda CR-V up 30% to 5th place

November 8th, 2014 No comments

Honda CR-V USA October 2014. Picture courtesy of motortrend.comHonda CR-V

* NOW UPDATED with the Top 367 models, Top 38 brands and Top 15 groups *

U.S. light vehicle sales have settled into a very dynamic groove, up another 6% year-on-year both in October to 1.28 million units and year-to-date at 13.72 million units. Crossovers and pickup trucks fuelled much of the market increase, lifting the seasonally adjusted annual sales rate (SAAR) to 16.5 million units, up from 15.4 million a year ago. The SAAR has now topped 16 million every month since March, peaking at 17.5 million last August, the highest since January 2006. Complete analysis will follow shortly. This is simply and impressively the strongest month of October in a decade in the US. Moreover, average incentives seem to have settled down to a more manageable 8% of average transaction prices after surging earlier in the year: up 2% year-on-year but down 12% on September to $2,629. Caldwell of said through Automotive News “This sales pace will likely remain steady through the end of the year. With declining gas prices and strong truck and SUV sales, the industry is poised for a very busy holiday season.”

Ram 1500 USA October 2014. Picture courtesy of motortrend.comRam 1500 – Fiat Chrysler celebrates 55 consecutive months of year-on-year gains!

Leading the groups ranking, General Motors certainly didn’t help lift the market up however (+0.2%), with retail sales down 2%, fleet up 6% and Cadillac down 8%. Ford is down 2% (but Lincoln up 25% thanks to the MKC) while Toyota reclaims its #3 group spot at +7% with a 12th consecutive month of year-on-year gains for Lexus. The Fiat Chrysler Group shines brightly once again, marking an unbelievable 55 consecutive months of year-on-year increases, with Jeep up 52%, Ram up 36% and Chrysler up 17%. According to senior analyst Jessica Caldwell, “Chrysler is on a streak of growth that’s virtually unheard of for American carmakers. The company’s renewed focus on SUVs comes at a perfect time when gas prices are plummeting and shoppers are falling back in love with large vehicles” as reported on Autonews.

Audi A3 USA October 2014. Picture courtesy of motortrend.comAudi A3 – Audi now stands at 46 consecutive months of record sales!

The Honda brand sets a new October record at 105,745 units, lifted by the facelifted CR-V up 30% year-on-year to an historic 5th place and a new October record by the Fit up 83%. “The success of the new Fit is an important step in re-establishing small cars as a pillar in the Honda lineup,” Jeff Conrad, Honda Division general manager, said on Autonews. Similarly, the Nissan brand hit a new October record at 94,072 units (+15%), the 13th consecutive month it has set a new monthly record. Other brands setting October records this month include Kia up 12% to 44,694, Subaru up 25% to 43,012 (its 35th consecutive month of year-on-year gains) and Audi up 17% and lodging an incredible 46th consecutive month of record sales!  Notice also Volkswagen ending 18 consecutive months of sales declines at +8% thanks to the new Jetta (#21) and 2015 Golf (up 81% to #88), Mitsubishi up 25%, Maserati up 105% and BMW up 11%.

2015 Chevrolet Colorado Z71The Chevrolet Colorado is initiating is climb back up the models charts…

Model-wise, the Ford F-Series holds up solidly at -1% to 63,410 sales, keeping in mind none of these are the new gen F-150 and that rebates on the outgoing model remain limited. On the other hand, other full sized pick-up trucks fare exceptionally well: the Chevrolet Silverado is up 10% to 46,966 units, along with the GMC Sierra up 18% making it the 3rd consecutive month GM full size pickups (65,530) outsell the F-Series. Boosted by the ecoDiesel variant I have been driving across the country, the Ram Pickup delivers once again the most impressive increase in the segment, up 33% to remain in third place while all-new Chevy Colorado (1,491 sales) and GMC Canyon (667) see their return in the ranking slowed by an early recall.

Jeep Cherokee USA October 2014. Picture courtesy of motortrend.comFirst Top 20 ranking for this generation Jeep Cherokee.

The Toyota Camry reclaims the passenger car crown after two months of Honda Accord domination at 33,164 units (+14%) vs. 27,128 (+8%) for the Accord while the Corolla is back above the Civc at #7, the Chevy Cruze is up an impressive 51% to #9, the Nissan Sentra up 56%, Subaru Outback up 55%, Chrysler 200 up 40% and Kia Soul up 30%. I have spoken about this model a lot lately but the fact is it keeps improving month after month: in October the Jeep Cherokee breaks into the US Top 20 for the first time for this generation at a record #17, also the brand’s best-seller above the Grand Cherokee (#19) and Wrangler (#23).

Mercedes GLA USA October 2014. Picture courtesy of motortrend.comUS October sales of Mercedes GLA are double that of September.

Further down, some recent newcomers continue to sparkle while others dampen off already: the Acura TLX is up 26% and 13 spots on September to #76 and 4,890 sales, the Ford Transit is up 84% and 33 ranks to #128 and 2,257 units, the Lincoln MKC up 25% and 10 spots to #129 and 2,197 sales, the Mercedes GLA up 103% and 38 ranks to #136, the BMW i3 up 13% to #169, Porsche Macan up 6% at #190, BMW i8 up 252% to #23 and Cadillac ELR up 37% to #242. Reversely, the Audi A3 is up just 1% to 2,380 units, the Audi Q3 down 38% and BMW X4 down 6%.

Previous post: USA 9 months 2014: Discover the Top 275 best-selling models

Previous month (models): USA September 2014 Chevy Silverado and Nissan Sentra on fire

Previous month (brands): USA September 2014: GM fleet, Jeep lift market up, Big 3 back to Top 3

One year ago: USA October 2013: Podium 100% pick-ups for the first time in 8 years!

Full October 2014 Top 367 models, Top 38 brands, Top 15 groups Ranking Tables below.

Read more…

Categories: USA

USA 9 months 2014: Discover the Top 275 best-selling models

October 23rd, 2014 No comments

GMC Yukon USA September 2014. Picture courtesy of motortrend.comGMC Yukon sales are up 62% so far in 2014 thanks to the new model.

* See the Top 275 best-selling models and Top 40 brands by clicking on the title! *

As is the tradition on BSCB, after exploring the US sales charts for September (now with separate models and brands updates), we look into the year-to-date rankings to try and extract longer term trends. As a whole the US new light vehicle market is up a very satisfying 5.5% so far in 2014 to 12.43 million units, helped by another strong score in September (+9%). In the brands ranking, Ford keeps going against the market at -1% so far in 2014 to 1.8 million units, burdened by another 3% loss in September. Thanks to sales up 20% this month, Chevrolet is now 14.900 units above Toyota year-to-date vs. just 2.300 one month ago. However the long-term trend still favours Toyota (+5%) over the American carmaker (+3%). Just below Honda in 5th place, Nissan’s impressive run sees no sign of slowing down, lifted by a 22% surge in September to a record 978.392 units in 9 months, up 14% on 2013. Other great gainers this year include Jeep up 45%, Subaru up 20%, Ram up 25%, Mitsubishi up 30% and Maserati up 307%.

Ford F150 USA September 2014. Picture courtesy of motortrend.comThe transition to the new gen F-150 means Ford F–Series sales are stagnant in 2014 so far.

Model-wise, the Ford F-Series manages to remain at -0.4% on 2013 to 557.037 units in spite being in the midst of changing over to the new aluminium-bodied F-150. For the second straight month GM full-size pickups outsold the F-Series with the Chevy Silverado above 50,000 sales in September and for only the second time in 6 years. Nothing to be worried about at Ford with the F-Series a huge 175.000 units above the Silverado so far this year vs. 199.000 one year ago.Despite ranking third this month with a 8.000 sales advantage over the Toyota Camry, the Ram Pickup remains in 4th position year-to-date just under 320.000 sales (15.000 below the Camry), up 22% year-on-year mainly thanks to the addition of ecoDiesel versions to its 1500 base model. A Full Year 2014 third spot for the Ram is still in the cards, pending how smoothly the transition to the facelifted Camry goes. If that were to happen it would be only the second time in the past two decades (along with 2003) that pickup trucks monopolise the annual podium. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves…

Kia Soul USA September 2014. Picture courtesy of motortrend.comThe new generation lifts Kia Soul sales up 28% this year.

Inside the Top 50, a few changes on top: the Honda CR-V overtakes the Ford Fusion to rank #9 year-to-date while the Hyundai Elantra passes the Ford Focus to #15. The biggest gainers don’t change much: the Nissan Sentra up 44% to #22, Subaru Forester up 40% to #27, Mazda CX-5 up 29% to #49, Kia Soul up 28% to #28, Toyota RAV4 up 26% to #13, Hyundai Santa Fe also up 26% to #48, Nissan Rogue up 24% to #19, BMW 3&4 Series up 21% to #40 and the Nissan Versa up 20% to #32. The trend at play here is a simple one: out of 10 models gaining 20% or more in the Top 50, only one (the Ram Pickup) is American, there rest are either Japanese (6), Korean (2) or German (1). Far from being an isolated case, this trend replicates itself when we enlarge the count to the Top 100, adding another 6 Japanese and just one American – the Buick Encore up 59% to #92.

Ram ProMaster USA September 2014. Picture courtesy of motortrend.comAt #172, the Ram ProMaster is one of only 4 all-new models in the 2014 US Top 200.

We have to go down to #107 to find an American model gaining over 60%: the GMC Yukon takes full advantage of its new generation to grow 62% and 26 spots year-on-year to #107. The Chevrolet Corvette up 231% to #115 and GMC Savana up 101% to #120 also register significant sales movement, as do the Mercedes S-Class (+122%) and Fiat 500L (+137%). It’s a very lonely road at the top for the Jeep Cherokee, the only all-new model inside the Top 170 at #25 and 128,572 sales… The Ram ProMaster follows at #172, while the Lincoln MKC (#190) and Acura TLX (#197) break into the year-to-date Top 200 for the first time, with the Porsche Macan (#206, +1) not far off. The Ford Transit (+14 to #221) and BMW i3 (+11 to #225) also leap up.

Previous post (models): USA September 2014 Chevy Silverado and Nissan Sentra on fire

Previous post (brands): USA September 2014: GM fleet, Jeep lift market up 9%, Big 3 back to Top 3

Previous month: USA 8 months 2014: Discover the Top 273 best-selling models!

One year ago: USA 9 months 2013: Discover the Top 276 best-selling models!

Full 9 months 2014 Top 275 models and Top 40 brands Ranking Tables below.

Read more…

Categories: USA

USA September 2014 (models): Silverado & Sentra on fire

October 16th, 2014 2 comments

Chrysler 200 USA September 2014. Picture courtesy of motortrend.comThe new generation lifts the Chrysler 200 nameplate to its best-ever September figure.

* NOW UPDATED with the Top 266 best-selling models! Click on the title to see *

You can check out the September 2014 groups and brands rankings here.

This is a new section on BSCB, detailing the models performance for the month separately from the brand and group ones. Handicapped by the transition between the two generations, the Ford F-Series expectedly struggles at -1% whereas as predicted the Chevrolet Silverado is up a gargantuan 54% to 50,176 sales, helped by an intense incentive push in order to shift consumers awaiting the new F-Series towards the Chevy or GMC brand. This is only the second time in the past 6 years that the Silverado is above 50,000 monthly units (with December 2012). We explored in detail how GM is taking advantage of this delicate time for Ford in last month’s update. Along with the GMC Sierra up 25% to #17, GM full-size pickups outsell the F-Series for the 2nd straight month in September at 66,939 vs. 59,863 units.

Chevrolet Silverado 2500 USA September 2014. Picture courtesy of motortrend.comBoosted by historical incentives, Chevy Silverado sales are up 54% year-on-year in September.

The US models podium is 100% full-size pickups for the 5th time in the past 12 months after October, December ’13 and January, March ’14 with the Ram Pickup up one spot on August and a massive 30% on September 2013 to round up the podium at #3. The Honda Accord (+31%) outsells the Toyota Camry (-11%) for the second straight month for the title of best-selling passenger car in the country but the Camry’s crown seems assured yet again this year. Just as a refreshed 2015 model was unveiled, the Honda CR-V reclaims the SUV crown off the Toyota RAV4 in September at #6 overall with 23,722 sales (+11%) vs. 22,724 at #7 for the RAV4, up another very impressive 43% year-on-year.

Nissan Sentra USA September 2014. Picture courtesy of motortrend.comNissan Sentra sales are up 61% year-on-year in the USA in September.

Further down the ranking, note the excellent performances of the Chevrolet Cruze up 45% to #14, the Nissan Rogue up 52% to #16, BMW 3-4 Series up 51% to #26, Nissan Sentra up 61% to #28, Nissan Versa up 38% to #29, Subaru Outback up 39% to #31, the new generation Chrysler 200 lifting the nameplate up 17% to its best-ever September figure at #33 with 10,995 sales, the Kia Soul up 46% to #35, Jeep Patriot up 51% to #39, Honda Fit up 66% to #58 and Subaru Legacy up 118% to #62.

2015 Chevrolet ColoradoThe Chevrolet Colorado is back in the game!

Among recent launches, the Acura TLX is up 70% on its first month of sales to break into the Top 100 at #86 and 3,884 units, already the brand’s 2nd best-seller below the MDX at #73, the Audi A3 is up a further 15 spots to #117, the Lincoln MKC up 18 to #139, Audi Q3 up 67 to #168 with 1,092 sales, the BMW i3 up 10 to #172 and 1,022 units, the Mercedes GLA lands at #174 with 991 sales and the BMW i8 is up to #250 with 58 units – this model is already sold out through 2015 in the US! Finally, notice the return of two mid-size pickup nameplates: the Chevrolet Colorado with 36 units sold and the GMC Canyon at 11 for now.

Previous post: USA September 2014 (brands): GM fleet, Jeep lift market up 9% – Big Three back to Top Three!

Previous month: USA August 2014: Honda Accord and Toyota RAV4 at all-time high

One year ago: USA September 2013: Dodge RAM up to #4, Corolla leads segment

Full September 2014 Top 266 models Ranking Table below.

Read more…

Categories: USA

USA September 2014 (brands): GM fleet, Jeep, lift market up 9% Big Three back to Top Three!

October 2nd, 2014 7 comments

GMC Sierra USA September 2014. Picture courtesy of motortrend.comGMC Sierra. General Motors sales are up 19% year-on-year in September.

* See the Top 40 best-selling brands by clicking on the title! *

The US new light vehicle market shoots up a very satisfying 9% year-on-year in September to 1.246.006 registrations, meaning the year-to-date total is now up 5.5% to 12.431.305 units. Off a low Sept. 2013 base, the market is actually cooler than a piping hot month of August in adjusted terms while August was up just 6%: the seasonally adjusted annual sales rate hit 16.4 million, up sharply from 15.4 million a year earlier but well below August’s 17.5 million, the strongest pace since January 2006. Nevertheless, all the positive signs are here: the SAAR has now been above 16 million for 6 straight months and September closes the strongest quarter of sales since 2006. We are now cruising along towards a very encouraging 5th consecutive year of growth for the US market at around 16.5 million units for 2014. Light trucks are pulling the market up: combined sales of pickups, crossovers, SUVs and vans are up 17% vs. just 2% for cars in September, 10% vs. 1% year-to-date!

Chevrolet Impala USA September 2014. Picture courtesy of Motor TrendChevrolet Impala. General Motors fleet sales are up 30% year-on-year in September.

Group-wise, General Motors is without a doubt the performer of the month with overall sales up a tremendous 19% to 223,437 units and playing a large part in the overall health of the market. This is the group’s strongest year-on-year gain since the 20% it gained back in September 2011… Retail volumes are up 17% but fleet jump by an astounding 30%. GMC is up 28%, Chevrolet up 20%, Buick up 12% and Cadillac is the odd one out with flat sales. Segment-wise, GM’s light truck division delivered a massive 42% growth vs. just 6% for cars. Ford Motor Company is back up to 2nd place but down a harsh 3% while Toyota Motor Co. is down to #4 with sales up just 2% year-on-year.

Ram 1500 USA September 2014. Picture courtesy of motortrend.comThe Fiat Chrysler Group is back into the Top 3 with sales up 19%, Ram up 35%.

The other winner in September is the Fiat Chrysler Group, up 19% to 169,890 sales and jumping back into third group overall above Toyota for the first time in over 3 years! This marks the 54th consecutive month of year-on-year improvement for the Fiat Chrysler Group. Keeping in mind Chrysler has been trailing the #3 spot by as much as 50,000 units during some months in 2014, this is no mean feat and means the Big Three are back to the Top Three position at home in the US for the first time since 2011. A momentous time indeed. In the brand detail inside the Fiat Chrysler Group, Jeep is up another 47%, Ram up 35% with pickups up 30%, heck even the Chrysler brand is up 14% while Fiat is up 6% and Dodge down 9%. Here again light truck are by far the strongest division at +30% vs. -7% for cars.

VW Jetta USA September 2014. Picture courtesy of motortrend.comA refreshed Jetta didn’t prevent Volkswagen from lodging a 18th straight month of decline.

Other very healthy manufacturers this month in the US include Honda Motor Co. up 12%, Nissan Motor Co. up 18%, Subaru continuing to smash all records at +31% and now raising its 2014 Full Year target to a historical 500,000 units and Mitsubishi up 39%. Reveresely, Volkswagen endured its 18th straight month of decline at -19% (while Audi keeps getting stronger at +14%), Infiniti is down 13% and Mini down 20%.

Previous post: USA 8 months 2014: Discover the Top 273 best-selling models!

Previous month: USA August 2014: Honda Accord and Toyota RAV4 at all-time high

One year ago: USA September 2013: Dodge RAM up to #4, Corolla leads segment

Full September 2014 Top 15 groups, Top 40 brands Ranking Tables below.

Read more…

Categories: USA

USA 8 months 2014: Discover the Top 273 best-selling models!

September 22nd, 2014 3 comments

Chevrolet Silverado USA August 2014. Picture courtesy of motortrend.comThe Chevrolet Silverado is back into positive territory year-to-date.

* See the Top 273 best-selling models and Top 40 brands by clicking on the title! *

After exploring the monthly US ranking, as is the tradition on BSCB we now study the year-to-date ranking to try and extract longer-term trends. As a reminder the US new light vehicle market is is great shape so far in 2014: up 5% year-on-year over the first 8 months to 11.19 million units. And things keep getting better with August hitting a seasonally adjusted annualised sales rate (SAAR) of 17.5 million, the highest since January 2006! Brand-wise, below Ford down 1% to 1.64 million sales, Toyota is now breathing on Chevrolet’s neck at 1,386,729 units (+6%) vs. 1,388,993 (+2%), and with a 22,000 unit-advantage in August alone, the Japanese carmaker could overtake its American counterpart as early as next month.

Nissan Sentra USA August 2014. Picture courtesy of motortrend.comNissan is starting to threaten Honda for 4th place overall in the US brands ranking.

Nissan excels at +13% to a record-breaking 883,274 units, remaining in 5th place but now trailing Honda by only 53,000 sales vs. 162,000 one year ago. Jeep is still the fastest growing mass brand by very far at +45% to an all-time high 461,156 units in 7th place. Other great gainers this year so far in the US include Subaru at #10 (+19%), Ram at #12 (+24%), Lexus at #17 (+16%) and catching up with Mercedes (+9%) and BMW (+12%), Audi at #20 (+15%), Mitsubishi at #25 (+29%) and Maserati at #34 (+319%). Reversely, only Ford (-1%), Honda (-1%), Volkswagen (-13%) and Chrysler (-9%) lose ground in the Top 20.

2015 Ford F150Ford is entering the all-important changeover period to the aluminum-body 2015 F150.

Model-wise, the Ford F-Series is down 0.4% at 497,174 units and is entering its challenging changeover period to the aluminium-body 2015 F-150, set to begin arriving in showrooms in November. Ford’s main truck plant in Dearborn, Michigan is idled until late October in preparation for the launch. According to Automotive News, Ford dialled back F-Series incentives to conserve inventory ahead of the changeover, in case it does not go as smoothly as hoped. The old and new F-150 will continue to be manufactured concurrently for a short period of time to avoid any potential output breakdown for the nameplate as a whole. Having said that I just saw a $13,000 rebate advertised on the F-150 in Texas, its strongest state…

RAM 1500 USA August 2014. Picture courtesy of motortrend.comThe Ram Pickup is the biggest gainer in the US Top 12 so far in 2014 at +21%.

General Motors is trying to make the most of this situation: for September, Chevrolet is offering special leases and rebates under a Truck Month promotion and dangling bonus cash for Chevrolet dealers who hit Silverado retail sales targets, said Automotive News. GM will pay a bonus of $1,300 for every sale of 2014 and ’15 pickups to dealers who hit their U.S. targets. In August and for the first time in 2014, the GM full-size pickups (Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra) outsold the F-Series at 69,048 vs. 68,109. The Silverado is even back into positive territory year-to-date (+1%) thanks to an incentive-fuelled 13% surge in August. The Ram pickup is however still the gaining champion in the Top 12 at a cool +21% partly thanks to the new diesel variants like Albert, the one I am currently driving across the country.

Toyota Corolla USA August 2014. Picture courtesy of motortrend.comThe Toyota Corolla is up 13% year-on-year in 2014.

The other great gainers in the Top 20 are the Toyota Corolla, logically up 13% and two spots year-on-year thanks to the new generation to go up to #6, the Toyota RAV4 up 24% and now #13, the Ford Explorer up 17% to #18 and the Nissan Rogue up 21% to #19, now looking at breaking into the annual US Top 20 for the very first time by the time 2014 comes to an end. Let’s also salute the Nissan Sentra up 42% to #22, the Subaru Forester up 43% to #27, Kia Soul up 26% to #29, Mazda CX-5 up 29% to #48, Hyundai Santa Fe up 25% to #50, Toyota 4Runner up 46% to #66, Acura MDX up 44% to #78, Lexus IS up 77% to #91 and the Buick Encore up 65% to #93.

Lincoln MKC USA August 2014Lincoln MKC

As far as new nameplates are concerned, the Jeep Cherokee is head and shoulders above the rest, now inside the Top 25 thanks to 113,933 sales. The next best thing is now the Mercedes CLA at #139 and 15,676 units but it will disappear next month as it launched in September 2013. The Mitsubishi Mirage (#161) and Ram ProMaster (#175) are the only other newcomers inside the Top 200. They could be joined next month by the Lincoln MKC up 13 ranks to #203 and the Porsche Macan up 8 to #207. The Volvo V60 and Chevrolet SS have not convinced: they are already down to #210 and #237 respectively. Good starts for the Acura TLX landing directly at #234 and the BMW i3 up 7 to #236.

Previous post: USA August 2014: Honda Accord and Toyota RAV4 at all-time high

Previous month: USA 7 months 2014: Discover the Top 270 All-models ranking!

One year ago: USA 8 months 2013: Discover the Top 274 All-models ranking!

Full 8 months 2014 Top 273 models and Top 40 brands Ranking Tables below.

Read more…

Categories: USA

USA August 2014: Honda Accord, Toyota RAV4 at all-time high

September 14th, 2014 8 comments

Honda Accord USA August 2014. Picture courtesy of motortrend.comThe Honda Accord hits its highest-ever monthly volume in the US this month.

* NOW UPDATED with the Top 261 All-models and Top 38 brands! See title *

U.S. light vehicle sales, led by double-digit increases at Chrysler Group and Nissan Motor Corp, remained robust in August, helped by Labor Day holiday deals and continued demand for light trucks and crossovers: up 6% year-on-year to 1.586.374 units and bringing the year-to-date total to 11.191.068 sales, up 5% on 2013. Chrysler posted a 20% increase amid surging sales of the Ram pickup (+33% and best August since 2003) and Jeep brand (+49%). Nissan advanced 12%, Toyota Motor Corp. had its 6th consecutive monthly gain, up 6%. Deliveries slipped 1% at General Motors and were up slightly at Ford Motor Co. The Volkswagen brand continued to slump, down 13% percent, but sibling Audi gained 22% as strong A3 sedan sales propelled the brand to its best monthly US sales tally in company history at 17,101 vehicles in August.

Audi A3 USA August 2014. Picture courtesy of motortrend.comThe New A3 sedan pushes Audi to its best-ever monthly result in the US.

The seasonally adjusted annualised pace of sales – a key barometer of the industry’s health – soared to 17.5 million. The US auto industry last saw a 17 million light-vehicle SAAR in July 2006 and a 17.5 million SAAR in January 2006. “August’s industry sales results are looking even stronger than anticipated, which is a good sign for the industry,” said Fred Diaz, Nissan’s senior vice president for sales and marketing, and US operations. “The industry had its best August in over a decade with sales topping 1.5 million vehicles,” Bill Fay, Toyota division group vice president and general manager, said in a statement.

Jeep Wrangler USA August 2014. Picture courtesy of motortrend.comJeep US sales are up 49% year-on-year in August .

In the models ranking, below the Ford F-Series down 4% to 68,109 sales, the Honda Accord is up 3 spots on July and 32% on August 2013 to simply deliver the nameplate’s best-ever monthly volume since its introduction in the country over 30 years ago at 51,075 units! An astounding performance from Honda, however the Toyota Camry still leads the passenger car race by far at 306,471 sales so far in 2014 (+7%) vs. 265,673 for the Accord (+3%). Another all-time record breaker this month is the Toyota RAV4: after lifting its all-time high to 26,779 sales in July, it smashes this record only one month later, bringing it to 35,614 units, up 52% year-on-year and earning the nameplate a 6th place, also its best-ever monthly ranking in the US, also reached in March 2010…

Acura TLX USA August 2014. Picture courtesy of motortrend.comThe Acura TLX lands directly at #136 in the US this month.

As far as recent launches are concerned, notice the Audi A3 up a further two spots to #132 with 2,430 sales, the Lincoln MKC also up two to #157, the Ford Transit up 31 to #177, the BMW i3 up a beautiful 37 ranks on July to #182 with 1,025 units and the BMW X4 up 12 to #220. Finally, we welcome 3 all-new models in the US ranking this month: the Acura TLX at #136 with 2,286 sales, the Audi Q3 enjoying a late arrival in the country at #235 and 243 units for now and the BMW i8 landing at #260 with 9 sales in August.

Previous post: USA 7 months 2014: Discover the Top 270 models

Previous month: USA July 2014: Toyota RAV4 at all-time record in market up 9%

One year ago: USA August 2013: Honda CR-V and Chevrolet Equinox hit record levels

Full August 2014 Top 261 All-models and Top 38 brands Ranking Tables below.

Read more…

Categories: USA