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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.

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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.

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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.

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Categories: USA

USA 7 months 2014: Discover the Top 270 models

August 7th, 2014 1 comment

Toyota Corolla USA July 2014. Picture courtesy of motortrend.comThe Toyota Corolla is now #6 and #3 Passenger Car year-to-date in the US.

* See the Top 270 best-selling models by clicking on the title! *

As is the tradition on BSCB, after going through detailed US sales for July, we explore the year-to-date ranking in order to extract some longer-term trends. As a reminder the US light vehicle market is up 5% on 2013 so far this year at 9.6 million units in 7 months. As the year goes by, the year-to-date models ranking cements both its order and its evolution and this month is a perfect illustration: all Top 5 models that were losing ground after 6 months do so again after 7 months, and this is also true for the stable and gaining ones. The Ford F-Series is immobile, patiently awaiting the arrival of the new generation at 429,065 units, while the Chevrolet Silverado disappoints at -2%.

Ram 1500 USA July 2014. Picture courtesy of motortrend.comThe Ram Pick-up is still the biggest year-on-year gainer in the Top 10.

The Toyota Camry is up even before the new model has arrived in dealerships (+8%), the RAM pick-up still lodges the largest year-on-year improvement in the Top 10 at +19% and the Honda Accord struggles once again at -2%. In 6th place we have the first change in the year-to-date ladder: boosted by its new generation, the Toyota Corolla overtakes the Nissan Altima at 205,187 units (+12%) vs. 203,107 (+3%). The rest of the Top 10 is unchanged: the Honda Civic at #8 followed by the Ford Fusion and Honda CR-V. The Chevrolet Equinox (#13) and Toyota RAV4 (#14) pass the Ford Focus while the Nissan Rogue (+23%) and Sentra (+43%) are in great shape.

Toyota 4Runner USA July 2014. Picture courtesy of motortrend.comToyota 4Runner sales are up 42% so far in the US in 2014.

Further down, the Subaru Forester (+47%) is still sparkling, as are the Mazda CX-5 (+29%), Toyota 4Runner (+42%), Acura MDX (+55%) and Lexus IS (+95%). Notice also the Dodge Grand Caravan and its twin the Chrysler Town & Country both up a very solid 20% year-on-year with almost identical sales figures: 81,530 and 81,246 respectively! The Jeep Cherokee is once again and by far the most popular new nameplate over the past 12 months at #26 and 95,259 units, ahead of the Infiniti Q50 (#116), Mercedes CLA (#145), Mitsubishi Mirage (#163) and Ram ProMaster (#183). There are no other newcomers inside the Top 200, but the Audi A3 (#161, +1098% thanks to the sedan), Porsche Macan (#215) and Lincoln MKC (#216) shine.

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

Previous month: USA 6 months 2014: Top two pick-ups pause growth

One year ago: USA 7 months 2013: Discover the Top 272 All-models ranking!

Full 7 months 2014 Top 270 models Ranking Table below.

Read more…

Categories: USA

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

August 7th, 2014 10 comments

Toyota RAV4 USA July 2014. Picture courtesy of caranddriver.comThe Toyota RAV4 delivers its highest ever monthly volume in the US in July.

* NOW UPDATED with the Top 260 models, Top 40 brands & Top 15 groups! *

The US light vehicle market delivers another very solid month in July: up 9% year-on-year to 1.435 million vehicles, which brings the year-to-date total to 9.6 million units, up 5% on 2013. The seasonally adjusted annualised sales rate (SAAR) hit 16.5 million in July, up from 15.8 million a year earlier, but down from the 17 million rate reached in June. The SAAR has now topped 16 million units for 5 consecutive months and 2014 is on track to end around 16.3 million sales, meaning it would be the 5th year of growth in a row and the strongest annual volume since 2006 when deliveries totalled 16.6 million units. The best performing manufacturers this month are Fiat-Chrysler up 20% thanks notably to the ever-impressive success of the all-new Cherokee, Toyota up 12% to edge out Ford Motor Co into 2nd place overall, Nissan up 11%, Ford up 10% and General Motors up 9% in spite of their recall crisis.

GMC Sierra USA July 2014. Picture courtesy of motortrend.comGMC sales are up 22% year-on-year in July.

Brand-wise, below Ford up 9% to 203,604 sales, Toyota overtakes Chevrolet to rank #2 at 183,342 units (+12%) vs. 175,155 (+8%). Honda loses 2% in 4th place, ahead of Nissan (+11%), Hyundai (+2% to a record July figure of 67,011) and Jeep up 41%: the American brand has now improved by 28% or more for 9 consecutive months! Notice also GMC up 22%, Subaru up 27%, Mazda up 17% (best July since 1993), Lexus up 19% (best July ever), Tesla up 28% and Maserati up 324%. However the big news in the brands sales charts is in the retail figures (excluding fleet sales), the ‘true’ sales to US consumers: Toyota becomes the most popular retail brand in the USA this month above Ford…

Toyota Corolla USA July 2014. Picture courtesy of motortrend.comToyota Corolla sales are up 26% year-on-year thanks to the new generation.

In the models ranking, the entire Top 5 best-sellers are identical to the year-to-date ranking: the Ford F-Series is back into positive territory after two months of year-on-year decline at +5% to 63,240 units, the Chevrolet Silverado is stable at 43,097 units, the Toyota Camry is up a very satisfying 15% to just under 40,000 sales, the Ram Pick-up is up 14% and the Honda Accord up 11%. Below, the Toyota Corolla takes advantage of the new generation to gain 26% yoy and reclaim the compact car crown off the Honda Civic, while the Toyota RAV4 is up a huge 37% to hit its highest ever monthly volume at 26,779 units, breaking into the US Top 10 for the first time in 4 years (since ranking #6 in March 2010) in 9th place, only 1,743 units below the Honda CR-V.

Nissan Versa Note USA July 2014. Picture courtesy of motortrend.comThe Nissan Versa lodges the highest year-on-year increase inside the Top 50.

Further down, the Chevrolet Equinox shines at +37% in 12th position, the Ford Explorer is up 49% to #17, Nissan Sentra up 54% to #19, Nissan Versa up 74% to #23, Kia Soul up 45% to #26, Subaru Forester up 48% to #27, BMW 3/4 Series up 26% to #33, Chrysler Town & Country up 41% to #36, Chevrolet Tahoe up 51% to #40, GMC Terrain up 37% to #41, Chevrolet Camaro up 25% to #44 and the Chevrolet Traverse also up 25% to #46.

Porsche 918 Spyder USA July 2014. Picture courtesy of motortrend.comFirst appearance of the Porsche 918 Spyder in the US rankings.

Among recent launches, notice the Mercedes CLA up 23 spots on June to #123, the Lincoln MKC up 33 to #159, Porsche Macan up a further 8 to #179 and the Cadillac ELR up 6 to #240. Finally, we welcome 3 new models this month in the ranking: the BMW X4 lands directly at #232 with 262 sales, the Mercedes B-Class reappears in a new robe at #252 with 41 units and the spectacular Porsche 918 Spyder lands at #258 with 3 sales.

Previous post: Australia/USA: More historical data now available!

Previous month: USA 6 months 2014: Top two pick-ups pause growth

Previous month (2):  USA June 2014: Toyota Corolla and Hyundai Sonata lead gainers

One year ago: USA July 2013: General Motors new gen pick-ups shoot up

Full July 2014 Top 260 models, Top 40 brands & Top 15 groups Ranking Tables below.

Read more…

Categories: USA

Australia/USA: More Historical Data now available!

July 30th, 2014 No comments

Ford Fairmont USA 19781978 Ford Fairmont

Thanks to Paul I have just added more detailed Historical Data for two countries: Australia and the USA. For Australia, you now have access to a Top 10 ranking for 1978, 1988 and 1989 and for the US there is a Top 10 ranking for February 1978 which adds a different perspective to the figures already published on BSCN. These were very different times with a Top 10 composed of 10 American cars in the US (not a single Japanese model in sight) while in Australia Holden and Ford dominated with the Kingswood, Commodore and Falcon but there were already 5 Japanese cars inside the Top 10 in 1978, led by the Datsun 200B…

You can check out all Australian and American Historical Data updates here:

Australia 1948-2013 Historical Data (42 articles featuring vintage photographs)

USA 1908-2013 Historical Data (42 articles)

Categories: Australia, USA

USA 6 months 2014: Top two pick-ups pause growth

July 12th, 2014 5 comments

Chevrolet Silverado USA June 2014. Picture courtesy of motortrend.comChevrolet Silverado

* See the Top 267 best-selling models and Top 37 brands by clicking on the title! *

As is the tradition on BSCB, after going through US June figures we now explore year-to-date data to try and extract longer-term trends. Halfway through 2014, the US light vehicle market is up a cool 4% to reach 8.16 million units, and with an annualised sales rate of 17 million in June we are looking at an American car market at its best in 8 years! Brand-wise, the success story of the year is Jeep: up 45% and over 100,000 compared to the same time last year to an all-time record 332,802 sales, now teasing Hyundai (364,434 – also an all-time high) for 6th place overall. For more about this success, check out Strategy: Why Jeep is breaking all-time records in the USA.

Jeep Cherokee USA June 2014. Picture courtesy of motortrend.comUS Jeep sales are up by a gigantic 45% year-on-year so far in 2014.

No less than 3 other manufacturers break records in the US Top 10, making it 5 in 10: Nissan is up 13% to 645,136 units, Kia is up 7% to 297,413 sales and Subaru is up 16% to 238,008 units, making its first appearance among the US’s 10 most popular brands. Ford keeps the lead of the brands ranking with 1.22 million units (-2%) ahead of Chevrolet at 1.03 million (+1%) and Toyota at 996,282 (+4%). Notice also GMC up 5%, Ram up 22%, BMW up 12%, Lexus up 17%, Buick up 13%, Audi and Infiniti up 14%, Lincoln up 16%, Mitsubishi up 30% and Maserati up 329% thanks to the Ghibli.

Mitsubishi Outlander Sport USA June 2014Mitsubishi sales are up 30% so far in 2014.

In the models ranking, the first observation when looking atop the sales charts is the two best-sellers, the Ford F-Series (-0.5%) and Chevrolet Silverado (-1%), have paused their growth for now. If for the F-Series the explanation is simple (the 2015 model is coming up soon), for the Silverado it isn’t as the current generation is only one year old. Granted, the Ram Pick-up is up 20%, the GMC Sierra is up 6% and the Toyota Tundra up 12%, so pick-up trucks do still have a rosy future in the US.

Honda Accord USA June 2014. Picture courtesy of caranddriver.comThe Honda Accord is now #2 passenger car below only the Toyota Camry.

The Toyota Camry reinforces its third position (+7%), the Honda Accord (-4%) overtakes the Nissan Altima (+5%) for 5th place overall, the Toyota Corolla improves to +10% year-on-year in 7th position, and the Honda Civic (+5%) passes the Ford Fusion (+3%) for 8th place. Further down, the Ford Focus jumps up to #13, the Hyundai Sonata is up to #17 and in terms of year-on-year gains let’s salute the Nissan Rogue up 26% to #20, the Nissan Sentra up 41% to #21, Subaru Forester up 47% to #31 and the Dodge Grand Caravan up 21% to #34.

Previous post: USA June 2014: Toyota Corolla and Hyundai Sonata lead gainers

Previous month: USA 5 months 2014: Toyota Camry back on podium

One year ago: USA 6 months 2013: Ford F-Series strongest in 7 years

Full 6 months 2014 Top 267 models and Top 37 brands Ranking Tables below.

Read more…

Categories: USA

USA June 2014: Toyota Corolla & Hyundai Sonata lead gainers

July 10th, 2014 6 comments

Hyundai Sonata South Korea June 2014. Picture courtesy of caranddriver.comHyundai Sonata sales are up 30% in June thanks to the new model.

* NOW UPDATED with the Top 260 models, Top 38 brands & Top 15 groups! *

After a fantastic month of May, most analysts had predicted the US new light vehicle market to decline year-on-year in June. Nope. It is up 1% to 1,420,994 registrations, bringing the year-to-date total to 8,163,942 units, up 4% halfway through the year. Even better: the annualised sales rate is up to 17 million units, up from 15.9 million in June 2013 and just above May’s 16.8 million rate, the first time it hits 17 million since July 2006. So we are looking at a US car market at its highest in 8 years! 

Audi A3 USA June 2014. Picture courtesy of motortrend.comThe all-new A3 sedan helps Audi lift its sales by 23% year-on-year in June.

Surprisingly, General Motors is still weathering in a pretty good way the recall of 25.7 million vehicles so far this year, with sales up for the 4th consecutive month in June at +1%. In fact, Ford and Honda (both at -6%) are the only groups among the ones selling over 100,000 units this month to lose ground year-on-year in June, and for both of them it’s their 4th decline in the past 6 months. Reversely, Fiat Chrysler (+9%) and Nissan are strong again, the latter delivering its 15th monthly record in the past 16 months. Brand-wise, notice Jeep up another 28% on the back on strong Cherokee sales (#27), Mazda up 17% at delivering its strongest June volume in 10 years, Buick up 18%, Audi up 23% and Maserati up 233%.

Nissan Sentra USA June 2014. Picture courtesy of motortrend.comThe Nissan Sentra is up 68% on June 2013.

In the models ranking, we witness the first true dent in the Ford F-Series return to shape in over 2 years: going from +7% in April to -5% in May to -11% this month, however the reason is simple: the new generation is coming this Summer/Fall and will no doubt give it another sales kick. Plus its supremacy in the ranking is nowhere near being threatened, with another 17,000 units separating it from the #2, the Chevrolet Silverado. The Toyota Camry is back down to #3 but up 13% year-on-year, the RAM Pick-up is up 12%, the Toyota Corolla up 17%, Ford Fusion up 14%, Ford Focus up 4 spots on May to #9 and 13% year-on-year, the Hyundai Sonata up 30%, Nissan Sentra up 68% and the Subaru Forester up 28%.

Previous US post: USA: 1985-1991 detailed Historical Data now available!

Previous US strategy post: Strategy: Why Jeeps is breaking all-time records in the USA

Previous month: USA May 2014: GM up 13% despite recalls, Hyundai & Jeep break all-time records

One year ago: USA June 2013: Chevrolet Cruze and Equinox hit best-ever volumes

Full June 2014 Top 260 models, Top 38 brands and Top 15 groups Ranking Tables below.

Read more…

Categories: USA

USA: 1985-1991 Detailed Historical Data now available!

June 27th, 2014 No comments

Ford Escort USA 1987The Ford Escort is the best-selling Passenger Car in the US in 1987 and 1988.

Thanks to an avid reader of BSCB, I have now added full models ranking for the USA for each year between 1985 and 1991, slowly but surely filling up the holes in US Historical Data on the site. This is a period where I had previously almost no information about, and it means there is now at least a Top 10 ranking for each year in the past 3 decades! The 1985-1991 period is a hugely important one in the USA as it shows the shift from an almost All-American ranking to Japanese domination in the Passenger Cars sales charts.

Honda Accord USA 1986The Honda Accord writes history in the US during the eighties.

In 1985, there is only 3 foreign models in the Top 20 best-sellers overall: the Honda Accord, Toyota Hilux/SR5 and Nissan Sentra. The Ford F-Series dominates overall, while the Chevrolet Cavalier, Ford Escort, Chevrolet Celebrity and Oldsmobile Ciera being the most popular passenger cars. Only 6 years afterwards in 1991, the Honda Accord is the best-selling passenger car for the third year running, ranking third overall only 33,000 sales below the leader, still the Ford F-Series! Add to this the Toyota Camry #3 passenger car and #5 overall with over 260,000 sales.

Hyundai Excel USA 1986The first Korean car to reach US shores, the Hyundai Excel launched in 1986 and ranked #9 in 1987.

Witness also the arrival of Korean manufacturer Hyundai in 1986, placing the Excel at an unbelievable 9th place overall in 1987 (but crashing and burning afterwards), the birth of US-exclusive Japanese premium brands Acura in 1986, and Lexus & Infiniti in 1989
and the launch by General Motors of the “no haggle” priced Saturn brand in 1990 with a new plant, workforce, dealer network and the manufacturing process in response to the success of Japanese manufacturers. Result: the Saturn S-Series ranks #56 in 1991 for its first full year of sales.

Saturn S-Series USA 1990General Motors launches the Saturn brand with S-Series (above) in 1990.

You can check out the entire 1908-2013 USA 43 Historical Data articles here.

Recently updated USA Historical Data articles:

USA 1985: Ford F-Series and Chevrolet Cavalier on top

USA 1986: Chevrolet Celebrity leads passenger cars

USA 1987: Ford places F-Series, Escort and Taurus in Top 4

USA 1988: Chevrolet C/K pickup and Corsica impress

USA 1989: Honda Accord first foreign model to lead passenger cars

USA 1990: Can the Honda Accord ever lead the overall market?

USA 1991: Honda Accord ever closer to overall pole position

Categories: USA

Strategy: Why Jeep is breaking all-time records in the USA

June 19th, 2014 4 comments

1940 Bantam Jeep BRC40The 1940 Bantam BRC40 is one of the ancestors of the Jeep.

While Jeep had never before in its 73-year history topped 60,000 US sales in a month, it delivered an out-of-this world 70,203 in May, passing Kia, teasing Hyundai which also broke its all-time record this month, doubling Volkswagen and tripling Buick. The Cherokee, Wrangler and Compass nameplates all beat their all-time monthly volume records this month. According to Autonews, Jeep did so with only modest financing and lease subsidies, making it all the more impressive.

1967 Jeep Jeepster1967 Jeep Jeepster

To show how far Jeep has traveled, lets back-track 8 years ago, prior to the global financial crisis, when the market was at a similar level as it is now. In July 2006, Jeep sold 35,831 vehicles in the US, a little more than half of what it sold last month, with a market share of 2.4% vs. 4.4% last month. What is behind Jeep’s sudden and tremendous current success in the USA? Autonews says it’s a matter of ‘right time, right place’…

Riding the SUV wave

Alec Gutierrez, senior analyst for Kelley Blue Book, says “All of the major growth in the marketplace seems to be isolated in the CUV and SUV segments. Given this is Jeep’s entire portfolio, they seem to be benefiting more than anybody else. No brand has gained more market share in the USA since 2010 than Jeep. And the brand has accomplished the feat with modest fleet sales.”

2014 Jeep Cherokee2014 Jeep Cherokee

The role of the new Cherokee

Jeep’s impressive growth streak can be pinpointed partly to the addition of the 2014 Cherokee mid-sized SUV which replaced the lacklustre Liberty at the end of last year. Albeit controversially designed, the new Cherokee immediately stroke a chord with US buyers, selling over 10,000 units for its first full month of sales last November. It never dropped below 5 digit sales figures since, adding up to 92,881 sales so far and will pass the 100,000-unit milestone in June, only 8 months after launch. Don Lee, president of Lee Auto Malls which operates two Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge-Ram stores in Maine, said “The new style of the Cherokee is so dramatically different than previous Jeeps that it’s bringing a new buyer into our showroom that we haven’t seen before: they’re a younger buyer than the typical Jeep buyer.”

1974 Jeep Cherokee1974 Jeep Cherokee

Quality perception

According to Autonews, Jeep brand head Mike Manley said the average age of Jeep buyers has dropped nearly 2 full years in the past year. He declined to reveal precise numbers. Meanwhile, in a survey released two weeks ago by ALG, the analytics division of TrueCar, millennials who had purchased a vehicle placed Jeep third in perceived quality among all automotive brands, behind only Honda and Toyota. ALG defines millennials as people born between 1979 and 1994. Among all respondents, Jeep was the highest-ranking Chrysler Group brand for perceived quality and was above the industry average.

Blake Helfman, new-vehicle sales manager at Helfman River Oaks Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge-Ram, confirms this: “We’re conquesting buyers from higher-end vehicles. I’m getting trade-ins from Mercedes, BMW, Range Rover, Lexus-type vehicles because people come in and typically, they leave with a similar quality vehicle at a much, much lower payment.” For instance, the Jeep Grand Cherokee’s sticker starts at US$30,390 while the Mercedes M class starts at $48,715.

2015 Jeep Renegade2015 Jeep Renegade

Production constraints

In addition to the record US sales in May, Jeep sold 30,004 vehicles overseas. “A number of our international markets are constrained because of the demand we have in the U.S.,” Manley said. This didn’t prevent the Grand Cherokee to break into the Australian Top 10 for the very first time… The brand’s 5 year plan calls for building Jeeps in Asia, South America and Europe to feed domestic markets there. The Jeep Renegade, a new subcompact SUV that will come to the US in 2015, is scheduled to go into production in Europe earlier, before the end of 2014. “The sooner that we can bring that international manufacturing onstream, the more product that we can use to continue to feed the US dealers,” Manley said. Manley said the brand remains on track to sell 1 million Jeeps globally in 2014, but further growth will require more production. “If it continues this way, we’ll naturally bump into the production capacity limits,” Manley said.

Arguably a nice problem to have.

Categories: STRATEGY, USA