* UPDATED with the Top 272 All-models, Top 40 All-brands and Top 15 Groups *
Severe snow storms during the last days of the month didn’t prevent the U.S. new light vehicle market to grow by a fantastic 14% year-on-year in January to 1.152.480 units, fuelled by $2 per gallon gasoline prices in many parts of the country, employment gains and healthy rebates. SUV and crossover sales are up 21%, pickup trucks up 19% and cars up just 8%. The Seasonally Adjusted Annual Sales Rate (SAAR) is up sharply from 15.3 million units in January 2014 to 16.7 million units this month, the biggest January in 9 years. Simply put, the year couldn’t have started better in the USA with GM, Ford, Fiat Chrysler, Nissan, Toyota and Honda (the 6 biggest automotive groups in the US) all posting gains of at least 12%.
General Motors leas the pack with a 18% increase on the back of a 42% improvement in pickup volume (partly thanks to the new Chevy Colorado/GMC Canyon tandem) and a 36% rise in crossover and SUV deliveries. Lexus jumps 31% thanks to the NX compact SUV to rank #2 luxury brand below Mercedes and above BMW. Other brands with the largest gains are Mitsubishi (+33%), GMC (+29%), Porsche and Mini (each at +27%). Other notable improvements include Subaru up 24% to sign its 11th consecutive month above 40,000 deliveries, Jeep (+23%) and Ram (+21%) lifting FCA to its 58th consecutive month of year-on-year gains, Chevrolet up 20% and Audi up 14% to deliver its 49th consecutive month of record U.S. sales.
In the models ranking, strong sales of the 2015 aluminium bodied F-150 left only 12 days-worth of inventory at Ford dealers just as production is about to start at its 2nd plant in Kansas City, and the F-Series outsells GM’s full-size pickups for the first time since last July at 54,370 sales (+17%) vs. 36,106 (+25%) for the Chevy Silverado and 12,612 (+13%) for the GMC Sierra. Below the Ram Pickup at #3, the Toyota Corolla becomes the best-selling passenger car this month thanks to sales up 20% to 27,357 vs. 26,763 (+15%) for the traditional leader the Toyota Camry.
The CR-V (#7) is Honda’s best-seller above the Accord (#8) and Civic (#13), the Toyota RAV4 (#10) is back inside the Top 10 for the first time since last September, the Chevrolet Equinox is up 34% to #12, the Ford Focus up 54% to #15, Ford Explorer up 33% to #16, the Nissan Rogue is one spot away from its all-time best monthly ranking at #17, the Jeep Cherokee is up 44% to #18, the Nissan Sentra up 58% to #19 and the Chrysler 200 breaks into the Top 20 for the very first time thanks to sales up 30% on the previous generation to 14,157 units.
Notice also the Honda Pilot up 98% on January 2014 to #24, the Chevrolet Traverse up 89% to #33, Ford Mustang up 124% to #39, Dodge Dart up 61% to #42, Chevrolet Tahoe up 88% to #55, VW Golf up 145% to #77 and the Chevrolet Suburban up 142% to #78. As far as recent launches are concerned, the Chevrolet Colorado is up 34 spots on December to #65 and now above the Nissan Frontier, the Lexus NX is up 18 to #105, the GMC Canyon up 48 to #119, Chevrolet Trax up 69 to #130, Alfa Romeo 4C up to #250 and we welcome the Ram ProMaster City (#252) and Volvo V60 Cross Country (#253).
One year ago: USA January 2014: Toyota RAV4 and Nissan Rogue up
Full January 2015 Top 272 All-models, Top 40 All-brands and Top 15 Groups below.