* UPDATED – See the Top 271 All-models, Top 40 brands & Top 15 groups *
Particularly severe wintry weather will finally have had an impact on US light vehicle sales: whereas the average forecast for February was an 8% year-on-year increase to 16.6 million SAAR (seasonally adjusted annual sales rate), the market has to settle for 5% growth and 16.24 million SAAR (the lowest since last April) at 1.258.570 sales, bringing the year-to-date total to 2.411.050 deliveries (+9%). If a 6th consecutive year of increased volume seems certain, the US market may be running out of gas in 2016 at this rate. Cars drop 1% while SUVs gain a huge 27% and pickups are up 13%.
The big news in the group ranking is Toyota Motor Corp outselling Ford Motor Co for the first time in 6 months thanks to sales up 13% to 180,467 vs. 179,673 (-2%), bolstered by Lexus registering its best February ever (+22%). General Motors keeps the lead at 231,378 deliveries (+4%), mainly due to GMC (+19%) which just announced a (justified) doubling of its marketing spend over the next 5 years. Chevrolet (+4%), Buick (-9%) and Cadillac (-13%) are morose. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles lodges its 59th consecutive month of year-on-year gain (we are approaching 5 years!), led by Jeep (+21%), Chrysler (+13%) and Ram (+12%) whereas Dodge (-15%) and Fiat (-5%) are not helping.
Nissan Motor Co has declared it wants to beat Japanese rival American Honda “consistently” and it has been the case so far this year with 118,436 units in February vs. 105,466 and 222,453 vs. 207,650 year-to-date. As is the case with the biggest Japanese manufacturers, the luxury divisions of both Nissan and Honda outpace the mainstream brand: Infiniti is up 22% vs. +1% for Nissan and Acura is up 13% vs. +4% for Honda. Though extremely strong at +19%, February marked the first time since June that Subaru failed to advance at least 20%. Mercedes (25,291), BMW (25,201) and Lexus (22,995) are once again very tight in the premium brand race.
Tight inventories of the aluminum-bodied 2015 F-150 have plagued Ford F-Series sales in January: down 1% to 55,236 units, and both the Chevrolet Silverado (+24% to 45,395 sales), Ram Pickup (+7% to 31,298 deliveries) and GMC Sierra (+6% to 15,157 units) have rushed to fill the gap. Meanwhile the Chevrolet Colorado continues its progression at 6,563 sales (#60 and +10% on January) and will break into the monthly Top 50 over the coming months. The Toyota Camry (+14%) is back to the #1 passenger car spot it traditionally holds, followed by the Nissan Altima (-8%) and Toyota Corolla (+10%) while the Toyota RAV4 (+33%) threatens the Honda CR-V (+7%) for the SUV crown.
Outside the Top 10, the Nissan Rogue takes advantage of sales up a plump 25% year-on-year to smash its monthly US ranking record, lifting it to #12 (previous best: #15 in February 2014), while the Chrysler 200 is slowly but very surely getting closer to the best-selling passenger cars in the country, up another 3 spots on January to hit a record-breaking #17 thanks to 15,805 sales, up 30% on February 2014. Notice also the Ford Explorer up 34% to #15, the Nissan Sentra up 24% to #19, Hyundai Sonata up 25% to #3, Honda Pilot up 83% to #27, Subaru Outback up 30% to #30, Toyota Sienna up 48% to #34, Jeep Patriot up 59% to #38 and the Ford Mustang up 32% to #47.
Previous month: USA January 2015: General Motors strong in market up 14%
Full February 2015 Top 50 models, Top 40 brands and Top 15 groups below.