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USA May 2015: Highest ever May volume and 17.8 million annual pace

Jeep Wrangler USA May 2015Jeep sets an all-time volume record in May at 79.652 units.

* Now updated with the Top 20 groups, Top 40 brands and Top 275 models *

Whereas the totality of analysts had predicted a slight year-on-year decline due to less selling days in May this year than in 2014, the U.S. customer has shown them wrong with May 2015 up 1.6% year-on-year to become the best ever May score in U.S history at 1.634.952 registrations. The year-to-date total is now up 4.5% on 2014 to 7.046.586 units and now on track to top 17 million units this year for the first time since 2001. In fact, the seasonally adjusted sales rate (SAAR) soared to 17.78 million, up from 16.52 million in April and 16.73 million in May 2014. This is the highest recorded SAAR since the 20.64 million of July 2005, when the Big 3 manufacturer simultaneously had employee-pricing deals in market. Even more impressive: U.S. car buyers are spending more money on each car they buy: an average of $33.363 according to Kelley Blue Book, or $1.363 more than in May 2014.

The Chrysler 200 breaks the 20.000 monthly sales milestone for the first time in May.

The market continues to be lifted by light trucks up 7% year-on-year to 870.393 units while passenger cars are down 4% to 764.697. The best performing segments are crossovers (+15%), Luxury SUVs (+10%), pickups (+7%) and mid-size SUVs (+6%), whereas all categories of cars are consistently down: small (-3.5%), midsize (-4%) and luxury (-3%). Group-wise, GM improves 3% to 293.097 deliveries ahead of Ford down 1% to 250.086 and Toyota down 0.3% to 242.579. FCA clocks in its 62nd consecutive month of year-on-year gains at +4% to 202.227 units, with Jeep lodging its all-time monthly sales record at 79.652 (+14%), Chrysler up 32% and Ram up 12% more than compensating for harsh declines at Dodge (-21%) and Fiat (-19%). Thanks to an almost 20.000 sales advantage, Honda Motor reclaims the 5th place overall off Nissan Motor this month.

Chevrolet Equinox USA May 2015The runout model pushes the Equinox to a 2nd consecutive record month.

In the brands ranking, Ford dominates with just under 241.000 sales, Toyota overtakes Chevrolet for #2 at 208.102 units vs. 207.970 while Honda passes Nissan for #4 at 137.551 vs. 124.305. Jeep takes a definitive advantage over Hyundai for 6th place, Kia hits an all-tome record at 62.433 units, GMC, Subaru (42nd consecutive month in positive), Ram and Mercedes all gain 12% on May 2014, Audi lodges its 67th consecutive month of year-on-year gains at +11%, Lexus is up 10%, Acura up 16%, Maserati up 17%, Land Rover up 19% and both Mitsubishi and Chrysler post the biggest increase at +32%. Finally, notice the Volkswagen brand posting a rare improvement at +8% mainly thanks to the new Golf tripling its sales year-on-year.

Nissan Rogue USA May 2015. Picture courtesy of motortrend.comNissan Rogue U.S. sales are up 38% on May 2014.

Restricted by production problems for the all-new aluminium F-150 resulting in inventory shortages, the Ford F-Series slides 10% in May to 61.870 units but remains 10.000 sales above the Chevrolet Silverado up 11% to 51.602 deliveries, its 2nd biggest month since December 2007. If we remove the F-Series, pickup truck sales are up 17% year-on-year in May, and mid-size pickup sales take off at +69% to 34.741 with the return of the Chevrolet Colorado (8.881 deliveries – best since August 2006) and GMC Canyon (2.901 – best since July 2005) and a very strong month of the Toyota Tacoma up 26% to 17.520 units.

Honda HR-V USA May 2015. Picture courtesy motortrend.comInstant blockbuster: the Honda HR-V

The Toyota Camry snaps the overall third spot off the Ram Pickup despite sales down 12% on a year ago just above the Toyota Corolla comfortably establishing itself in 5th position. Meanwhile four nameplates post all-time volume records inside the Top 25: the Chevrolet Equinox for the 2nd month in a row at 29.456 units (+30%), the 9 year-old Jeep Wrangler at 22.324 sales also breaking its ranking record at #18, the Chrysler 200 at 20.007 and the Jeep Cherokee at 19.669. Notice also the Toyota RAV4 up 23%, Nissan Rogue up 38% and Toyota Highlander up 25%. Instant blockbusters: the Honda HR-V landing directly at #70 with 6.381 sales and the Jeep Renegade at #94 and 4.416 units.

Previous post: STRATEGY: The growing power of Hispanic buyers in U.S. sales

Previous month: USA April 2015: Chevrolet Equinox hits best ranking and volume ever

One year ago: USA May 2014: GM up 13% despite recalls, Hyundai & Jeep break all-time records

Full May 2015 Top 20 groups, Top 40 brands and Top 275 models below.

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