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USA January 2017: SUVs outsell passenger cars in market down 1.7%

honda-cr-v-usa-december-2016-picture-courtesy-caranddriver-comThe CR-V is up 52% to #4 and #1 SUV in the U.S. in January. (picture caranddriver.com)

* See the Top 15 groups, Top 40 brands and Top 280 models by clicking on the title *

In January, U.S. new car sales feel the hungover of December sales artificially pushed by particularly generous incentives leading to a second straight all-time record year. Sales are down 1.8% to 1.143.549, January traditionally being the slowest month of the year here. The seasonally adjusted annualised sales rate (SAAR) remains solid though at 17.57 million vs. 17.87 million in January 2016 and 18.38 million last month but keeping in mind 2016 ended with an actual 17.55 million units. Trends observed last year accentuate in January: passenger cars freefall down 12% with midsize cars down 21%, minivans are down 35% but pickups gains 4% to 177.964 sales, SUVs are up 6% to 123.944 and crossovers up 11% to 351.338. Overall, light trucks are up 5.7% to 715.953 or 62.6% of the market vs. 60.7% over the Full Year 2016 which was a record, but light trucks frankly outselling passenger cars has become the routine. The new news is SUV/crossovers (475.282 vs 432.468 a year ago) now outsell passenger cars (427.596 vs. 487.011) is new news.

The Nissan Rogue shoots up 46% to #5 overall (picture caranddriver.com) 

General Motors (-4%), Ford Motor (-1%), FCA (-11%, its fifth consecutive decline), Toyota Motor (-11%) and Hyundai-Kia (-1%) all drop volumes year-on-year with only Nissan Motor and Honda Motor gaining ground, both at +6% on the back of record light truck sales and average incentives up 24% and 35% year-on-year respectively. In fact, if the industry average incentive per vehicle is down 3.3% on December to $3.635, it is in fact up a whopping 22% on January 2016… BMW leads the way with $6.016 worth of incentives per car on average (+44%), ahead of Daimler at $4.648 (+29%), GM at $4.504 (up a modest 10%), FCA at $4.408 (+14%), Nissan at $4.335 (+24%), Volkswagen Group at $4.117 (+31%) and Ford at $4.114 (+35%). Below average are Kia at $3.411 (+21%), Hyundai at $2.602 (+37%), Toyota at $2.538 (+21%), Honda at $2.231 (+34%) and Subaru at $1.120 (+97%). These figures sourced with ALG and quoted by Automotive News.

The RAV4 is Toyota’s best-seller for the second month running.

Brand-wise, Ford (-2%), Chevrolet (-2%) and Toyota (-6%) make the podium unchanged on December and FY2016 while Nissan (+4%) overtakes Honda (+8%) and Jeep struggles at -7% in 6th place. Hyundai (-1%) is back above Subaru (+7%) but in negative, Dodge (-17%) surges back up 5 spots on December to #9 with Ram up 15% to #10. Volkswagen (+17%), Mazda (+10%) and Audi (+14%) are the only other carmakers posting double-digit gains inside the Top 20, in the case of VW and Audi partly due to low bases a year ago in the wake on the company’s emissions scandal. Below, spectacular gains are reserved to luxury brands, such as Lincoln (+22%), Infiniti (+36%), Ferrari (+42%), Alfa Romeo (+59%), Maserati (+69%), Rolls-Royce (+70%), Tesla (+82%), Bentley (+83%) and Jaguar (+117%).

The Chevrolet Cruze hits its best U.S. ranking in over two years. 

In the models ranking, the Ford F-Series goes agains the grain and posts a stellar 13% increase to 57.995 sales, over 22.000 units above its archenemy the Chevrolet Silverado at 35.553 (-3%), now threatened by the Ram Pickup at 33.769 (+13%). For the second month running, the Top 5 is passenger car-free, with the Honda CR-V leaping up 52% to #4 thanks both e new generation and the Nissan Rogue endlessly impressive at +46% to 28.760 sales in 5th place. The Honda Civic tops passenger cars at #6 overall despite a 14% plunge, and the RAV4 is Toyota’s best-seller for the second consecutive month at 22.155, distancing the Corolla (21.567) and most strikingly the Camry (20.313) down 24% and awaiting the new generation with trepidation.

The Volvo V90 Cross Country somehow made its way to the U.S. ranking, but is yet to be officially available. 

The Chevrolet Cruze surges 39% to #11, its best U.S. ranking since November 2014, the Jeep Grand Cherokee is up 24% to #16, the Subaru Outback up 18% to #20, Hyundai Elantra up 33% to #21, Jeep Renegade up 52% to #30, GMC Acadia up 65% to #32, Hyundai Santa Fe up 54% to #39 and the Accent up 40% to #48. Among recent launches, the Chrysler Pacifica settles inside the Top 50 for the fourth time in the past five months, the Tesla Model X (#119) outsells the Model S (#135) for the first time, the Jaguar F-Pace improves 14 spots on December to a record #151 and the Chevrolet Bolt is up 49 ranks to #172. In January, we welcome the Kia Niro at #266 with 42 sales and the Volvo V90 at #276 with 4 units.

Previous post: USA Full Year 2016: Incentives lift market to second straight record

Previous month: USA December 2016: Nissan Rogue shoots up 53% to 4th overall

One year ago: USA January 2016: SAAR up to 17.55m units despite snowstorms

Full January 2017 Top 15 groups, Top 40 brands and Top 280 models below.

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