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USA April 2017: Fourth consecutive month of year-on-year decline

The Ram Pickup outsells the Chevrolet Silverado for the second straight month. 

* See the Top 15 groups, Top 40 brands and Top 290 models by clicking on the title *

April figures confirm the U.S. market has now plateaued, with a fourth consecutive month of year-on-year decline at -4.7% to 1.426.126 units, leading yo a year-to-date tally down 2.4% to 5.458.914. This is the longest negative period since the market plunged in 2009… The industry is now getting to terms with the fact that an 8th consecutive year of gains and a third record year is now highly unlikely, just as the Seasonally Adjusted Annualised Sales Rate (SAAR) reaches 16.92 million, up from 16.6 million in March but down from 17.42 million a year ago.

Confirming the slowdown is the fact that incentives are at a very high level, reaching 10.5% of sticker price on average, which is a red alert according to Auto Nation. If passenger cars continue their freefall at -11% to 557.312 units, this month light trucks are also down at -0.1% to 868.814 albeit up 3% year-to-date to 3.359.964. This is the first year-on-year decline for the light truck segment since September 2013. Pickups are down 3.5% but the SUV/crossover category continues to post impressive scores at +3.5% to 564.488, outselling passenger cars once again.

The Honda CR-V is up 13% to #4 overall in April. 

All the main carmakers post year-on-year declines this month. General Motors registers its first drop since January at -5.8% as it continues to pull out of the fleet sales segment, Ford Motor posts a fourth consecutive month of decline at -7.1%, Toyota Motor is down 4.4%, FCA down 6.6% with no sales gain since last August, Honda Motor down 7%, Nissan/Mitsubishi down 2.4% and Hyundai-Kia down 1.9%.

Brand-wise, Ford (-7.4%), Toyota (-3.5%) and Chevrolet (-10.4%) dominate ahead of Honda (-6.3%), Nissan (-2%) and Jeep (-16.5%), with Subaru (+3.9%) the first marque posting a year-on-year gain at #9 and on track for a 9th consecutive annual volume record. Ram, up 5.3%, is the only other brand to gain ground in the Top 10. Below, Volkswagen (+1.6%), Buick (+17%), Audi (+5.7%), Cadillac (+9.5%), Infiniti (+3.5%) and Volvo (+15.4%) shine, while among smaller brands, Tesla (+71%), Jaguar (+197%) and Alfa Romeo (+1047%) make themselves noticed.

Nissan Rogue sales are up 18% year-on-year in April.

In the models ranking, below the Ford F-Series ever so reliable and stable in pole position, the Ram Pickup (+5%) outsells the Chevrolet Silverado (-20%) for the second consecutive month and only the fourth time this century at 43.321 units vs. 40.154. The Silverado remains in 2nd place year-to-date though at 168.621 deliveries (-6%) vs. 162.520 (+5%). In March, average incentives reached $6.010 for the Ram vs. $5.844 for the Silverado according to Autodata. It’s another very strong SUV month with the Honda CR-V up 13% to #4 overall and the Toyota RAV4 up 5% to #5, both outselling the Toyota Camry (-8%), Honda Civic (-12%) and Toyota Corolla (-8%) just as the Nissan Rogue gains 18% in 9th place.

Outside the Top 10, the Chevrolet Cruze benefits from its facelift with sales up 51% to #13 this month and up 46% to #16 year-to-date. Among recent launches, the Chrysler Pacifica continues to step up at #37 vs. #44 year-to-date, the Buick Envision is up to #89 vs. #100 YTD, the Kia Niro up to #115 vs. #142, the Hyundai Ioniq up to #167 vs. #223 and the Chevrolet Bolt up to #169 vs. #185. Finally, we welcome the Toyota C-HR at #214 in the U.S. ranking this month.

Previous post: USA February 2017: SUVs above passenger cars again, market at -1.1%

One year ago: USA April 2016: Strong incentives and light trucks push market up 3.5%

Full April 2017 Top 15 groups, Top 40 brands and Top 290 models below.

Full March 2017 Top 290 models below.

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