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USA May 2017: Market down 0.5% despite strong light truck sales

The Toyota RAV4 now outsells the Camry year-to-date. Picture

* See the Top 15 groups, Top 40 brands and Top 295 models by clicking on the title *

The U.S. new light vehicle market has yet to post a positive month this year with May sales down slightly at -0.5% to 1.519.175, bringing the year-to-date tally down 2% to 6.978.089. This time passenger cars are solely responsible for the market’s drop with a 9% year-on-year decline to 584.005 units whereas light trucks are up 6% to 935.170 or 61.6% market share. In the detail, pickup trucks are up 9.3% to 236.429, crossovers are up 5.2% to 449.046 and SUVs up 2.8% to 155.855. Once again, the crossover+SUV category outsells passenger cars at 604.901 (+4.6%). Year-to-date, passenger cars are down a harsh 11% to 2.682.955, light trucks are up 4.7% to 4.295.134 with pickup trucks up 4.1% to 1.095.974 and crossovers/SUVs the everlasting engine of growth at +7.3% to 2.799.085.

The Ram Pickup outsells the Chevy Silverado for the third consecutive month. 

Group-wise, Ford Motor Co. takes the lead this month thanks to deliveries up 2.3% to 240.250, overtaking General Motors down 1.3% with Toyota Motor Co (-0.5%) and FCA (-1%) also in decline. Honda Motor (+0.9%) and Nissan Motor (+3%) buck the trend and post positive results as do the Volkswagen Group (+4.1%) and Jaguar Land Rover (+13.9%). Hyundai-Kia (-11.5%) and the BMW Group (-11.1%) suffer this month.

Ford is also the most popular brand in the U.S. this month, up 2.2%, distancing Toyota up 3.7% and Chevrolet down 3.8%. Honda and Nissan round up the Top 5, with Kia (-7%), Jeep (-15%) and Hyundai (-18%) falling heavily whereas Subaru (+12.1%) and Ram (+18%) continue to climb up. Subaru still has the lowest average incentives in market and is headed towards a 9th consecutive record year. Further down, Volvo (+12%), Infiniti (+15.6%), Buick (+28.5% thanks to the Envision), Maserati (+33.9%), Tesla (+37.3%), Jaguar (+43.9%) and Alfa Romeo (+1988.6% thanks to the Giulia) all post spectacular gains.

The VW Atlas has landed in the U.S. sales charts… 

Over in the models ranking, the Ford F-Series surges 13% to post its strongest May figure in 13 years at 76.027. It is followed for the third consecutive month by the Ram Pickup up 16% to once again outsmart the Chevrolet Silverado (-3%). The Silverado remains #2 year-to-date for now. The Toyota RAV4 jumps 19% to land in 4th place overall, overtaking the Camry year-to-date to become the brand’s best-seller in the U.S. If the RAV4 keeps this spot until the end of the year it would be a first. The Honda Accord (+5%) is the best-selling passenger car in May ahead of the Corolla (-10%) and Camry (-12%). The Nissan Rogue (+19%) and Honda CR-V (+10%) retreat to the bottom of the Top 10 but still post very strong figures. They rank #4 and #5 respectively year-to-date.

…as well as the Lexus LC. 

Notice also the Ford Explorer up 18%, the Jeep Grand Cherokee up 14% and the Toyota Highlander up 23%, all strong performing SUVs inside the Top 20. The Chrysler Pacifica nudges up to #35 with a record 11.720 sales, the Hyundai Tucson is up 44%, the GMC Acadia up 38%, the Chevrolet Camaro up 35% and the VW Golf up 61%. The Kia Niro is now the most popular recent launch (<12 months) at #127 but the Toyota C-HR (#150) and Hyundai Ioniq (#153) are catching up fast. We welcome two new nameplates inside the U.S. ranking this month: Volkswagen’s long awaited seven-seat SUV, the Atlas directly at #160 and the Lexus LC at #227.

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

One year ago: USA May 2016: Market down 6%, largest drop since August 2010

Full May 2017 Top 15 groups, Top 40 brands and Top 295 models below.

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