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USA February 2018: Toyota & VW Group stay afloat in market down 2.4%

Toyota Motor manages a 4.5% uplift in a negative market. The Tacoma is up 18%.

* See the Top 15 groups, Top 40 brands and Top 282 models by clicking on the title *

U.S. new light vehicle sales return to negative in February and for the third time in the past six months after last October and December, down 2.4% year-on-year to 1.302.128 units which pulls the year-to-date tally down 0.8% to 2.457.013 units after gaining 1.2% in January. The Seasonally Adjusted Annualised Sales Rate (SAAR) is down for the second consecutive month at 17.12 million vs. 17.18m in January and 17.86m in December. It is however the sixth consecutive month above 17m, an encouraging stat that could point to a Full Year 2018 score above 17m after all. Passenger cars continue their freefall at -12.6% to 438.963 units and just 33.7% market share whereas light trucks manage to remain in positive territory at +3.8% to 863.165 deliveries and 66.3% share. In the detail, midsize cars are down 17.2% and small cars down 12.2% while on the light truck side, crossovers shine bright at +11.7% to 442.385 – outselling passenger cars – whereas SUVs are down 3.8% to 138.335 and pickup trucks down 4.6% to 206.111. Year-to-date, passenger cars are down 11.9% to 818.930 with midsize cars down 15.1% to 348.734 and small cars down 12.9% to 341.191, and light trucks are up 5.9% to 1.638.083 with crossovers up 12.8% to 843.074, SUVs down 2% to 262.579 and pickup trucks nudging down 0.3% to 392.942. Note luxury sales are among the healthiest in the market at +3.1% this month.

Jeep sales are up 12.3%, with the Compass scoring its first ever Top 20 according to BSCB records.

Group-wise, both General Motors (-6.9%) and Ford Motor (-6.8%) lodge steep declines but end the month on top, distancing Toyota Motor up 4.5%. FCA posting a 13th consecutive decline (-0.9%), Nissan Motor (-2.6%), American Honda (-5%) and Hyundai-Kia (-9.3%) lodging a 15th consecutive year-on-year drop are also in negative while the Volkswagen Group (+9.5%) posts the largest increase of any large group, followed by the BMW Group (+7.5%). Over in the brands ranking, the Top 8 remains unchanged on January, with Ford (-6.1%), Toyota (+4.4%), Chevrolet (-8.8%), Nissan (-4%) and Honda (-5.6%) in the lead Jeep managing the largest year-on-year gain by far at +12.3%, Subaru celebrates a 75th straight month of gains (+3.8%) and Hyundai the hardest hit at -13%. Further down, notice Alfa Romeo (+254%), Mini (+42.3%), Tesla up an estimated 36.4%, Volvo (+35.1%), Porsche (+20.5%), Land Rover and Mitsubishi both up 18.8%, Cadillac (+14%), Mazda (+12.7%) and Audi (+12.4%) – astoundingly celebrating 100 consecutive months of year-on-year gains. At the other end of the scale, Smart (-69.5%), Fiat (-42.1%), Jaguar (-37.3%), Lincoln (-23.4%) and Ram (-14.1%) suffering the harshest drops.

The Nissan Rogue manages a 2nd ever podium ranking in the U.S. Picture caranddriver.com

The Ford F-Series goes agains the market and posts a 3% year-on-year gain to its largest February volume this decade. In contrast, the Chevrolet Silverado drops 16% and the Ram Pickup is down 15% to #4 like in January. At a stunning third place for the second month in a row (and ever), the Nissan Rogue surges 15% year-on-year to a new January volume record at 38.119, almost double its score of two years ago (21.561 in February 2016). The Toyota Camry manages a 4th consecutive double-digit year-on-year gain at +12% thanks to the new generation. At #6, despite having a new generation on the cusp of being revealed (set for end of March in New York), the Toyota RAV4 is up 13%, comfortably above the Honda CR-V down an uncharacteristic 19% this month.

The Hyundai Kona has reached U.S. shores.

Year-to-date, the Nissan Rogue leads the SUV race by almost 20.000 sales already, keeping in mind U.S. sales figures include the Rogue Sport aka Qashqai. Excellent performances in the Top 50 of the Toyota Tacoma (+18%), Dodge Grand Caravan (+20%), the Jeep Compass (+486%) scoring what is potentially the nameplate’s very first Top 20 ranking, the Jeep Wrangler (+17%), Mazda CX-5 (+69%), Honda Pilot (+49%), Subaru Crosstrek (+61%), VW Tiguan (+173%) and Nissan Frontier (+69%). The VW Atlas (#77) tops recent launches (<12 months) above the Toyota C-HR (#82) and Ford Ecosport (#125) up 83 spots on its inaugural month in January. In February we welcome the Hyundai Kona (#239) and Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross (#266) into the U.S. sales charts.

Previous month: USA January 2018: Toyota and Nissan pull market up 1.2%

One year ago: USA February 2017: SUVs above passenger cars again, market at -1.1%

Full February 2018 Top 15 groups, Top 40 brands and Top 282 models below.

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