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USA May 2019: Ram Pickup and Toyota RAV4 records can’t prevent 5th consecutive market drop (-0.1%)

The Ram Pickup breaks its all-time volume record for the 5th time in the past 10 months.

It may be a tiny -0.1% and just 1.436 sales less year-on-year, but the U.S. new light vehicle market is yet to find its first uptick of the year with May marking five declines out of five months this year. The year-to-date volume is now down -2.1% to 6.919.450. The Seasonally Adjusted Annualised Selling Rate (SAAR) however leaps up 0.8% to 17.40 million, the second highest this year below the 17.42m from March and giving a ray of hope for the rest of the year. The groups stage is split almost evenly between in-shape and struggling manufacturers: Toyota Motor (+3.2%), Hyundai-Kia (+2.4%) and FCA (+2%) are resolutely in positive whereas American Honda (-4.9%), Ford Motor (-4.1%), General Motors (-2.1%) and Nissan Motor/Mitsubishi (-1.7%) are below their year-ago level. Below, the Volkswagen Group (+7.6%) shines while Daimler AG (-0.5%) is back above the BMW Group (-2.7%) for just 7 sales. This articles includes our exclusive estimates for GM and Ford brands as well as all their models as both companies now report quarterly.

The Toyota RAV4 breaks its all-time monthly volume record this month.

Brand-wise, Ford (-4%) remains solidly in front, distancing Toyota (+4.1%), Chevrolet (-5.4%), Honda (-5.9%), Nissan (+1.1%) and Jeep (-7.2%) in a Top 6 respecting both the April and YTD orders. The hero of the month is Ram surging a fantastic 29.4% on May 2018 to sign its 2nd largest ever volume at 67.117, only beaten by the 68.195 it posted last December. Stikingly, all remaining brands in the Top 13 are up: Volkswagen (+14.4%) and GMC (+11.4%) even posting double-digit gains, Subaru (+6.4%) extending its streak of consecutive year-on-year upticks to an incredible 90 months thanks to its largest volume this year and 3rd biggest ever, and Dodge (+2.6%), Hyundai (+1.8%) and Kia (+1%) posting more measured lifts. Below, Lamborghini (+172.9%), Genesis (+115%), Tesla (+77.3%) and McLaren (+51.3%) impress.

The Ford Ranger is now the best-selling recent launch in the US.

Over in the models ranking, the Ford F-Series (-0.3%) is down ever so slightly, marking an 8th decrease in the past 9 months just as the Ram Pickup (+33.1%) flamboyantly smashes its all-time volume record at 62.250 units (previous best 60.155 in December 2018). Strikingly, it is the 5th time the Ram Pickup breaks its historical volume high in the past 10 months. Keeping the previous generation as the entry offer is clearly paying dividends for Ram. Moreover at “just” 22.105 units, this is the smallest gap with the F-Series so far this year. The Chevrolet Silverado (-2.5%) ensures the podium is 100% full-size pickup, but we have another exploit in 4th place: thanks to the new generation now in full flight, the Toyota RAV4 (+13.9%) breaks its volume record at 43.499 (previous best 43.265 in August 2017), selling 12.500 units more than the next best-selling SUV this month, the Honda CR-V (-14%). As a result the RAV4 moves past the Chevrolet Equinox (-0.7%) and Nissan Rogue (-25.5%) to reclaim the YTD SUV top spot it held over the FY2018.

The Kia Telluride improves again to over 6.000 sales.

The Toyota Camry (+20.8%) records a very satisfying gain – a rare feat in depressed times for passenger car sales, cementing its YTD lead ahead of the Honda Civic (-4.5%), the only other car in the Top 10. The Tesla Model 3 (+123.2%), VW Jetta (+41.5%), Ford Fusion (+38%), Hyundai Santa Fe (+29%), Hyundai Tucson (+20.2%) and Jeep Grand Cherokee (+18.1%) are among the best performers in the remainder of the Top 50 just as the VW Atlas breaks its volume record at 8.273. The Ford Ranger (#66) becomes the most popular new launch with new high 7.748 units, distancing the Subaru Ascent (#70), Kia Telluride (#76) posting a new record at 6.273 and the Nissan Kicks (#78) also securing a record 6.005 tally. The Honda Passport (3.434), Insight (2.653), Jeep Gladiator (2.584) and Genesis G70 (1.447) are the other recent launches (<12 months) breaking new volume records this month, as the Audi e-Tron appears in the U.S. charts at #203.

Previous month: USA April 2019: Nissan (+10.7%) rebounds, Ram (+25.2%) stuns in 4th straight market decline (-2.6%)

One year ago: USA May 2018: GM and FCA strong, Tesla Model 3 leads segment

Full May 2019 Top 15 groups, Top 40 brands and Top 285 models below.

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