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USA January 2020: Hyundai-Kia and Toyota strong, only 1 in 4 brands now reporting monthly

Toyota RAV4 sales shoot up 35.2% year-on-year in January.

Monthly U.S. sales reporting is no more. From Tesla in 2017, to General Motors in 2018, Ford Motor and FCA in 2019, this month Nissan, the VW Group, BMW Group, Mercedes and Jaguar Land Rover have decided to follow suit and will only report quarterly for 2020. This leaves just Honda Motor, Hyundai-Kia, Toyota, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Subaru and Volvo still reporting monthly, that’s just 11 out of 40 brands present on this market, accounting for 38% of the total annual volume. This is a total stampede that makes the U.S. market less transparent than roughly 70 worldwide markets including such nascent economies as Ivory Coast, Senegal and Pakistan, that provide at least some if not complete sales data by brand and/or models. If over the past couple of years we have been able to estimate monthly sales for the missing manufacturers and models, the scope of carmakers opting out is now too significant to attempt estimating. We’ll provide as much info as we can as always. Most analysts foresee 2020 annual volumes drop -1% to -4% to 16.4 to 16.9 million, and this continued market depletion is the main reason behind the decision of car manufacturers to avoid telling bad news each month instead of each quarter. All groups, brands and models data will be updated in early April with Q1 results.

Total market estimates have the seasonally adjusted, annualised rate of sales (SAAR) for January stable year-on-year at 16.6 million, but down from 16.98 million in December. According to TrueCar/ALG, average industry incentives drop -1.3% year-on-year to $3,674 per vehicle (see chart above), however J.D. Power and LMC say they shoot up 6.6% to $4,136, that’s $4,200 for light trucks (+5.4%) and $3,952 for cars (+9.1%). CarsDirect reported some dealers offered $9,000 off on the all-new Jeep Gladiator pickup, and according to Cox Automotive data, Ford dealers dangled up to $6,000 in rebates on remaining 2019 Edge and Escape models. The average transaction price for a new vehicle is estimated by ALG to rise 2% year-on-year or $688 to $35,521 compared. According to Edmunds, the annual rate on new financed vehicles averages 5.7% in January vs. 6.2% a year ago, while the share of new-vehicle sales financed at 0% dropped to 3.6%, the lowest since April 2019. Finally, according to J.D. Power fleet deliveries are expected to slide down -1.2% year-on-year to 269.800 to account for 24% of the total market stable on a year ago.

The Hyundai Palisade is the best-selling recent launch among models listed.

January sales of the 11 brands still reporting monthly are up 3.9% year-on-year to 438.677. Group-wise, Hyundai-Kia (+6.4%) and Toyota Motor (+6.3%) are strong while American Honda (-4.3%) slides. Among brands, Mitsubishi (+22%), Mazda (+17.8%), Genesis (+14.3%) and Lexus (+12.6%) are the best performers among official reporters, with Kia (+8%), Toyota (+5.5%), Volvo (+5.2%) achieving 13 straight months of growth and Hyundai (+4.8%) sturdy, Subaru (+0.5%) is almost stable but still nudges a January volume record at 46.285 and Honda (-4.1%) and Acura (-5.5%) drop. 98 models have reported sales, roughly one-third of the total field, and the Toyota RAV4 (+35.2%) posts not only the largest volume of all reported models but also the largest year-on-year gain among the Top 30 listed. Other great performers near the top include the Lexus RX (+33.9%), Honda HR-V (+24.8%), Mazda CX-5 (+21.2%), Toyota Highlander (+18%), Kia Sportage (+13%) and Subaru Ascent (+12.5%), all SUVs. The Hyundai Palisade (5.432) is the most successful recent launch just above the Kia Telluride (4.919), with the Mazda CX-30 (2.369), Hyundai Venue (989) and Toyota Supra (342) in tow. The Kia Seltos (94) makes its first appearance in the US charts.

Previous post: USA Full Year 2019: Ford F-Series #1 for 38th year running, Ram Pickup #2 for the 1st time, light trucks at 72% share in market down -1.5%

One year ago: USA January 2019: Ford, Ram, GMC strong in market down -3%, light trucks at record 69.6% share

Full January 2020 sales for available groups, brands and models below.

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