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USA May 2022: Market sinks -29.6%, Ford strong (-4.3%), Toyota bZ4X lands

The first units of the Toyota bZ4X were sold in the U.S. this month.

The USA auto market dives by a very harsh -29.6% to 1,115,810 sales. Passenger cars fall –36.3% to 251,042 units and 22.5% share while light trucks drop -27.8% to 864,768 registrations and 77.5% share. The seasonally adjusted, annualised rate of sales (SAAR) freefalls from 17.1 million in May 2021 and 14.5 million in April 2022 to just 12.7 million this month, a -25.7% year-on-year decline. As a reminder, the pandemic-plagued SAAR for May 2020 was 12.08 million, not far below this month’s SAAR. The year-to-date volume is now down -18.2% to 5.59 million units.

Among groups still communicating monthly sales, Ford Motor (-4.4%) posts by far the best result and is the only one keeping its decline to single-digits. Toyota Motor resists slightly better than the market at -27.3% just as Hyundai-Kia (-30%) matches the market and American Honda (-57.3%) is in total freefall. Brand-wise, Toyota (-27.4%) remains above Ford (-4.3%), the latter albeit showing great resistance. Honda (-56.5%) and Hyundai (-34%) underperform while Subaru (-24.8%), Lexus (-26.8%) and Kia (-27.8%) manage to slip in just below the market decline rate. Mazda (-63.7%) and Acura (-64.4%) are the worst performers among brands communicating data this month. Lincoln (-6.8%) also shows great resolve while Genesis (+18%) continues to climb up fast.

Looking at models with available May data, both the Ford F-Series (+6.9%) and Toyota RAV4 (+9.5%) brilliantly brave the negative context with solid gains. The Toyota Corolla (-17.5%) takes the title of best-selling Passenger Car off the Toyota Camry (-33.9%) just as the Honda Accord (-57.9%) and Civic (-77.3%) both flounder. Among other year-on-year gainers we find the Ford Explorer (+18.7%), Subaru Outback (+5.2%), the Ford Edge (+81.2%), Subaru Ascent (+25.3%) and Ford Mustang Mach E (+166.3%). The Ford Bronco tops recent launches but drops back below 10,000 monthly sales. It distances the Ford Maverick, Toyota Corolla Cross, Hyundai Santa Cruz and Kia EV6. The all-electric and oddly named Toyota bZ4X has landed into the US charts with just under 200 sales for the month.

Previous month: USA April 2022: Market down -17%, Genesis (+53%), Mazda (-3.3%), Volvo (-9.2%) resist best

One year ago: USA May 2021: Honda and Hyundai-Kia pass Ford Motor, Kia & Mazda at record high, inventory at record low

Full May 2022 data for selected groups, brands and models below.

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