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USA April 2023: Honda, Lexus, Acura shine, registrations up 13%

The Honda CR-V overtakes its main competitor the Toyota RAV4 in April.

The U.S. new light vehicle market in April is estimated to grow by 13% year-on-year on an updated year-ago volume to 1.35 million units, with a SAAR (Seasonally Adjusted Annualised Rate of sales) up to 15.9 million units vs. just over 14 million in April 2022. This is the highest SAAR in over a year, showing that the market is on the mend indeed. It looks like higher interest rates, elevated prices and fear of recession were counterbalanced by easing stock issues, job growth and wage increases. Incentives are also on the up as inventory bounces back up from historic lows. The average daily selling rate, calculated over 26 days, is up 13.1% to 51,814 vs. 45,794 a year ago. For once passenger cars grow faster than light trucks at +11.1% year-on-year vs. +8.4%. Light trucks still account for an overwhelming 79% of the market.

A lot of manufacturers now only report quarterly and therefore are not included in this dataset. Among groups still reporting monthly, Toyota Motor (+0.7%) and Ford Motor (+3.8%) can’t catch up with the overall market growth, with Toyota Motor now down -6.2% year-to-date. In contrast Hyundai-Kia (+15.2%) and American Honda (+24.5%) shoot up. Looking at brands, Ford (+5.6%) confirms it is firmly back above Toyota (-2.2%) with the following 4 carmakers all outrunning the market with double-digit gains: Honda is up 24.9%, Hyundai progresses by 14.8%, Kia is at +15.5% and Subaru at +11.5%. Mazda (+7.5%) is more muted while Lexus (+21.9%), Acura (+21.1%) and Genesis (+16.2%) impress. Lincoln (-27.8%) freefalls and Volvo (-4.1%) is down marginally.

Among models with available monthly data, the Ford F-Series skyrockets +35.1% to almost 70,000 sales, while the Honda CR-V (+76.5%), helped by a new generation, does even better, overtaking its archenemy the Toyota RAV4 (-9.6%). Note April 2022 CR-V sales were down -55.9%. Looking at Passenger Cars, the Toyota Camry (+6.1%) still manages an uptick as does the Honda Accord (+14.9%). The Honda Civic (+16.2%) and Hyundai Elantra (+24.1%) are also healthy but the Toyota Corolla (-31.8%) tumbles down yet still dominate the small sedan segment. Other light trucks performing well include the Toyota Tacoma (+20.2%), Hyundai Tucson (+27.8%), Toyota Tundra (+50.5%) and Subaru Forester (+57.4%).

Previous month: USA March/Q1 2023: General Motors (+17.7%), Ford Motor (+9.9%) overtake Toyota Motor (-8.8%), Q1 market up 7.8%

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

Full April 2023 data for selected groups, brands and models below.

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