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

The Tesla Model 3 is the best-selling mid-sized premium sedan in the US in May.

* See the Top 15 groups, Top 40 brands and Top 275 models by clicking on the title *

New light vehicle sales in the U.S. post a third positive month for 2018 after January and March at +5% to 1.595.690 units, lifting the year-to-date volume up 1.3% to 7.071.275. Keep in mind these figures include BSCB’s exclusive estimates for all General Motors brands and models as the company now only reports sales quarterly, with the next press release due next month. The Seasonally Adjusted Annualised Selling Rate (SAAR) is up 5.3% year-on-year to 16.91 million, however this is the first time it drops below 17 million since last August (16.14 million) when sales were hampered by Hurricane Harvey and after a peak of 18.58 million in September 2017. People close to the matter have left it slip that General Motors enjoys a very strong month as the country’s most popular group in May with sales up 12% whereas archenemy Ford Motor only edges up 0.5% and Toyota Motor drops 1.3%. FCA is the other hero of the month, surging 11.5% ahead of May 2017 to hut its largest May volume since 2004. American Honda (+3.1%) trails the market slightly and Nissan Motor (-1.8%) drops just as Hyundai-Kia finally ends a horrid 17-month streak of negative results by gaining 5.9% to 125.518 sales.

The Compass (+223%) helps Jeep to its 2nd largest monthly volume in history.

Onto the brands ranking, where Ford (+0.8%) maintains a comfortable lead over Toyota (-1.5%) holding on to its 2nd spot ahead of a fast-advancing Chevrolet (+11.9%). Jeep soars 28.8% to snap its second highest ever monthly volume at 97.287, only eclipsed by the 98.382 of last March. The first-ever 100.000 result is tantalisingly close and should be reached in the coming months. Hyundai (+11.5%) is the third carmaker to manage a double-digit gain in the Top 10 just as Subaru posts an incredible 78th conceive year-on-year gain at +7.1% to 60.146, in stark contrast with its situation back at home. Nissan (-3.8%) continues to refocus out of fleet sales and is in negative as a result, Outside the Top 10, Tesla is once again the most notable performer with deliveries up 127.7% to reach its second highest monthly volume ever at 9.220 units thanks to the gearing up of the Model 3 (see further down). Alfa Romeo (+158.7%), Volvo (+50.6%), Land Rover (+42.3%), Mitsubishi (+31.7%), GMC (+18.6%) and Mazda (+15.1%) are also very impressive whereas Smart (-66.8%), Fiat (-46%), Genesis (-38.6%), Jaguar (-24.9%), Maserati (-24.9%), Bentley (-21.4%) and Chrysler (-18.1%) all implode.

The Chevrolet Silverado (+23%) propels General Motors sales up 12% in May.

The Ford F-Series easily remains the most popular vehicle in the US, helped by $12.000 incentives and posting a 13th consecutive year-on-year gain at +11% to deliver its best May volume since 2000. The Chevrolet Silverado, in runout mode and discounted by $13.000 before the arrival of the 2019 model, is growing faster at +23% while at #3 the Ram Pickup combines a dubious mix of highest incentives ($16.000) and smallest gain (+4%). The Nissan Rogue soars 18% to return to the #1 spot in the SUV segment it holds year-to-date, edging past the Toyota RAV4 (-0.4%, awaiting the new generation) for just 211 sales with the Honda CR-V (+12%) in excellent shape at #6. The best-selling passenger car only manages a poor 7th place overall: the Honda Civic (+7%) overtakes the Toyota Camry (-8%) but remains below YTD at 144.897 vs. 150.580 for the Camry. The Chevrolet Equinox surges by an estimated 42% to remain at #9 with the Toyota Corolla in difficulty (-10%) rounding up the Top 10.

Outstanding result for the Toyota Tacoma.

Below, the Jeep Wrangler (+26%), Cherokee (+63%) and Compass (+223%) fully benefit from new models, the Toyota Tacoma (+21%) manages its highest monthly volume in at least 14 years at 21.380, with the VW Tiguan (+380%), GMC Terrain (+105%), Chevrolet Traverse (+86%), Subaru Crosstrek (+74%), Dodge Journey (+37%) and Honda Pilot (+36%) all posting spectacular gains. Keeping the best for last: the main event of the month is the gearing up of the Tesla Model 3, up 22 spots and 61% on April to reach 6.250 sales, a new monthly record for any Tesla nameplate in the US, beating the 5.850 sales reached by the Model S in December 2016. The Model 3 therefore becomes the best-selling recent launch (<12 months) in the US for the fist time above the Ford Ecosport (5.481) and Hyundai Kona (5.079). Perhaps most significantly, the Tesla Model 3 takes the lead of its segment in the US for the first time, outselling all other mid-sized premium sedans including the Mercedes C-Class (5.419), Audi A4 (3.472), BMW 3 Series (3.428) and Lexus IS (2.180).

Previous month: USA April 2018: Jeep (+20%), Tesla (+60%) impress, Nissan (-29%) implodes

One year ago: USA May 2017: Market down 0.5% despite strong light truck sales

Full May 2018 Top 15 groups, Top 40 brands and Top 275 models below.

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USA April 2018: Jeep (+20%) and Tesla (+60%) impress, Nissan (-29%) implodes in market down 4.8%

First Top 10 ranking and new monthly volume record for the Jeep Wrangler.

* See the Top 15 groups, Top 40 brands and Top 275 models by clicking on the title *

The U.S. market literally enters unchartered territory in April with no official sales reporting by General Motors who has chosen to only publish sales data quarterly from now on, the same way as Tesla. This is a very significant event that drops the U.S. in the same basket as other markets with incomplete reporting such as South Africa and most of the Middle East where Mercedes has opted out. This is the time for BSCB to step up and inaugurate General Motors exclusive estimates for each brand and model which have been included in our data for the month. Overall, the U.S. light vehicle market drops 4.8% in April to 1.357.819 but with two less selling days than in April 2017 the Seasonally Adjusted Annualised Sales Rate (SAAR) is actually up 1.1% year-on-year to 17.1 million, marking four consecutive months above 17 million this year. The YTD volume remains in positive, just: up 0.3% or 16.000 units to 5.475.585. Without the ever-lasting strength of SUVs and crossovers, the market would have fallen a lot steeper, with Volkswagen reporting that SUVs account for over 50% of its sales YTD, BMW boasting of a 51% SUV share in April and Hyundai scoring an all-time SUV volume record this month at 45.7% of its total sales. Meanwhile the trend is bound to accelerate, with Ford announcing last month that it wouldn’t replace the Fusion, Fiesta and Taurus (the last US vehicle to top the passenger cars ranking in 1996).

First U.S. Top 100 finish for the Tesla Model 3. Picture caranddriver.com

Reports talked of General Motors down “between 2.5% and 3%” year-on-year in April: we have set our figure at -2.74% to 237.700 sales, which enables the group to stay well ahead of Ford Motors down 4.5% to 204.000 units due to lower fleet and car sales. GM’s advantage YTD climbs up to roughly 153.000 units at 953.500 vs. 800.650 for Ford Motor. Toyota Motor posts its first year-on-year decline of 2018 at -4.7% with slim light truck gains failing to compensate for steep car sales declines. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is the only Top 7 group to lodge a year-on-year gain at +4.5%, bolstered by strong Jeep sales an fleet sales up to 22% of its mix vs. 17% a year ago just as retail sales are down 1%. Below Honda (-9.2%) and Hyundai-Kia (-8.4%) both in difficulty, Nissan Motor implodes at a very harsh -26.6% to just 96.000 units, however it maintains its 5th spot YTD. BMW Group (+4.2%), the VW Group (+3.4%) and Daimler AG (+2.1%) are all up.

It’s a catastrophic month for Nissan (-29.1%) with the Maxima hit the hardest at -62%.

Brand-wise, Ford (-4.1%) and Toyota (-5.1%) keep the lead while roughly following the market with Chevrolet (-0.8%) resisting a lot better in third place. Jeep stuns once again with a round 20% year-on-year gain to just under 83.000 sales, the largest improvement for any brand in the Top 25 and only double-digit gain alongside Volvo up 17% at #25. In the remainder of the Top 10, only Subaru (+1.5%) is in positive, signing a 77th consecutive month of gains, whereas Kia (-5.2%), GMC (-7.2%), Honda (-8.4%), Hyundai (-10.7%) and most strikingly Nissan (-29.1%) all drop. Further down, notice Mercedes (+4.8%), Volkswagen (+4.5%), Dodge (+3.9%), BMW (+3.8%) posting solid gains in context while Audi sports a 102nd consecutive monthly uptick: no interruption since December 2007. Among smaller marques, Alfa Romeo (+172.8%), Tesla (+59.7%) and Land Rover (+23.7%) shine.

The VW Atlas is the best-selling recent launch in the U.S. for the 8th straight month…

The Ford F-Series completes a full year of monthly gains with deliveries up 3% to over 73.000, a comfortable 28.000 unit-gap over the #2, the Chevrolet Silverado (+12%) with the Ram Pickup (-4%) returning to third place and making the U.S. podium 100% Full-size pickups for the first time in 2018. The Toyota RAV4 (-2%) leaps up two spots on March to #4, cementing its title of best-selling SUV in the country and outselling the Toyota Camry (-5%) for the 2nd time since the new gen Camry was launched in late 2017. The Jeep Wrangler is posting the most impressive scores of any nameplate in the U.S. once again, up 58% year-on-year thanks to the new model to break its all-time volume record (29.776) and ranking record (#6) for the second month running after reaching 27.829 and #11 in March. Accordingly, this is the first time the Wrangler ever ranks among the U.S. Top 10 best-selling vehicles.

But the Ford Ecosport is catching up fast. Picture caranddriver.com

Inside the Top 10, notice also the Chevrolet Equinox (+32%) in outstanding shape, whereas the Toyota Corolla (-17%) and Honda CR-V (-13%) take a beating. Further down, the largest year-on-year uplifts in the remainder of the Top 50 are achieved by the Jeep Compass (+227%), VW Tiguan (+195%), Subaru Crosstrek (+70%), Dodge Journey (+39%), Chevrolet Traverse (+34%), GMC Terrain (+30%), Hyundai Tucson (+30%), Honda Pilot (+22%), Dodge Grand Caravan (+21%) and Jeep Cherokee (+20%). The VW Atlas tops recent launches (<12 months) for the 8th consecutive month at #69 – no interruption since September 2017 – but this time the Ford Ecosport, up 60% and 50 spots on March, is breathing down its neck just one spot and 127 units below at #70. The Tesla Model 3 breaks into the U.S. Top 100 for the very first time in April, up 20 ranks on last month to #93, distancing the Hyundai Kona also posting its very first U.S. Top 100 at #99 (+45), the Volvo XC40 at #166 (+27) and the Kia Stinger at #168 (+6).

Previous month: USA March 2018: Largest gain in over 2 years, Jeep beats volume record

One year ago: USA April 2017: Fourth consecutive month of year-on-year decline

Full April 2018 Top 15 groups, Top 40 brands and Top 275 models below.

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USA March 2018: Largest gain in over 2 years, Jeep beats volume record

Jeep improves its monthly record by 8.000 sales and is now just 1.600 units off 100.000.

* See the Top 15 groups, Top 40 brands and Top 280 models by clicking on the title *

Updated with amended Tesla figures

In March, new light vehicle sales in the U.S. post a sturdy 6.4% year-on-year gain – the largest since February 2016 – to 1.655.864 registrations, lifted by heavy discounts, strong fleet deliveries and one additional weekend of sales. The Seasonally Adjusted Annualized Sales Rate (SAAR) rallies back up to 17.49 million, the highest so far in 2018, vs. 16.82 in March 2017, 17.12m in February of this year and 17.18m in January. The Q1 2018 volume is up 2% on the same period in 2017 to 4.117.766 units. Light trucks sales continue all guns blazing with a 16.3% year-on-year surge in March to a new all time record 1.116.280 units or 67% share vs. a steep 9.2% decline to 539.584 passenger cars at 32% share, with light trucks now outselling passenger cars almost 2 to 1. Year-to-date, light trucks are up 9.8% to 2.736.038 whereas passenger cars are down 10.8% to 1.374.507. Looking into the detail of light truck segments, it’s once again crossovers that pull the market up with an outstanding 27% uptick to 572.829 and up 18.2% YTD to 1.415.954 – alone outselling passenger cars for the third month in a row – while pickups are up 7.9% this month to 260.949 and up 2.8% YTD to 653.891 and SUVs up 6.6% to 747.837 in March and up 1.2% YTD to 436.587.

Despite the up-trend over Q1, 2018 sales are still expected to drop on 2017 over the Full Year, potentially hampered by a rise in interest rates. According to Edmunds, average interest rates on new vehicle loans are at their highest since 2009 at 5.7% vs. 5.2% in February and 5% in January. The continuous shift from cars to light trucks is lifting the average transaction price to $35.285 in March according to Kelley Blue Book, up 2% or $703 year-on-year but down $23 on last month. According to ALG, average incentives are up 8% year-on-year to $3.750 or 10.6% of the average sticker price, the 20th time it matches or exceeds the 10% benchmark in the past 21 months. The most generous manufacturers are BMW at $5.324 per car (+18%), General Motors at $5.082 (+12%), Daimler at $4.997 (+13%), FCA at $4.424 (+4%), Nissan at $4.206 (+6%), Ford at $4.150 (+1%), Kia at $3.886 (+15%) while carmakers below the market average are Subaru at $1.390 (+55%), Honda at $1.884 (-13%), Toyota at $2.510 (+16%), Hyundai at $2.760 (+27%) and Volkswagen at $3.681 (+6%).

The Ford F-Series sees its average transaction price climb to $46.800.

Group-wise, General Motors (+15.7%), FCA (+12.1%) and the Volkswagen Group (+12%) post the only double-digit gains in the Top 10. This is GM’s last sales report until July as the company announced this week it would switch to quarterly reports. According to Automotive News, “GM will also no longer report monthly sales in China or Brazil. The company will provide monthly sales data to the U.S. Federal Reserve, other government agencies and industry associations across the globe but that data will not be made public.” This is a major and surprising hit to the transparency of U.S. new vehicle sales reporting setting us back to the 1980s which could have a ripple effect throughout the entire industry. In this context, GM retail sales are up 14%, fleet share is 22% vs. 20.7% a year ago, crossover sales are up 41%, light truck sales up 15% and car sales down 11%. GM has achieved strong results this month thanks to incentives soaring up 12% to 15% of its average transaction price (ATP) of $34.912, itself down 3.8% year-on-year.

As for FCA, this is its first year-on-year gain since August 2016, putting an end to 18 straight months of decline, with retail volumes up 11% and fleet accounting for 25% of its March total vs 23% a year ago. Here too incentives are above average at 13% of its ATP of $34.240 (+3.5%). Subaru is up 5.9% to post a new March volume record and extend its sales streak to 76 consecutive months of year-on-year gains. Despite a 55% hike, Subaru still manages to keep its incentives to the lowest in market at $1.390 or less than 5% of its ATP of $27.877. Honda Motor is up 3.8% with incentives at a low 7% of its ATP of $27.784. Ford Motor (+3.5%) posts its first gain of 2018 and boasts the highest average transaction price or all high volume brands at $37.197 (+3.3%) with incentives at 11% of this ATP. Toyota Motor is also up 3.5% with low incentives at 8% of its ATP of $32.085, hitting its highest Q1 volume in a decade at 507.000 units.

The Nissan Rogue breaks its all-time volume record at 42.151 units.

Hyundai-Kia is the hardest hit at -5.5%, the company’s 16th consecutive month of decline, and this despite generous incentives: Hyundai is at 12% of its ATP of $22.581 (-1.2%) and Kia is at a whopping 17% of its ATP of $23.033 (+1.3%). Nissan Motor has also spent a lot on incentives this month at 15% of its ATP of $27.438 (-0.5%) but drops 2.1% while luxury marques Daimler (-2.7%) and the BMW Group (-0.4%) also lose ground. Further down, Tesla (+61.6%), Volvo (+53.7%) and Mazda (+35.7%) all post spectacular gains with Jaguar Land Rover (+10.2%) also in great shape. Brand-wise, Ford (+3.7%) distances Chevrolet (+15.6%), Toyota (+4.5%), Nissan (-3.6%) and Honda (+2.6%), reflecting their respective groups’ results.

Jeep gallops ahead to a new all-time monthly record volume thanks to a 44.7% surge to 98.382 units, it’s not quite the six-digit figure that FCA hastily announced earlier this week, but still an almost 8.000 unit-improvement on the previous record of 90.545 set back in May 2016, at the time the 6th all-time record in the previous 18 months after March 2015 (71.584), April 2015 (71.759), May 2015 (79.652), August 2015 (80.804), December 2015 (89.654) and May 2016 (90.545). In other words, despite a hiatus of almost two years, Jeep’s U.S. sales record has improved by 37% in three years, and the much-awaited six-digit result should com with the arrival of the pickup variant of the Wrangler expected for 2019.

Audi has now been growing for 101 consecutive months (since December 2007)…

Among other brands posting very strong results this month, Alfa Romeo is up 364.1% with the arrival of the Giulia and Stelvio, Land Rover is up 37.8%, Buick up 28%, Mitsubishi up 21.7%, Acura up 15.7%, Chrysler up 14.9%, Cadillac up 12.7% and GMC up 11.4%. At the other end of the scale, Smart (-71.7%), Fiat (-47.2%), Jaguar (-34.2%), Bentley (-33.7%), Maserati (-32.5%), Genesis (-21%), Ram (-13.3%), Mercedes (-11.1%) and Hyundai (-10.9%) endure the most painful falls. We’ll end on the most impressive streak of year-on-year gains in market: Audi, thanks to deliveries up another 7.4%, has now been growing for an uninterrupted 101 months…

Model-wise, the Ford F-Series is up a solid 7% year-on-year to post its best March score since 2000, seeing its average transaction price grow by $1.700 per vehicle vs. March 2017 to reach $46.800. This means Ford U.S. banked $4 billion worth of revenue just on this nameplate in March. The Chevrolet Silverado impresses with a 24% gain in 2nd place while the Nissan Rogue is up 7% to break its all-time volume record at 42.151 including the Rogue Sport aka Qashqai. The Ram Pickup (-11%) is stuck in 4th place ahead of the Toyota Camry (-1%), RAV4 (+9%) and Honda Civic (+3%). Over the First Quarter of 2018, the Rogue leads the SUV race with an almost unsurmountable 25.000 unit-advantage over the RAV4. The Chevrolet Equinox (+41%) crosses the 30.000 monthly sales milestone for only the second time in the nameplate’s career at 31.940, 2nd best-ever below the 32.784 of last December.

Record Crosstrek sales help Subaru to a 76th consecutive year-on-year gain.

Partly justifying Jeep’s all-time record in March, the new Wrangler smashes its volume record thanks to a 70% year-on-year surge to 27.829 units vs. a previous best of 22.615 in March 2015. The Wrangler is up 11 spots on February to #11, also believed to be the nameplate’s highest U.S. ranking, beating the #17 reached in June 2016 and 2017. The Jeep Cherokee (+63%), Toyota Tacoma (+21%), Jeep Compass (+553%), Mazda CX-5 (+91%), GMC Terrain (+99%), Buick Encore (+82%) reaching an all-time best, Chevrolet Traverse (+41%), Honda Pilot (+42%), Subaru Crosstrek (+88%) beating its volume record, Chrysler Pacifica (+40%), Chevrolet Colorado (+52%), Hyundai Tucson (+31%) and Honda Odyssey (+28%) also impress in the Top 50: that’s not a single passenger car, 9 SUVs, 2 MPVs and 2 pickups. The best-selling recent launches are the VW Atlas (#77), Toyota C-HR (#83) and Tesla Model 3 (#113) selling a record 3.820 in March and 8.180 in Q1 according to official Tesla reports. The Hyundai Kona is up 97 spots on its inaugural month in February to #142 and the BMW X2 (#197) as this month’s new arrival.

Tesla Model 3.

Tesla says it sold 8.180 units of the Model 3 in the U.S. over Q1 2018, making it the brand’s best-seller for the first time. All Model 3 produced were sold in the U.S., with worldwide deliveries of the Model S at 11.730 and of the Model X at 10.070. 4.060 Model S and X vehicles were in transit to customers at the end of Q1, 68% higher than at the end of Q4 2017. An additional 2,040 Model 3 vehicles were also in transit to customers. Tesla Q1 production totals 34.494 units, up 40% on Q4 2017 and the largest volume in Tesla history. 24.728 were Model S and Model X, and 9.766 were Model 3. Tesla announced on April 3 that in the past seven days 2.020 Model 3 were produced and 2.000 more would be produced in the following seven days, matching the amount of Model S and X combined. As of mid-April 2018, Model 3 volume now exceeds Model S and Model X combined.

Previous post: USA Full Year 2017: Exclusive State by State rankings now available

Previous month: USA February 2017: Toyota & VW Group stay afloat in market down 2.4%

Previous year: USA Full Year 2017: First decline since 2009, RAV4 & Rogue outsell all passenger cars

Full March 2018 Top 15 groups, Top 40 brands and Top 280 models below.

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USA Full Year 2017: Exclusive State by State rankings now available

The Ford F-150 tops 31 States out of 51 in 2017.

For the fourth year in a row and thanks to JATO Dynamics we can share with you today separate rankings of the Top 10 best-selling vehicles for each U.S. State over the Full Year 2017. This data is exclusive to BSCB, you won’t find it anywhere else. Like in 2016, the methodology for this ranking is different the monthly U.S. data we publish, with pickup variants counted separately, which makes a lot of sense as they are basically different vehicles altogether. This way, the Ford F-Series is split into F-150, F-250 Super Duty, F-350 Super Duty and up, the Chevrolet Silverado into 1500, 2500HD and up, Ram 1500, 2500 and up, etc. Once again the market steers clear of cars to launch into trucks: a truck is #1 in 47 States out of 51 vs. 45 in 2016, 43 in 2015 and 39 in 2014, with cars winning just 4 States vs. 6 in 2016, 8 in 2015 and 12 in 2014.

The Toyota RAV4 wins 5 States vs. just 3 in 2016 and ranks in the Top 10 of 48 States.

Once again the runaway leader at the State winning game is the Ford F-150, winning exactly the same number of States as last year at whopping 31 out of 51 States. Its largest volume once again comes from Texas where it sells 96.098 units (+13%), followed by California at 48.254 (+26%), Florida at 42.636 (+13%) and Michigan at 34.101 (+10%). Out of the 20 States that the F-150 did not win, it finished #2 four times, #3 four times (that’s a total of 39 podium finishes!), #4 three times, #5 once, #6 once, #9 once and did not break into the annual Top 10 of 6 States: Connecticut, District of Columbia, Hawaii, New Jersey, New York and Rhode Island.

The Honda CR-V wins 2 States but ranks #2 nine times and is in the Top 10 of 43 States.

Although the Top 3 best-selling nameplates in the U.S are all full-size pickup trucks, they do not fare that well once their variants are separated: the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 is down from 4 State wins in 2016 to just one in 2017: Iowa (10.011 sales). As a consolation prize, the Silverado 1500 ranks #2 in 14 States (vs. 15 in 2016), the most of any nameplates, all to the F-150 and reaching its largest volume in Texas (63.437). Like last year, the Ram 1500 does not win any State, but it ranks #2 twice: Alaska and Idaho. To finish on standard full-size pickups, the GMC Sierra 1500’s best performance is #2 in Arkansas.

The Subaru Outback wins Washington and Oregon like in 2016.

The hero of the year is the Toyota RAV4: the only nameplate along with the Ford F-150 to win more than two States, lifting its 2017 tally to 5 vs. 3 last year: it keeps Massachusetts (17.234), Rhode Island (2.118) and Vermont (1.883) and adds Maryland (9.930) and New Hampshire (3.317). It also ranks #2 in Delaware, Nevada, Oregon and Washington. Five nameplates win 2 States in 2017, one more than last year. Like in 2016, the Nissan Rogue wins New York (38.730) and Connecticut (7.681). It also ranks #2 in Maine. The Subaru Outback is once again logically victorious is “Subaru territory”: Washington (10.502) and Oregon (7.411), ranking #2 in Colorado and Montana.

The Chevrolet Silverado 1500 wins just one State but finishes 2nd 14 times.

The Honda Civic wins California again, posting there the largest volume of any nameplate in a single State (98.779) and replaces the District of Columbia with New Jersey (18.527). The Toyota Corolla wins Florida again (48.405) and replaces Nevada with the District of Columbia (616) while the Honda CR-V adds one State win vs. 2016 to 2: Illinois (15.874) and Delaware (1.295) but ranks #2 in an astounding 9 States, the most of any nameplate bar the Chevrolet Silverado 1500: in Connecticut, District of Columbia, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Virginia, Rhode Island and Pennsylvania.

The Chevrolet Equinox is a newcomer among State winners: in Michigan.The GMC Savana is the surprise winner in Arkansas.

Along with the Chevrolet Silverado 1500, four additional nameplates win one State in 2017: the Toyota Tacoma prolongs a decade-long domination in Hawaii (5.562 sales), the Toyota Camry replaces Maryland with Nevada (4.209) but ranks #2 in no less than 5 States: in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina. We welcome two newcomers in this State winning list: the Chevrolet Equinox scores Michigan (57.610) while the GMC Savana surprisingly wins Arizona (16.739), its only Top 10 appearance in all 51 States! Some former winners have to be content with #2 rankings: the Ford Escape is #2 in Michigan and Ohio, the Nissan Altima is #2 in Mississippi and Tennessee and the Honda Accord is #2 in California and New Jersey. The odd one out among #2 rankers is the Jeep Wrangler in Hawaii, a microcosm all to itself that we will cover in a separate update shortly.

The Ford F-250 Super Duty manages 8 Top 10 finishes in 2017…

Now we look into the detail of these fascinating full-size heavy-duty pickup variants, an insight into the sales composition of national sales best-sellers that we rarely get to see. Only two heavy-duty pickup variants manage to rank #2 in one State (vs. just one variant in 2016). The Ram 2500 is #2 in Utah (4.824), and ranks #3 in Wyoming (914), #5 in Alaska (653), #7 in Montana (1.177) and #8 in Idaho (1.399). The F-250 Super Duty ranks #2 in Wyoming (942) but manages the most Top 10 finishes (8): #3 in New Mexico (1.961) and Oklahoma (4.870), #4 in Texas (40.969), #6 in Louisiana (5.546) and North Dakota (1.005), #8 in Mississippi (2.390) and #10 in West Virginia (1.490). Below, the Ford F-350 Super Duty is #5 in Montana (1.345), Utah (2.727) and Wyoming (849) and #9 in Idaho (1.396) while the Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD is #4 in North Dakota (1.350), #6 in Iowa (3.209) and Wyoming (749) and #10 in Oklahoma (2.561). The 2017 Top 6 in Wyoming is 100% full size-pickup trucks including 4 heavy duty!

… the Ram 2500 manages 5…

Finally if we look at the number of Top 10 appearances for 2017, it’s actually the Toyota RAV4 that comes up on top with 48 States, ahead of the Ford F-150 (45), Honda CR-V (43), Chevrolet Silverado 1500 (38), Ram 1500 (34), Nissan Rogue (33), Toyota Camry (28), Honda Civic (25), Ford Escape (23) and Honda Accord (17). At the other end of the scale, two nameplates appear in two Top 10s: the Ford Fusion and Subaru Impreza while 9 appear just once: the Chevrolet Traverse, Ford Edge, Focus and Transit, GMC Savana and Terrain, Jeep Wrangler, Nissan Maxima and VW Golf.

Most Overall State Wins 2017 vs. 2016:

20172016
ModelState WinsState Wins
Ford F-1503131
Toyota RAV453
Honda Civic22
Honda CR-V21
Nissan Rogue22
Subaru Outback22
Toyota Corolla22
Chevrolet Equinox10
Chevrolet Silverado 150014
GMC Savana10
Toyota Camry11
Toyota Tacoma11
Ford Escape01
Ford Transit01

…while the Ford F-350 Super Duty has 4 Top 10 finishes.

State Top 10 appearances in 2017:

ModelState Top 10
Toyota RAV447
Ford F-15045
Honda CR-V43
Chevrolet Silverado 150038
Ram 150034
Nissan Rogue33
Toyota Camry28
Honda Civic25
Ford Escape23
Honda Accord17
Toyota Corolla16
Nissan Altima15
Chevrolet Equinox14
Subaru Outback14
GMC Sierra 150010
Jeep Grand Cherokee10
Subaru Forester10
Toyota Tacoma9
Ford F-250 Super Duty8
Toyota Highlander7
Ford Explorer6
Hyundai Elantra6
Jeep Cherokee6
Nissan Sentra5
Ram 25005
Subaru XV5
Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD4
Ford F-350 Super Duty4
Toyota 4Runner4
Chevrolet Cruze3
Chevrolet Malibu3
Ford Fusion2
Subaru Impreza2
Chevrolet Traverse1
Ford Edge1
Ford Focus1
Ford Transit1
GMC Savana1
GMC Terrain1
Jeep Wrangler1
Nissan Maxima1
VW Golf1

As a bonus chart, I give you the highest indexing veggie segment by county, courtesy Automotive News.

Previous year: USA Full Year 2016: Exclusive State by State rankings now available

Two years ago: USA Full Year 2015: Exclusive State by State rankings now available

Full Year 2017 Top 10 vehicles for each U.S. State below.

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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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USA January 2018: Toyota & Nissan pull market up 1.2%

The Nissan Rogue climbs onto the U.S. podium for the first time in history. 

* See the Top 15 groups, Top 40 brands and Top 280 models by clicking on the title *

Up 1.2% on January 2017 to 1.157.407 units, the U.S. new light vehicle market records its third year-on-year gain in the past five months after last September and November, seemingly indicating sales are headed towards a plateau. However the 2018 forecast is a first drop below 17 million annual units in 3 years, with most analysts aiming at a 16.7-16.9m range. The Seasonally Adjusted Annualised Selling Rate (SAAR) hits 17.18m this month, down 1.4% on the 17.43m of January and down on the 17.86m of December 2017. As it has been the case for the past few years, sales are prepped up by booming light truck sales and generous incentives.

The Chevrolet Equinox hits a record-breaking 6th place in January.

Light trucks are up 8% to 773.433 or 66.8% of the market, an all-time share for January, whereas passenger cars drop 10.8% to 381.452 or a paltry 33.2% share. In the detail, crossovers gain 13.6% to 399.204, pickups are up 5% to 186.831 and SUVs are up 0.2% to 124.244 while midsize cars are down 12.6% to 158.803 and small cars down 13% to 161.936. According to ALG, the average new-vehicle incentive shoots up 9.8% to $3,812 this month, and with an average transaction price up 4% to $36,270 (source Kelly Blue Book), incentives exceed the symbolic 10% of sticker price for the 18th time over the past 19 months.

The Tacoma (+34%) helps Toyota up 17% in the U.S. this month.

General Motors follows the market with a 1.3% gain (its fourth consecutive positive month) as retail deliveries are down 2% but fleet sales surge 16%, commercial and government deliveries combined soar 44% and daily rental sales are down 7%. Chevrolet (+5%), Buick (+4%) are up but Cadillac (-3.9%) and GMC (-11%) struggle. Toyota Motor posts its largest year-on-year gain since May 2014 at an impressive +16.8% on the back of fleet deliveries surging 69% according to Cox Automotive. Toyota is up 17% and Lexus up 15%. In contrast, Ford Motor ends a four-month winning streak at -6.3%, with deliveries hampered by cars down 23%, fleets down 12% and retail sales down 4.3%. The Ford division is down 5.2% and Lincoln down 27%.

Subaru posts a 74th consecutive month in positive.

FCA extends its negative streak to 17 months with a harsh 12.1% drop in January triggered by fleet sales down 50% and in spite of retail volume up 2% to 83% of its total for the month. Jeep is up 2.2% but Ram (-15.8%), Chrysler (-20.9%), Dodge (-31.2%) and Fiat (-43.2%) are among the worst-performing brands for the month. Nissan Motor soars 17.5% with the Nissan brand up 12.1%, Mitsubishi up 31.3% but Infiniti down 8%. Honda Motor skids 1.7% with Honda down 1.6% and Acura down 3.2%. Hyundai-Kia posts a 14th connective month of year-on-year decline at -6.4% with Hyundai down 11.3% but Kia edging up 0.01%. Subaru (+1.1%) on the other hand extends its winning streak to 74 consecutive months of year-on-year gains. Mercedes (-0.3%) tops luxury brands above BMW (+5%), Lexus (+15%) and Audi (+9.9%) extending its winning streak to 99 consecutive months of year-on-year gains. Other big gainers include Alfa Romeo (+1426%), Volvo (+60.3%), Tesla (+36.4%), Lamborghini (+15.4%) and Mazda (+15%).

U.S. VW Tiguan sales shoot up 138% year-on-year in January.

Model-wise, the Chevrolet Silverado (+15%) advances faster than the market leader, the Ford F-Series (+2%), for the third consecutive month and the 4th time in the past 5 months. The Nissan Rogue surges 26% to climb onto the overall U.S. podium for the first time in the nameplate’s history, dislodging the Ram Pickup (-13%). Note U.S. Rogue sales figures include the Rogue Sport, aka Qashqai. The Toyota RAV4 is up 20% to #5 but the Chevrolet Equinox posts the largest year-on-year gain in the Top 20 at +50% to #6 overall, its highest ever, eclipsing the #7 hit in April 2015 and December 2017. The Toyota Camry (+21%) tops passenger cars but ranks at a low 7th place (#6 in 2017).

The Ford Ecosport makes its very first appearance in the U.S. sales charts.

Inside the Top 50, notice also the Jeep Compass (+222%), VW Tiguan (+138%), Mazda CX-5 (+67%), Honda Pilot (+62%), Nissan Murano (+56%), Subaru Crosstrek (+45%), Chevrolet Traverse (+41%), Toyota Tacoma (+34%), Nissan Sentra (+32%) and Hyundai Tucson (+28%). The VW Atlas (#78) tops all recent launches (<12 months) ahead of the Toyota C-HR (#84), Range Rover Velar (#145), Kia Stinger (#171) and Tesla Model 3 (#174). This month we welcome the Ford Ecosport (#208), Jaguar E-Pace (#261) and Volvo XC40 (#275) into the U.S. charts.

Previous post: USA Full Year 2017: First decline since 2009, RAV4 & Rogue outsell all passenger cars

One year ago: USA January 2017: SUVs outsell passenger cars in market down 1.7%

Full January 2018 Top 15 groups, Top 40 brands and Top 280 models below.

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USA Full Year 2017: First decline since 2009, F-Series leads, Toyota RAV4 and Nissan Rogue outsell all passenger cars

For the first time in history, the RAV4 is Toyota’s best-seller in the U.S. 

* See the Top 15 groups, Top 40 brands and Top 315 models by clicking on the title *

Consult 110 years worth of U.S. Historical Data here

The story was on the wall: the U.S. new light vehicle market only scored two months of year-on-year gains in 2017 and ends the year down 1.7% to 17.244.347 units. This is the first U.S. annual decline in eight years, since the 27-year low of 10.4 million units in 2009, in the midst of the financial crisis. Although disappointing, this is the third consecutive year the U.S. market is above 17 million annual units and only the fifth time in history, the only two other years being 2000 and 2001. Following up on long term trends, light trucks continue to gain market share in 2017 with a 4.3% year-on-year gain to 10.897.511 sales – the segment’s second consecutive, and ever, year above the 10m mark – while passenger cars freefall even faster than in 2016 at -10.9% vs. -8.1% to just 6.332.925 units. In the detail, pickup trucks are up 4.8% to 2.822.839, crossovers are up 8.1% to 5.351.370 and SUVs up 0.3% to 1.791.481. In the Passenger Car aisle, midsize cars are down 13.1% to 2.792.346 while small cars are down 9.6% to 2.615.386.

The Ford F-Series is the best-selling vehicle in the U.S. for the 36th year in a row.

General Motors drops slightly less than the market at -1.3% to maintain itself just above 3m units for the year, improving its market share slightly from 17.3% to 17.4%. Astonishingly, this is only the 4th year since 1990 that GM sees a year-on-year market share gain… GM crossover deliveries are up 17%, driven by record sales of the Chevrolet Equinox, Traverse and Trax and Buick Envision, Encore and GMC Acadia. For the fourth consecutive year, GM sold more pickup trucks in the U.S. than any other automaker at a record 948.909 units. GM sold 239.719 full-size SUVs and has led the segment since the launch of the Chevrolet Suburban in 1935. GM’s average transaction prices (ATPs), which are net of incentive spending estimates, end the year above $35.400 vs. an industry average of $31.600. Finally, the result of a policy to reduce reliance on less-profitable sales, 2017 marks the first year in the past 25 that GM Commercial and Government deliveries outsell daily rental deliveries, following a cumulative reduction of 170,000 rental deliveries since 2014.

The Nissan Rogue soars 22% to break into the annual U.S. Top 5 for the first time.

Ford Motor remains the #2 manufacturer in the country, also dropping slower than the market at -0.9% to 2.575m units and resulting in an improved 14.9% share. Car sales are down an abysmal 14.2% to 593.390 but SUVs are up 2.9% to a record 867.909 and trucks up 4.3% to 1.123.416. Fleet represent 29% of total sales for 2017 (-0.1 point on 2016) with 11.1% going to rental (+0.3 point), 11.8% to Commercial (-0.2 point) and 6.1% to Government (-0.1 point). Toyota Motor drops even less at -0.6% to 2.43m but FCA tumbles down 7.6% to 2.07m. Nissan Motor mechanically lifts up one spot thanks to its acquisition of Mitsubishi, up 2.2% to a record 1.7m, distancing American Honda up 0.2%, posting a third consecutive annual volume record at 1.64m. Hyundai-Kia is the hardest hit of all manufacturers in the U.S. this year at -10.4% to 1.275m deliveries, whereas the Volkswagen Group (+5.9%) and Jaguar Land Rover (+9.1%) fare the best. In fact, only FCA, BMW Group, Hyundai-Kia and Mazda lose market share year-on-year.

The Toyota Camry holds onto the title of #1 passenger car in the U.S. for the 20th year. 

Brand-wise, Ford remains the most popular for the 8th year in a row, dropping slightly at -0.9% to 2.46m deliveries. Ford brand SUV sales are at an all-new high of 796.302. Toyota (+3.2%) passes Chevrolet (-1.5%) to #2, partly due to the incorporation of discontinued Scion models into its lineup. Honda edges up 0.7% to a new annual record at 1.49m units, with Nissan up 1% to also hit a new high at 1.44m sales. Breaking records in 2016, Jeep (-10.6%), Hyundai (-13.4%) and Kia (8.9%) all fall heavily this year. Subaru on the other hand posts an incredible 9th record year in a row at +5.3% to 648.000 units and is on a 73-month streak of consecutive year-on-year gains. Just below GMC up 2.6% and above 560.000 deliveries, Ram posts a new record at +2% to 557.000 units.

Subaru posts an incredible 9th consecutive record year in 2017. 

Volkswagen (+5.2%) and Mitsubishi (+7.7%) also shine but like in 2016 the highest year-on-year improvements are to be found in the luxury segment. Mercedes is the best-selling luxury car brand in the U.S. for the second year running despite falling for the second time in a row at -0.9% to 337.246 units excluding Sprinter variants – despite posting an all-time record month in December at 35.203 sales. After 11 consecutive years of Lexus reign between 2000 and 2011, BMW had won the luxury crown in 2011, 2012, 2014 and 2015, while Mercedes was tops in 2013 and 2016. BMW (-2.4%) comes in 2nd place, edging past Lexus (-7.9%) while Audi surges 7.8% to a record 227.000 sales and is on a 98-month streak of consecutive year-on-year gains. Infiniti (+10.9%), Land Rover (+1.2%), Porsche (+2.1%) and Tesla (+35.1%) all post new annual volume records, with Jaguar (+26.7%), Rolls Royce (+49.1%), McLaren (+27%), Genesis (+196%) and Alfa Romeo (+2232%) also up spectacularly.

Audi is on a 98-month streak of consecutive year-on-year monthly gains.

The Ford F-Series is the best-selling pickup truck in the U.S. for the 41st consecutive year (since 1977) and the best-selling vehicle in the country for the 36th year in a row (no interruption since 1982). With deliveries up a sturdy 9% to just under 897.000 units, the F-Series is at its best in 12 years, signing it fourth best-ever annual volume below 2004 (939.511), 2001 (911.597) and 2005 (901.463). Fittingly, in December 2017 the F-Series had its best month since December 2005 at 89.385 deliveries, and sees its Average Transaction Price shoot up 7.7% to a new record $47.800 per truck vs. $44.400 in 2016. Its two followers, the Chevrolet Silverado and Ram Pickup, both edge up just 2% but should be a bigger menace in 2018 with both nameplates launching completely new generations. 2017 marks the fourth consecutive year the U.S. podium is 100% full-size pickups and only the 5th time in the past two decades along with 20032014, 2015 and 2016.

The Ford Escape is the best-selling U.S.-branded SUV at home, #11 overall. 

It’s just outside the podium that we witness the most significant change of the year and, potentially, the most symbolic in the past decade. Illustrating the ever-strong rush of U.S. car buyers away from passenger cars into the SUV/crossover segment, the 2017 U.S. Top 5 models are for the first time 100% light trucks. The Toyota RAV4 surges 16% to cross the 400.000 annual mark for the first time in the nameplate’s 23-year career, landing just below 408.000, becoming the brand’s best-seller in the U.S, for the first time in history. It is also the first time in Toyota’s history that an SUV is its best-seller. Exactly the same event happened to Nissan with the Rogue in 2016 and the brand’s star nameplate doubles up with a stunning 22% for a maiden trip above the 400.000 annual milestone, partly due to the arrival of the Rogue Sport aka Qashqai.

The Toyota Camry can then be found just outside the Top 5 at #6 with sales down 0.4% to 387.081, now America’s favourite car for the 16th straight year and for 20 of the past 21 years. But the picture looked very different as late as end-November, with the Honda Civic then in the lead by 2.130 units. It took the Camry its best December ever (43.331) and its best-ever quarter (104.574) to rally back to #1 by the end of the year. The Honda CR-V is up 6% but drops from #1 to #3 SUV, also edging past the Civic (+3%) and the Toyota Corolla (-11%) while the Honda Accord, in difficulty at -7% rounds up the Top 10.

The Chevrolet Equinox lodges a record year in 2017, up 20% to #12. 

If U.S. carmakers have cemented their domination in the full-size pickup segment, 2017 marks the 21st consecutive year that U.S. passenger car sales have been dominated by a Japanese model: the last American sedan to be crowned #1 is the Ford Taurus in 1996. In fact, this year the most popular U.S. passenger car only ranks 7th in the segment below six Japanese nameplates and #19 overall: the Ford Fusion, down a steep 21%. More worrying, like it was the case in both 2015 and 2016 there are no U.S. SUVs in the overall 2017 Top 10, but they line up just below: the Ford Escape is up 0.4% to #11, the Chevrolet Equinox up 20% to #12 – both nameplates posting all-time volume records while the Ford Explorer is up 9% to sign its best year since 2005.

Other notable performers near the top of the ranking include the Jeep Grand Cherokee (+13%), Toyota Highlander (+13%), Toyota 4Runner (+15%), Mazda CX-5 (+14%), Kia Forte (+14%), Subaru Impreza (+33%), Hyundai Tucson (+28%), GMC Acadia (+26%) and Subaru Crosstrek (+15%). Launched or relaunched in 2016, the Chrysler Pacifica (+90%), Cadillac XT5 (+73%), Nissan Titan (+142%) and Buick Envision (+189%) also impress. The Kia Niro (#135) is the best-selling all-new launch for 2017, followed closely by the VW Atlas (#137) and Toyota C-HR (#141). The Hyundai Ioniq (#194) also slots into the 2017 Top 200.

Previous month: USA November 2017: Nissan, Honda, Ford lift market up 1.3%

Previous year: USA Full Year 2016: Incentives lift market to second straight annual record

Two years ago: USA Full Year 2015: 15 year-old annual record eclipsed: 17,470,659 units

Full Year 2017 Top 15 groups, Top 40 brands and Top 315 models vs. Full Year 2016 figures below.

Full December 2017 Top 15 groups, Top 40 brands and Top 285 models below.

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USA November 2017: Nissan, Honda, Ford lift market up 1.3%

Nissan Motor sales are up 18.5% in November, helped by the Rogue (+35%).

* See the Top 15 groups, Top 40 brands and Top 280 models by clicking on the title *

The US new light vehicle market scores only its second year-on-year gain of the year in November at +1.3% to 1.397.856 registrations, an all-time record for the month leading to a year-to-date tally down 1.5% to 15.627.307. US sales are headed towards a third consecutive year above 17 million annual units and a first year-on-year decline for the first time in eight years. The Seasonally Adjusted Annual Selling Rate (SAAR) comes in at 17.55m, the third highest this year below September (18.58m) and October (18.11m). Average transaction prices also hit a new high at $35.870. Cars continue to freefall at -9.3% to 484.686 or 34.4% share, adding up to 5.814.600 (-10.3%) year-to-date while light trucks shoot up 7.9% to 916.170 or 65.6% share and up 4.6% so far this year to 9.812.707 units. Crossovers are up 11.8% to 461.027, pickup trucks up 3.6% to 230.153 and SUVs up 3.5% to 151.950. After eleven months, crossovers are up 8.7% to 4.813.659, pickups trucks up 4.7% to 2.537.435 and SUVs up 0.3% to 1.608.948.

Honda Motor gains 8.3% thanks partly to the CR-V (+25%). 

General Motors is still the most successful group in the US but drops once again at -2.9% year-on-year to 245.387, with Chevrolet (-1.1%), Buick (-3%), GMC (-5.8%) and Cadillac (-12.8%) all down. In contrast, Ford Motor is up 7% to 210.205, helped by strong fleet and truck sales, with the Ford brand up 7.6% but Lincoln down 5.5%. Toyota Motor ends a five month streak of year-on-year gain with a 3% drop in November as the Toyota brand loses 2.3% and Lexus falls 6.7%. No end in sight for FCA’s negative streak: handicapped by lower fleet sales, the company posts a 15th consecutive year-on-year decline at -3.9% to 156.060. Gains at Alfa Romeo (+6161%) and Chrysler posting its first increase in 22 months at +13.7% failing to compensate falls at Jeep (-1.9%, 15th consecutive decline), Ram (-5%), Dodge (-15.3%) and Fiat (-28.2%).

Ford Motor is up 7% year-on-year this month with the Explorer up 23%.

Nissan Motor is the hero of the month with a 18.5% surge to 144.594 keeping the company in 5th place: Nissan is up 19.3% to #4 overall, Infiniti up 7.5% and Mitsubishi up 24.8%. Honda Motor also performs at +8.3% (Honda up 8.2%, Acura up 9.5%) while for Hyundai-Kia the nightmare continues at -11.7% (Hyundai -9.4% Kia -15.6% Genesis +36%). Subaru extends its streaks of year-on-year gains to 72 consecutive months or a full six years thanks to deliveries edging up 0.8% to 51.721. The Volkswagen Group is up 3% on the strength of Audi (+12.1%) just as VW drops 1.6% and Mercedes is headed towards a second consecutive year as the country’s favourite premium brand with sales up 3.6% this month above BMW (+7.1%). Among smaller brands, Land Rover (+20%), Tesla (+50%), Ferrari (+40.2%), Lamborghini (+82.9%) and Rolls Royce (+37%) impress but Mini (-10.4%), Maserati (-17.3%), Bentley (-36.2%) and Smart (-76.9%) struggle.

Subaru scores a 72nd consecutive year-on-year gain thanks to the Impreza (+96%). 

Over in the models ranking, the Ford F-Series (+1%) is steady at the highest level, above 70.000 sales for the 8th time this year, followed as usual by the Chevrolet Silverado (+3%) and Ram Pickup (-0.5%). Only 600 sales below is the Nissan Rogue shooting up 35% to top all crossovers (including the new Rogue Sport). The Toyota Camry (+24%), now feeling the effects of the new generation, returns to #1 passenger car but still trails the Honda Civic year-to-date with only one month left in the year. The Honda CR-V (+25%) is back above the Toyota RAV4 (+2%) while the Ford Escape (+9%) and Explorer (+23%) also make their way into the Top 10 which only includes two passenger cars. The Honda Accord is in difficulty at -15% as is the Toyota Corolla (-28%).

The Alfa Romeo Stelvio is up 51% on October. Picture caranddriver.com 

Let’s also note the great performances of the Jeep Cherokee (+44%), Honda Pilot (+57%), Ford Focus (+45%), Chrysler Pacifica (+51%), Hyundai Tucson (+51%), Ford Transit (+47%), Chevrolet Impala (+54%), Subaru Impreza (+96%), Nissan Titan (+131%), VW Tiguan (+54%) and Buick Enclave (+88%). The VW Atlas (#83) leads recent launches (<12 months) with a record 5.154 sales, distancing the Toyota C-HR (#104), Chevrolet Bolt (#114) at a best-ever 2.987 deliveries, Kia Niro (#140), Range Rover Velar (#160) with a record 1.475 units, Hyundai Ioniq (#182), Alfa Romeo Giulia (#201), Tesla Model 3 (#205) and Alfa Romeo Stelvio (#207). The Kia Stinger makes its first appearance in the US sales charts at #274.

Previous month: USA October 2017: Market down 1.1% but SAAR remains above 18m

One year ago: USA November 2016: Incentives revive annual record hopes

Full November 2017 Top 15 groups, Top 40 brands and Top 280 models below.

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USA October 2017: Market down 1.1% but SAAR remains above 18m

The Honda Civic is up 15% to lead U.S. passenger cars for the 2nd straight month. 

* See the Top 15 groups, Top 40 brands and Top 285 models by clicking on the title *

After posting its first year-on-year gain of the year in September, the U.S. new light vehicle market returns to negative for the 9th time in the past 10 months at -1.1% in October to 1.356.789 registrations, leading to a year-to-date tally down 1.7% to 14.240.706. However the seasonally adjusted annualised rate (SAAR) remains above 18 million for the second straight month at 18.11m, thanks to higher discounts, strong fleet sales, replacement business in hurricane-stricken areas and as very robust light truck deliveries it has been the case for a couple of years now. According to Automotive News, it is only the 12th month since 2000 and the 14th time since 1976 that the SAAR is above 18 million. Light trucks are up 3.6% to 876.701 whereas passenger cars are down 9.2% to 478.274. Pickups are up 8% to 243.945, crossovers up 8.8% to 437.112 but SUVs down 5.9% to 137.504. Year-to-date, passenger cars are down 10.4% to 5.332.913 while light trucks are up 4.3% to 8.896.535.

The VW Atlas is the best-selling recent launch in the U.S. 

Continuing on September, it would appear consumers are more keen to benefit from more generous offers on 2017 models rather than forking out higher prices for a newer 2018 vehicle: 72% of new vehicles sold this month are 2017 models vs. 60% in October last year being 2016 models, this according to Edmunds. As noted above, incentives are on the up: according to J.D. Power they averaged $3.901 per vehicle over the first 17 days of the month, up $66 on October last year. Based on ALG figures, October incentives are estimated at $3.820, up 8.4% year-on-year. General Motors, BMW, Daimler, FCA, Ford and Nissan all offer higher incentives than average whereas Subaru, Honda, Toyota and Hyundai are the more frugal (see table below). J.D. Power estimates the average transaction price is up $615 year-on-year to $32.185 which indicates that incentives aren’t hurting benefits.

Source: Automotive News

General Motors remains the most popular group in the country but drops 2.2% to 252.813 units, declines at Chevrolet (-3.8%), Buick (-4.5%) and Cadillac (-0.1%) weren’t compensated by a strong 4.6% increase at GMC. GM’s passenger cars tumble down 24% to 52.800, a drop crossover sales (+8.3% to 78.057) and pickups (+8.6%) failed to compensate for. Fleet sales account for 23.1% of sales vs. 19.5% a year ago and 19.4% year-to-date. The Chevrolet Equinox (+29%), Traverse (+1%), Buick Encore (+25%), Enclave (+31%) and GMC Acadia (+5%) all post October volume records, with the GMC Sierra up 26% and the Chevrolet Bolt hitting a new high at 2.781 deliveries. Reversely the Chevrolet Cruze (-35%), Corvette (-49%) and Sonic (-66%) struggle, with only three nameplates in the entire GM passenger cars lineup posting a year-on-year gain.

The F-Series (+15%) accounts for 40% of Ford U.S. sales in October.

After gaining 8.9% in September, Ford Motor manages its first back-to-back year-on-year gains in 2017 at +6.4% in October to 199.698 units. Truck sales are up 11%, SUVs up 5.3% but cars drop 2.4%, with fleet sales up 15% to account for 26% of sales while retail sales are up 3.5%. The Ford brand is up 6.8% but Lincoln is down 1.8%. A whopping 40% of Ford brand sales come from the F-Series up a stunning 16% to post its highest October volume since 2004. The F-Series is the only Ford nameplate to post a double-digit gain so far in 2017 (+11%).

Toyota RAV4 sales are up another 29% in October.

Toyota Motor edges up 1.1% to sign its 5th consecutive gain thanks to truck sales soaring 19% to an October record, offsetting a 15% decline in passenger car sales. Year-to-date, a 12% improvement in light truck sales is cancelled by a 12% drop in passenger car sales. The Toyota brand is up 2.5% but Lexus is down 7.7% despite both its crossovers shining: the NX is up 6% and the RX up 4%. The carmaker’s best-seller is once again the RAV4 up a whopping 29% in 4th place overall and best-selling non-pickup truck. Surprisingly, the Camry is down 11% despite the new generation and trails the Honda Civic for the title of best-selling car of 2017 at 308.759 vs. 314.699. If the Civic wins 2017 it would be its very first U.S. annual win and the end of 15 consecutive years of Camry reign. Notice also the 4Runner up a very solid 31% to break into the Top 30.

Jeep Compass sales are up 81% this month.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles posts a 14th consecutive decline at -13.2% to 154.513 units with Alfa Romeo (1.205 sales) its only brand in positive. Jeep is down 2.5% for a 14th consecutive drop, Ram down 3.3%, Chrysler down 22% (21st consecutive fall), Fiat down 33% (18th consecutive decline) and Dodge down 41%. Fleet sales are down 43% year-on-year to 23.220 or 15% of FCA’s total sales, retail deliveries are down 4%. The company’s best-seller, the Ram Pickup, is up a meagre 0.7% and is losing significant ground on the #2 the Chevrolet Silverado (+7%). Jeep’s three best-sellers are down – Grand Cherokee -4%, Wrangler -7% and Cherokee -3% but the new Compass is up 81% and the Alfa Romeo Stelvio is up 32% on September to 434 sales.

The Nissan Rogue is up 43%

Nissan Motor soars 7.6% to 130.393 with the Nissan brand up 10.2%, Infiniti down 8.1% – its first decline in 14 months – and slipping below both Cadillac and Acura year-to-date, and Mitsubishi down 3.4%. Once again, Nissan’s superstar is the Rogue shooting up 43% to 30.286 units, but the Sentra (+29%), Maxima (+72%), Titan (+29%) and Armada (+100%) also shine. Honda Motor edges up 0.9% to 127.353 and is a rare case of cars performing better than light trucks: +5.9% vs. -3.6% with all Honda-branded light trucks except the Pilot (+19%) declining in October. The Honda brand is up 1.2% but Acura is down 1.3%. Honda’s strong car sales are led by the Civic up 15% to a new October record at 30.319 and the best-selling car in the U.S. for the 2nd straight month and the new generation Accord up 5%, outselling the Camry at 26.740 vs. 26.252.

 Kia Cadenza sales are up 252% in October.

The nightmarish year continues for Hyundai-Kia, down 12.6% to 94.407 with Hyundai down 16.4% and Kia down 9.4%. The 48.7% surge in Genesis sales is far from compensating the two main brand’s harsh drops. Hyundai fleet sales are down 23% year-on-year. A few positives are the Santa Fe up 15%, the Tucson up 8%, the Forte up 15%, Sportage up 4% and the Cadenza up 253%. Reversely the Sonata is down 49%, Veloster down 83%, Soul down 29%, Sorento down 15% and Optima down 24%. Subaru manages to hold onto its streak of 71 consecutive months of year-on-year gains at +0.5% to a new October record at 54.045 deliveries. The Outback remains the brand’s best-seller but is down 12% just as the Impreza (+124%) and Crosstrek (+30%) break their October volume record.

Audi posts a 96th consecutive month of year-on-year gains in the U.S. 

Sales at the Volkswagen Group are up 10.2% to 52.148, lifting the year-to-date tally up 7.8% to 509.219. The Volkswagen brand is up 11.8% to 27.732 with the Jetta up 14%, the Tiguan up 54% and the Atlas remaining the best-selling recent launch (<12 months) at #95 just above the Toyota C-HR (#96). Audi extends its streak of year-on-year gains to an incredible 96 months (eight full years) thanks to deliveries up 9.6% to 19.425. This is also the 82nd consecutive month of record U.S. sales for Audi. The Q5 is up 44%, the Q7 up 23% and the A5 up 252%. Daimler sales are down 0.8% to 31.541 with Mercedes down 0.1% to remain by far the #1 luxury brand in the U.S. BMW is down 3.4% to 23.208. Finally, Tesla sales are up 44.1% to an estimated 4.900 just as the Model 3 is up to 500 units vs. 220 in September.

Previous month: USA September 2017: First gain this year, SAAR at highest in 12 years

One year ago: USA October 2016: Record year now unlikely as market drops again

Full October 2017 Top 15 groups, Top 40 brands and Top 285 models below.

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USA September 2017: First gain this year, SAAR at highest in 12 years

The Chevrolet Equinox (+80%) helps General Motors up 11.9% this month.

* See the Top 15 groups, Top 40 brands and Top 288 models by clicking on the title *

At last! After eight consecutive months of decline, September marks the first positive month of 2017 with a solid 6.3% year-on-year gain to 1.523.867 deliveries. The year-to-date total is now down 1.8% or 233.000 units to 12.874.473, but the September result and the prospect of a strong last quarter pushed in part by replacement of cars damaged by the Harvey and Irma hurricanes in Texas and Florida (estimated at 500.000 to 600.000) has the industry hoping for a third consecutive year above 17 million units. The Seasonally Adjusted Annualised Sales Rate (SAAR) for September 2017 shoots up to an incredible 18.58 million, the highest since the 20.64 million from July 2005 which was boosted by employee-style discounts.

Continuing on a years-long trend, light trucks are up 12.4% to 967.547 sales or 63.5% share, bringing the year-to-date total up 4.4% to 8.019.834 or 62.3% share. Pickups are up 11.6% to 247.864, crossovers up 19.2% to 482.141 and SUVs up 1.1% to 152.633. Year-to-date, pickups are up 4.5% to 2.063.336, crossovers up 8.4% to 3.915.520 and SUVs up 0.7% to 1.319.493. Reversely, cars continue their decline at -3.3% to 556.320 or 36.5% share in September, albeit a much better rate that the 10.5% year-to-date drop to 4.854.639.

Incentives also helped September into positive: according to Edmunds, average new vehicle incentives are up 21% year-on-year to $3.506 while ALG says they are up just 1.5% to $3.742. General Motors, Nissan and FCA are the biggest culprits whereas Subaru, Honda, Hyundai and Toyota are the most frugal (see table below). Factories, lenders and dealers are using spiffs to entice buyers to replace their hurricane damaged vehicle even before the insurance cheque has arrived. Even then, inventories continue to grow, now at an average of 80 days. Also, 2018 models only represent 16% of sales in September as consumers take advantage of more interesting deals on outgoing 2017 models, this according to Edmunds and quoted by Automotive News.

Source: Automotive News 

General Motors hits its best September volume in nine years, up 12% on September 2016 to 279.397 units which is also its largest year-on-year gain since the +16% it delivered in October 2015. GM’s surge is entirely fuelled by light trucks, with crossovers up 39% and trucks/vans/SUVs up 10% but cars down 8%. GM sees its fleet sales grow faster than the rest this month, representing 20.9% of its total, up from 18.2% a year ago. Brand-wise, Chevrolet is up 17.4%, GMC up 9.4%, Cadillac up 1.1% but Buick down 20% the brand’s third double-digit decline in a row, handicapped by a 50% reduction of fleet sales so far in 2017. The Chevrolet Equinox (+80%), Traverse (+51%) and Silverado (+22%) are among GM’s best performers this month, while the Bolt breaks its volume record at 2.632.

Toyota North America posts its third consecutive year-on-year gain at +14.9% to 279.397 units, now in positive year-to-date at +0.5% to 1.83m units. The Toyota brand surges 19.5% with SUV sales up 43% and pickups up 16%, posting its first month above 200.000 units this year, while Lexus is up a timid 1.5% only its second positive result of 2017. September marks the first fill month of sales for the new generation Camry, resulting in a 13% uptick but losing the best-selling car spot to the Honda Civic. The RAV4 soars 44% to lodge its third consecutive month above 40.000 units, a first for the nameplate.

Ford Motor is up a more modest but still market-beating 8.9%, fuelled by very strong fleet sales up 25% while retail sales edge up 4.4%. Ford says a third of its year-on-year gain of 18.000 comes from replacement of cars affected by the Harvey and Irma hurricanes. Almost all of Ford gains this month are due to the stellar performance of the F-Series up 21% to its largest monthly volume of 2017. Accordingly, Ford’s pickup and van sales are up 21% while crossovers and SUVs are up just 1.% and cars down 1.3%.

The Jeep Compass (+75%) is one of only a few bright spots for FCA in September.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles posts its 13th consecutive year-on-year decline at -9.7% with retail sales up 0.3% but fleet sales down an abysmal 16%. Jeep is down 3.8% despite Renegade sales up 38%, the Grand Cherokee up 20%, the Wrangler up 10% and a record September volume for the Compass, up 75% to 11.356 now that the new generation is here. It’s the Cherokee (-29%) and Patriot (-84%) that pull the brand to a 13th negative month in a row. Ram is down 0.3% with the Pickup down 1% but back to #3 after dropping to #3 in August, Chrysler is down 16% on the discontinuation of the 200 (-78%) and Town & Country (-79%), Fiat is down 24.3% and Dodge down 30.3% with only the Durango (+45%) in positive. Only Alfa Romeo is up (31-fold) with the the Giulia at #188 and the Stelvio gearing up at #228, up 23 spots on last month.

Nissan Motor outpaces the market at +9.9% to 148.362 sales including Mitsubishi. The Nissan brand is up 9.3% with, for once, cars and light trucks performing equally well. The Rogue surges 47% year-on-year and four spots on August to #5 and 38.969 sales, the nameplate’s third highest monthly volume below December 2016 (40.477) and March 2017 (39.512), partly thanks to the arrival of the Rogue Sports (aka Qashqai) whose national advertising kicked off this month. Nissan’s car performance has a lot to do with the exceptional strength of the Sentra (+40%), with the carmaker choosing not to participate in the incentive wars happening in the lower midsize car segment with the Altima, down 34% to #21 this month.

The Toyota RAV4 posts a third consecutive month above 40.000 sales.

American Honda roughly matches the U.S. market growth at +6.8% to 142.722 sales, leaping into positive year-to-date at +0.3% and 1.23m units. The Honda brand posts a record September volume at 129.776 sales, up 7.4% year-on-year thanks mainly to the Civic up 26% to snap the title of best-selling passenger car off the Toyota Camry. The Civic also overtakes the CR-V (-3%), suffering from availability issues, to become Honda’s best-seller year-to-date. The Accord is the third Honda in the national Top 10 (as many as Toyota) with sales up 10% on discounts for the outgoing generation as the new model arrives in October. Hyundai-Kia continues to struggle at -5.5% to 109.475 sales, adding up to a 10.2% drop so far in 2017. Hyundai freefalls 15.5%, with Ram the only Top 10 brand in decline, with fleet sales imploding 37%. The Tucson is the only bright spot with sales up 38% to a September record, but the Elantra (-26%) and Sonata (-38%) face harsh drops. Kia on the other hand manages a 6.6% gain to a record September volume, with the Forte up 29%, the Soul up 12% and the Optima up 11%. The Genesis luxury brand is up 43% to a still intimate 1.736 sales.

First appearance of the Tesla Model 3 in the U.S. sales charts. 

The Volkswagen Group is up a roaring 22% to 56.723 units, with the Volkswagen brand up 33% thanks to two new three-row crossover: the Atlas is up 46% on August to 4.095 units while the Tiguan is up 22% on last month and 44% year-on-year to 4.301, 71% of which (3.075 sales) coming from the all-new three-row Tiguan XL launched in August. The Golf is up 24% thanks to doubled sales of the SportWagen station wagon variant and the Jetta is up 45%. Audi sales also beat the market with a 9.6% uptick fuelled by the Q5 (+16%) and Q7 (+43%), the brand’s two best-sellers in the U.S. Incredibly, this is Audi’s 81st consecutive record U.S. sales month.

Subaru is up a slim 0.4% to hit a September record, the brand’s lowest year-on-year gain since March 2016 but marking 70 consecutive months of year-on-year gains. The Crosstrek (+51%) and Impreza (+32%) lead Subaru gains this month, both breaking September records. Mercedes leads luxury brands with 29.008 sales but drops below Lexus if the Sprinter and Metris vans are removed. BMW (+0.7%) comes in third above Audi. Year-to-date, Mercedes (242.250) leads above BMW (220.175) and Lexus (219.659). Volvo surges 40.7% with the XC90 up 21% and the XC60 up 115% thanks to the new model. Porsche (+12.9%), Land Rover (+13.7%), Jaguar (+23.8%) and Rolls Royce (+55.1%) also frankly outpace the market. Finally, this month we welcome a very notable newcomer in the models ranking: the Tesla Model 3 with an estimated 220 sales, ranking #247 for now.

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Previous month: USA August 2017: RAV4 repeats record volume in market hit by Harvey

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