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USA July 2018: Jeep, Volkswagen, Subaru unable to prevent 3.7% dip

Jeep (+15.2%) helps FCA to a 5th consecutive year-on-year gain.

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

After a surprisingly strong First Half, new light vehicle sales in the U.S. mark a pause in July at -3.7% to 1.364.961 units with one less selling day and one less weekend vs. July 2017, however the year-to-date volume is still in positive at +1.1% to 9.982.617 deliveries. Most analysts including myself predict the Second Half of 2018 to be slow, partly because of a rising supply of late-model used vehicles coming off lease but also higher interest rates and slower economic growth. As if on cue, the Seasonally Adjusted Annualised growth Rate (SAAR) drops to 16.73 million this month, the first time it falls below 17 million this year, the weakest since the 16.58 million of August 2017 (disrupted by Hurricane Harvey) but only a smidge below the 16.79 million of a year ago in July 2017. Reproducing an overall picture that has been true for some years now, light truck sales gain 4.3% year-on-year whereas passenger cars skid down 18%.

Source: Automotive News

According to ALG cited by Automotive News, incentives are up 3.2% year-on-year to $3,754 per car (see detail by manufacturer above), with Toyota (7.4%), Honda (6.8%) and Subaru (5.5%) the only manufacturers to hold incentives below 10% of their average transaction prices (ATP). Finally, as is now the case for two in three months, exclusive BSCB estimates for all General Motors brands and models are included in this article as the company now only reports quarterly. FCA (+5.9%) is the only Big 6 manufacturer in positive in July – and for the 5th time running – helped by a record showing by Jeep (see further down) and strong retail sales (+6%) to 153.925 vs. just 17.045 fleet shipments. FCA’s average transaction price (ATP) is up 3.3% to $34,537. The Volkswagen Group (+7.9%) is also impressive on the back of strong crossover sales with an ATP including Porsche up 2.5% to $35,521.

Thanks to the Atlas (+398%) and Tiguan (+283%), Volkswagen gains 12.7% in July.

In contrast, GM is estimated at -3%, Ford Motor is down 3.3% as retail sales drop by double digits (trucks +10%, crossover/SUVs -1.5%, cars -28%), Hyundai-Kia returns to negative at -5.1% (Hyundai-Genesis fleets down an abysmal 51%), Toyota Motor suffers its largest drop of 2018 at -6% (trucks +2.2%, cars -18%, ATP up 3% to $31,505) but also manages to reduce incentives by a sharp 18% to just $2,346, Honda Motor sinks 8.2% (trucks +3.2%, cars -19%, ATP up 3% to $28,064) and Nissan Motor implodes 12.9% as it continues to withdraw from profit-eroding fleet sales and pares back incentives down 7.3% year-on-year to $4,199 per car (ATP ex-Mitsubishi is down 0.3% to $27,190). In the premium aisle, the BMW Group manages to limit the damage to -0.3% but Jaguar Land Rover loses 10.9% and Daimler AG dives 20.1%.

As predicted, the Ascent enables Subaru to extend its winning streak to 80 consecutive months of gains.

Over in the brands ranking, Ford (-2.9%) is leader by less than 1.500 units, with Toyota (-5.1%) placing at a very close second. Chevrolet (+0.8%) is estimated to edge up while Honda (-8.4%) and Nissan (-15.7%) post steep declines to round up the Top 5. Jeep (+15.2%) scores a new July record while Subaru (+6.7%) extends its streak of year-on-year gains to 80 consecutive months (ATP up 3.2% to $28,605). Kia (-5.2%) outsells sister brand Hyundai (-2.4%) for the first time in the past 10 months but both see their ATP fall: -2.9% to $29,122 for Hyundai and -1.4% to $22,477 for Kia. Premium-wise, Lexus (-12.1%), Mercedes (-19.9%) hit by 2019 model inventory shortfalls and a technical glitch, Acura (-6.6%), Infiniti (-10.1%) and Lincoln (-11%) all crash whereas it’s a positive month for BMW (+0.1%), Cadillac (est.+1%) and Audi (+2.1%) extending its streak of year-on-year gains to an incredible 105 months. Tesla (+445.5%) breaks its all-time volume record for the third time in 2018 on the back of gearing up Model 3 deliveries, with Alfa Romeo (+64.6%), McLaren (+34.2%), Mitsubishi (+24%), Volvo (+23.8%) and Volkswagen (+12.7%) the only other double-digit gainers. In the naughty corner stand Genesis (-62.6%), Fiat (-44.7%), Smart (-43.4%) and Jaguar (-40.6%).

The Nissan Kicks, replacing the Juke, has been very well received so far in the USA.

The Ford F-Series (+2%) goes against the grain to deliver a 15th consecutive year-on-year gain and the 21st increase in the past 22 months, and its YTD volume, up 5% to 522.087, is now up 1.6% on its record run of 2004 that led it to an all-time high 939.511 U.S. sales that year – albeit shoed in by a record December at 95.393. The Chevrolet Silverado (-2%) is estimated to drop YoY but holds onto the 2nd spot whereas the Toyota RAV4 (-2%) snaps the last step of the podium off the Ram Pickup (+1%) despite Ram 1500 sales up 13% to 27.812 including retail sales up 17%. This is only the third time in history the RAV4 ranks on the U.S. podium after July 2017 and August 2017 and the nameplates’ 4th monthly volume above 40.000 after July, August and September 2017. The RAV4 however still trails the Nissan Rogue (-18%) by over 2.000 sales for the 2018 title of #1 SUV in the U.S.

Honda Insight

The Honda CR-V (+3%) is now well ahead of the carmaker’s best-selling cars the Civic (-28%) and Accord (-19%) both imploding and outsold by both the Toyota Corolla (-6%) and Camry (-22%). Outside the Top 10, the Toyota Tacoma (+26%) hits its highest U.S. ranking this century at #12, the Jeep Wrangler (+14%) breaks its July volume record and the VW Atlas (+398%), VW Tiguan (+283%), Ford Transit (+191%), Jeep Cherokee (+71%), Jeep Compass (+63%), Subaru Crosstrek (+59%), Kia Optima (+38%), Honda Pilot (+30%) and Toyota 4Runner (+26%) lodge some of the most impressive surges near the top. The Ford Ecosport (#73) leads all recent launches again (<12 months), distancing the Subaru Ascent (#80) up a smashing 142% on its inaugural month in June, the Hyundai Kona (#88) and the Nissan Kicks (#127) up 322% on its launching score. Notice also the relaunched Honda Insight just below 2.000 sales for its first full month.

Previous post: USA First Half 2018: Ford F-Series, Jeep and Subaru at record pace

Previous month: USA June 2018: Hyundai, Jeep and Subaru lift market up 5.6%

One year ago: USA July 2017: Toyota #1 brand, RAV4 breaks records, market down 7%

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

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USA First Half 2018: Ford F-Series, Jeep and Subaru at record pace

The Ford F-Series is evolving 4.1% ahead of its all-time record 2004 volume.

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

After seven consecutive years of annual gains and record sales in 2016, light vehicle deliveries dropped 1.8% to 17.25 million units in 2017. A year ago, halfway through 2017, the picture was grim with 6 consecutive months of year-on-year declines. Even though for 2018 most analysts predicted (and still do) the first annual result below 17 million annual units since 2014, the First Half of the year is anything but gloomy. 4 out of 6 months were in positive and sales are actually up 2% or over 170.000 units year-on-year to 8.624.101 at the half-way mark. Crossovers alone are up 14% to 3.2m units or 38% of the market, that’s half a million more than passenger cars whereas the latter outsold crossovers by 260.000 units a year ago, with light trucks representing roughly 70% of the market or their highest ever level. Worse: at a projected 5.3m units for the Full Year, passenger car sales are slated to fall to their lowest annual U.S. volume since… 1958! The industry warns of a painful second half when the effects of the announced import tariffs – if at all implemented – could be felt. Note all H1 figures are official for General Motors which now reports quarterly.

FCA is up 5% mainly thanks to Jeep (+21.8%).

For now, among the main Groups FCA is the best performer over the period at +5% to 13% share, followed by General Motors up 4.2% to 17.1% and Toyota Motor at +3% to 13.8%. All other major players lose ground year-on-year, with Nissan Motor (-3%) hit the hardest as it slims down on fleet sales, Hyundai-Kia (-2.1%) finally ending 17 months of declines in May, Ford Motor (-1.8%) and American Honda (-0.5%). The Volkswagen Group soars 6.2% and Jaguar Land Rover is up 5.4% while the BMW Group (+3.1%) zooms past Daimler AG (-1.9%) to take the lead of premium Groups.

Subaru is on a 79-month streak of consecutive year-on-year gains.

In the brand detail, Ford recedes 1.3% to lose half a percentage point of market share to 14.2% whereas its immediate followers Toyota (+3.2%) and Chevrolet (+4.8%) both outpace the market and improve their shares to 12.2% and 11.8% respectively. The only two changes in the Top 10 vs. H1 2017 are Honda (-0.4%) overtaking Nissan (-4.3%) to #4 and GMC (+2.4%) passing Ram (-6.9%) to #10, yet the H1 2018 Top 10 is identical to the FY2017 order. Jeep (+21.8%) is the best performer in the Top 20, scoring the two largest volumes in its history over the period: 98.382 in March and 97.287 in May. Subaru is on an incredible 79-month streak of consecutive year-on-year gains and lifts 5.9% in H1 to an all-time high 322.860.

The Stelvio pushes Alfa Romeo sales up 230%.

Further down, Alfa Romeo is the largest gainer in the U.S. market over the period with deliveries up 230% thanks to the arrival of the Stelvio crossover. Tesla comes second with a 89.9% surge now that the Model 3 is truly gearing up (see further down), with the U.S. EV maker beating its all-time monthly volume record twice over the period: in March (10.020) and June (11.362), the brand’s very first five-digit monthly sales figures. McLaren (+75.7%), Volvo (+39.6%), Land Rover (+24.9%), Mitsubishi (+23.4%), Mazda (+15.7%) and Volkswagen (+7.2%) also post very solid gains where on the other side of the spectrum Smart (-67.2%), Fiat (-43.6%), Jaguar (-28.4%), Genesis (-26.8%), Maserati (-20.1%), Bentley (-14.5%) and Chrysler (-13.2%) hit the brakes.

The new generation (pictured) could pull the Toyota RAV4 back to the #1 SUV spot.

Model-wise, the Ford F-Series is comfortably headed towards a 37th consecutive annual win but more importantly it could be set for a new annual volume record: its H1 2018 tally, up 5% year-on-year to 451.138, is also up 4.1% on its H1 2004 volume which led to the nameplate’s all-time volume record of 939.511… Note that average transaction prices are the highest of any full-size pickup at $46.800. The podium remains 100% full-size pickup with the Chevrolet Silverado (+11%) and Ram Pickup (-7%) in tow. Like it was the case a year ago, the 3 next best-sellers are all SUVs, with the Nissan Rogue (+11%) in the lead again but the Toyota RAV4 (+7%) now above the Honda CR-V (-4%). Keep in mind that contrary to Canada, Rogue U.S. sales include the Rogue Sport (aka Qashqai).

The new generation is responsible for a 227% push by the VW Tiguan.

The Toyota Camry remains the most popular passenger car in the country, but only edges up 1% despite a completely new generation launched in the meantime. The Honda Civic (+0.3%) lurks just 785 units behind while the Toyota Corolla (-9%) is now impatiently awaiting the launch of the new generation hatch. Breaking into the Top 10 for the first time and knocking the Honda Accord (-14%) out in the process, the Chevrolet Equinox (+17%) posts the largest gain among the country’s ten best-sellers and sets a new half-year volume record. The Jeep Wrangler is propelled up 35% to #13 by the new generation, the Toyota Tacoma soars 23% to #16, the Jeep Cherokee gains 40% to #19, with the Jeep Compass (+240%), VW Tiguan (+227%), Subaru Crosstrek (+71%), Mazda CX-5 (+42%), Honda Pilot (+40%), Chevrolet Colorado (+39%) and Hyundai Tucson (+35%) also in great shape.

The Tesla Model 3 topped the mid-sized premium sedan segment in May and June.

Over two years after its unveiling and the record-breaking 420.000 pre-orders, the Tesla Model 3 is starting to make an impact on the U.S. sales charts. Just as Elon Musk raced to meet an objective of 5.000 Model 3 produced per week thanks to an additional assembly line set up under a tent (!), the Model 3 becomes the most popular recent launch in the country (<12 months) at #94 with 24.367 sales. It even topped the mid-sized premium sedan segment both in May and June and ends H1 in 2nd place below the Mercedes C-Class (29.659). Despite dubious interior quality, the Ford Ecosport hits the bullseye with 23.610 sales at #97, distancing the Hyundai Kona (#128), Range Rover Velar (#167), Kia Stinger (#168), BMW X2 (#183), Alfa Romeo Stelvio (#184) and Volvo XC40 (#194).

Previous post: USA June 2018: Hyundai, Jeep and Subaru lift market up 5.6%

One year ago: USA First Half 2017: Rogue, CR-V and RAV4 outsell Altima, Civic and Camry in crossover push

Full H1 2018 Top 15 groups, Top 40 brands and Top 285 models vs. Full H1 2017 figures below.

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USA June 2018: Hyundai, Jeep and Subaru lift market up 5.6%

The Elantra (+34%) helps Hyundai up 19.6% in June.

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

June marks the fourth month of year-on-year gain in 2018 after January, March and May with light vehicle sales up 5.6% to 1.556.596 units, helped by an extra weekend of sales compared to June 2017. At 17.47 million, the seasonally adjusted annualised sales rate (SAAR) is up markedly on both June 2017 (16.72m) and last month (16.91m). Light trucks account for 67% of the market, the highest level ever recorded for June. According to ALG, the average transaction price is up 0.7% year-on-year to $33,148 in June, for an average incentive of $3,779 – that’s a 11.4% ratio vs. 11% a year ago, while fleet sales are estimated by J.D. Power to account for 20% of the market, a slight drop on June 2017. Strikingly, all Top 10 groups post a year-on-year gain this month. After ending a straining 17-month streak of negative results last month, Hyundai-Kia accelerates further at a brilliant +9% in June, FCA advances for the fourth consecutive month at +8.5% with retail sales at their highest June level since 2004 at 155.208.

The facelifted Cherokee sees its sales surge 89%, helping push Jeep up 18.9%.

Meanwhile General Motors is up an estimated 5.7% thanks to average incentives of over $5,200 per vehicle (see detail below). All other major manufacturers trail the market, led by the American Honda (+4.8%) where light trucks gain 12% to a new June record (78.483), Volkswagen Group (+3.8%), Toyota Motor (+3.6%) where light trucks (+13%) offset passenger cars (-9.2%), Nissan Motor (+3.5%) and Ford Motor (+1%). At Nissan, light truck sales are up 9.7% while cars are down 7.5%. At Ford, retail sales are up 2.9% to 156.788 while fleet deliveries drop 2.3% to 73.847. The BMW Group (+0.8%) towers above a struggling Daimler AG (-9.9%) to slip past it YTD.

The all-new Ascent will ensure Subaru moves onto an 80th consecutive uplift in July…

What’s the incentives situation? According to ALG, average new vehicle incentives are up slightly less than the market at +4.6% to $3,779. Those above the average are Daimler AG at $5,759 (up a stark 14% on June 2017) the BMW Group at $5,585 (+22%), General Motors at $5,256 (+18%), FCA at $4,526 (+3.2%), Ford Motor at $4,400 (+2.1%), Kia at $3,834 (+12%) and the Volkswagen Group at $3,828 (+22%). Those that don’t need to fuel growth with rebates are Subaru at $1,499 (+57%), American Honda at $1,940 (-3.3%), Toyota Motor at $2,288 (-14%), Hyundai at $2,809 (-12%) and Nissan Motor at $3,703 (-9.4%).

Tesla is up 191.3% year-on-year to hit its largest ever monthly U.S. volume.

Brand-wise, Ford leads the way again, edging up just 1% but its SUV and crossover sales shoot up 8.1%. Toyota (+4.4%), Chevrolet (+5.4%), Nissan (+2.5%) and Honda (+5%) follow but all trail the market whereas Hyundai (+19.6%), Jeep (+18.9%) and Subaru (+15%) – posting an incredible 79th consecutive year-on-year uplift – light up the rest of the Top 10. Just outside, GMC soars 13% while further down, Alfa Romeo (+121.1%), Mitsubishi (+46.2%), Volvo (+35.1%), Land Rover (+21.2%), and Mazda (+20.4%) all shine. Audi (+0.3%) edges to a 104th consecutive month of year-on-year gains. The best performance this month goes to Tesla, the biggest gainer in the entire market at a whopping +191.3% on June 2017, also snapping its largest ever monthly volume at 11.362, only the 2nd time after last March (10.020) that Tesla lodges a five-digit monthly figure.

A Toyota RAV4 in runout mode reclaims the title of #1 SUV in the U.S.

Over in the models aisle, the Ford F-Series continues to gallop well ahead of the competition with a 14th consecutive month of year-on-year gains, yet it trails the market with sales up 2% just as the other two dominating full-size pickups: the Chevrolet Silverado is estimated to gain 4% and the Ram Pickup just 1%. The Toyota RAV4 (+11%) is in runout mode before the arrival of the new generation in Fall, and as a result edges past the 2018 segment leader, the Nissan Rogue, itself up a splendid 14%. The Honda CR-V (+18%) ensures the Top 6 is 100% list trucks like last month, with the Honda Civic (+1%) the best-selling passenger car once again, a notch above the Toyota Camry (-4%) and Corolla (-9%) just as the Ford Escape (+6%) rallies back up 4 spots on May to #8, its first Top 10 ranking since last November.

Inspired by the success of the Ford Ecosport, Nissan has launched the Latin America-made Kicks.

Robust gainers further down include the VW Tiguan (+435%), Jeep Cherokee (+89%), Dodge Journey (+86%), Subaru Crosstrek (+84%), Jeep Compass (+82%), Hyundai Tucson (+62%), Chevrolet Trax (+53%), Chevrolet Colorado (+44%), Honda Pilot (+36%) and the Toyota Tacoma (+36%) improving again on an outstanding score last month to post the nameplate’s largest volume in at least 14 years. Among recent launches (<12 months), the Ford Ecosport improves 23% on May to post its largest volume so far at 6.756, reclaiming the title of most popular U.S. launch off the Tesla Model 3 at 6.062 (-3%), itself leading the mid-sized premium sedan segment for the 2nd month running ahead of the Mercedes C-Class (5.742), Audi A4 (3.893), BMW 3 Series (3.551) and Lexus IS (2.017). Finally, 3 new nameplates land in June: the Subaru Ascent at #156, Nissan Kicks at #214 and the new Honda Insight at #233.

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

One year ago: USA June 2017: Market down 3% for 6th consecutive month of decline

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

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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 hit 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 concecutive 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

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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

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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%

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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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