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Slowing Car Sales Compounded by a Shorter Month


General Motors took a big hit in car and truck sales for May, but much of that has to do with the comparison to the automaker’s May sales of 290,000-plus vehicles from the previous year. Throw in a shorter selling month, by two days, and earthquakes in Japan that hit both foreign and domestic brands because part supply factories shut down, and it looks like a fairly dismal month.

It’s not dismal, but sales growth seems to be leveling off. Car sales keep slipping as mainstream buyers continue to shift to subcompact, compact, and midsize crossovers/SUVs. The trend has finally started to affect premium and luxury brands. Mercedes-Benz and Audi, especially, maintained strong sedan sales through the end of last year, but early this year such sales began to slip. And in May, they were dismal for most, including luxury brand leaders Mercedes, Lexus, and BMW. This is potentially good and bad news at the same time for Cadillac, with its new XT5 and its CT6.

And so, to the numbers …

2015 Cadillac Escalade front three quarter 02

  1. General Motors: 240,450, off 18.0 percent.

*GM says its retail sales were off 13 percent, to 190,613.

*Touts sales of new Chevrolet Malibu, up 12.8 percent to 24,202, and new Cruze, though off 29.8 percent, to 16,671. Sales chief Kurt McNeil says the Japanese earthquakes affected part supplies to the Cruze’s Lordstown, Ohio, plant, as well as two other plants.

*Cadillac sold 2,719 XT5s and 1,774 SRXes, for a total of 4,493, to 5,777 SRXes in May ’15. Caddy also sold 697 CT6es last month, for a total of 1,017. CTS was off 39.6 percent, to 1,082 and ATS was off 30.7 percent, to 1,630.

*Escalade was up 14.8 percent, to 1,856, and Escalade ESV was up 4.1 percent, to 1,087.

*Chevy Silverado sales fell 12.7 percent, to 45,035, while GMC Sierra was down 7 percent, to 17,642, for a total of 62,677.

*Chevy Colorado was up 3.5 percent, to 9,196, and GMC Canyon was up 15.9 percent, to 3,361, for a combined 12,557.

*Chevy Equinox was off 27.9 percent, to 21,252, and Traverse was off 29.6 percent, to 7,230. Trax was minus 10.6 percent, to 5,102.

*Corvette was off 23.9 percent, to 2,673, while Chevy Volt rose 17.5 percent, to 1,901.

*Total Chevy sales fell 18.6 percent, to 169,331. Buick was off 22.1 percent, to 15,625; GMC was off 14.3 percent, to 43,395; and Cadillac dropped 16 percent, to 12,099.

*Encore was Buick’s only gainer for the month, up 20.8 percent to 6,522, for the face-lifted model. Buick also sold 829 Cascadas and 89 Envisions. Enclave fell 43.2 percent, to 3,200, and the lame-duck Verano was down 36.2 percent, to 2,070.

2016 Lincoln MKX front three quarter

  1. Ford Motor Company: 235,997, off 5.9 percent.

*Mustang leads the #PonyCarWars again, with sales off 24.2 percent, to 10,327, though Dodge Challenger is second, off 10 percent, to 6,677, and Chevy Camaro was off 40.3 percent, to 5,827.

*Ford F-Series was up 9.0 percent, to 67,412. Transit was up 16.4 percent, to 13,640, and Transit Connect was off 4.1 percent, to 4,390.

*Escape sales nudged upward by 5.5 percent, to 30,861, and Explorer was off 4.8 percent, to 18,813.

*Fusion dove 21.5 percent, to 24,589. Focus was off 27.1 percent, to 17,455, and Fiesta was off 34.8 percent, to 6,150.

*Lincoln was up, as a brand, by 6.9 percent, to 9,807.

*But just one Lincoln model had a sales gain: the new MKX, up 87.8 percent, to 2,794. MKC was off 5.5 percent, to 2,162, and MKZ was down 1.4 percent, to 3,250.

2015 Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro front three quarters in motion

  1. Toyota Motor Sales: 219,339, off 10.1 percent.

*Toyota division was off 9.5 percent, to 192,657, and Lexus dropped 10.5 percent, to 26,682.

*Best-seller Camry dropped 15.8 percent, to 36,916, while RAV4 was up 12 percent, to 32,261.

*Corolla fell just 5.2 percent, to 34,872, while Prius plummeted 36 percent, to 12,517.

*Prius fell 21.7 percent, to 11,925.

*4Runner was the other Toyota-brand SUV posting a gain, up 21.1 percent, to 10,352. All others, plus Sienna (down 20.2 percent, to 11,485), fell in May.

*Tacoma was off 5.6 percent, to 16,544, and Tundra fell 16.4 percent, to 9,739.

*Scion sold 3,023 iAs, 1,542 iMs, and 684 FR-Ses, the latter down by 33.3 percent.

*Lexus RX was up 10.1 percent, to 8,804, and NX was up 0.4 percent, to 4,031. GX dropped 14.8 percent, to 1,859, while LX was off 2 percent, to 293.

*LS was the only Lexus car that was up, by 15.8 percent, to 712. ES fell 3.2 percent, to 5,373, and IS was down 33.7 percent, to 2,879.

2015 Jee Wrangler Unlimited Freedom Edition rear three quarter

  1. Fiat Chrysler: 204,452, up 1 percent.

*Jeep continues its campaign to conquer the U.S. auto market, taking a full 44 percent of FCA May sales at 90,545, up 14 percent.

*Wrangler was the best-seller, at 19,551, though down 12 percent. Cherokee was off 2 percent, to 19,208 and Grand Cherokee was up 4 percent, to 18,856.

*Patriot was up 19 percent, to 12,864, and Renegade breached 10K, at 10,868, up 146 percent over its first May last year.

*Ram brand accounted for another 21 percent, at 43,613, up just 15 units over May ’15.

*The pickup was off 3 percent, to 38,833. ProMaster was up 16 percent, to 2,946, and ProMaster City was up 101 percent, to 1,833.

*Dodge dropped 5 percent, to 42,837.

*Charger was up 5 percent, to 8,142, Caravan was up 76 percent, to 11,135, and Durango was up 2 percent, to 6,185.

*But Journey was off 30 percent, to 6,137, and lame-duck Dart fell 48 percent, to 4,514.

*Both Chrysler brand and Fiat brand were off 19 percent; Chrysler to 24,276, and Fiat to 3,137.

*Chrysler sold 2,495 new Pacificas and 8,583 Town & Countrys (11,078 total), compared with 5,753 T&Cs last year.

*Chrysler 200 plummeted 62 percent, to 7,600, while the 300 was up 38 percent, to 8,583. Perhaps they should stick with rear-wheel-drive 300s after all.

*Fiat sold 1,250 of the 500X (up from 8 last year). The 500 two-door hatch was off 41 percent, to 1,553, and the 500L dropped 73 percent, to 334. Alfa Romeo sold 44 4Cs, up 10 percent.

2015 Acura TLX 35 front three quarters in motion 021

  1. American Honda, 147,108, off 4.8 percent.

*Honda division was off 2.9 percent, to 133,547, while Acura was off 20.4 percent, to 13,561.

*Accord fell 1.3 percent, to 31,949, while Civic was up 2.7 percent, to 35,396.

*CR-V fell, though, by 8.5 percent, to 29,359. HR-V was up 15.8 percent, to 7,392.

*Fit was off 10 percent, to 5,706. Odyssey was off 4.9 percent, to 12,212.

*RDX led Acura, off 14.5 percent, to 4,566. MDX was next, off 22.4 percent, to 4,206.

*TLX was again Acura’s best-selling car, off 25.7 percent, to 3,235. ILX was off 14.9 percent, to 1,424.

  1. Nissan Group: 133,496, off 1.0 percent.

*Nissan division was off 1.3 percent, to 122,668, while Infiniti was up 3.4 percent, to 10,828.

*Altima dropped 15.5 percent, to 28,404, but still managed to outsell Rogue, which was up 5.9 percent, to 27,428.

*Sentra sales lost 2 percent, to 20,204. Murano was up 4.6 percent, to 5,978.

*Maxima was up 218.9 percent, to 5,032. Juke was off 13.5 percent, to 2,271.

*All Infiniti utilities were up; all Infiniti cars were down.

*QX60 rose 36.1 percent, to 4,274, and QX50 was up 558.1 percent, to 1,632.

*Q50 was off 30.9 percent, to 2,367.

  1. Hyundai: 71,006, up 12 percent.

*The Tucson and the popular Santa Fe finally are in decent supply, and nearly doubled sales over May ’15. The Santa Fe was up 83.5 percent, to 14,732, and the Tucson was up 92.5 percent, to 7,369.

*Sonata fell 11.9 percent, though, to 15,879 and Elantra was off 5.4 percent, to 22,168.

*Accent was up 22.7 percent, to 5,432. Genesis was off 6.3 percent, to 5,432.

  1. Kia: 62,926, up 7.9 percent.

*Soul retook the Kia sales lead at 13,706, though off just 1.3 percent.

*Sorento was up 10.9 percent, to 11,914.

*Optima dropped 33.4 percent, to 10,895.

*Forte rose 15.4 percent, to 9,910.

  1. Subaru: 50,083, up 1.1 percent.

*Forester was up 1 percent, to 15,309, and Outback rose 0.2 percent, to 12,404.

*WRX/STI was off 19.6 percent, to 2,327, and BRZ was off 36.8 percent, to 383, but Crosstrek was up 7.5 percent, to 8,467.

  1. BMW Group: 33,612, off 8.8 percent.

*The 2 Series rose 18.1 percent, to 1,322, while 3 Series fell 16.4 percent, to 7,376, and 4 Series was off 10.1 percent, to 3,641.

*X3 was up 28 percent, to 3,295, and X1, which even BMW classifies as a car, was up 93.9 percent, to 2,210.

*X5 fell 24.6 percent, to 4,372, though X6 was up 26 percent, to 712.

*i8 was up 25 percent, to 146, and i3 fell 15 percent, to 696.

*Mini brand was down 21.2 percent, to 4,595.

*The Mini 2 Door was off 44.1 percent, to 968, and the 4 Door was off 42.5 percent, to 908.

*Clubman rose from 3 units in May ’15 to 825 last month. Countryman was off 30.1 percent, to 1,236.

  1. Mercedes-Benz USA, 32,567, off 1.9 percent.

*All cars were down, while all utilities except for GLA-Class were up.

*GLC was up 63.5 percent (over last year’s GLK) to 4,183 and GLE-Class (M) was up 0.3 percent, to 4,003. GL was up 44.6 percent, to 3,358.

*C-Class sales fell 6.2 percent, to 6,954; E-Class was off 17.1 percent, to 3,699; S-Class was off 21.4 percent, to 1,510, and CLA-Class was off 18 percent, to 2,310.

*Smart sales plummeted 49.8 percent, to 420, while Mercedes vans were up 2.9 percent, to 2,848.

  1. Volkswagen: 28,779, off 17.2 percent.

*Like SUVs elsewhere, Tiguan was way up—42.7 percent—but still reached just 4,394 sales. Touareg fell 48.6 percent, to 360.

*Jetta slipped 15 percent, to 10,945. Golf was off 29.1 percent, to 4,475.

*Passat was down 12.8 percent, to 7,129. Beetle fell 56.1 percent, to 1,178.

  1. Mazda: 28,328, off 4.3 percent.

*Mazda3 was off 1.8 percent, to 10,127, while CX-5 was off 7.1 percent, to 9,951.

*As the new model trickled into showrooms, the CX-9 was off 68 percent, to 616. As dealer supply rises, Mazda could take a clear shot at passing sales of VW, which still awaits its midsize three-row crossover.

*Mazda sold 1,000 MX-5 Miatas, up 122.7 percent, and 1,570 of its new CX-3.

  1. Audi: 18,728, up 1.6 percent.

*A3 is its best-selling car, though off 13 percent, to 3,040. A4 was off 1 percent, to 2,756.

*Q5 is Audi’s best-seller, and was up 10.7 percent last month, to 4,736. Q3 was up 52.4 percent, to 1,719.

*Audi sold 279 new TTs (just 1 a year ago in May) and 67 R8s, down 8.2 percent.

  1. Mitsubishi: 9,025, off 5.7 percent.

*Outlander was the biggest gainer, up 119 percent, to 2,936. Outlander Sport was off 9.6 percent, to 3,060, though remained the best-seller.

*Lancer was off 36.5 percent, to 929. Mirage was off 37.7 percent, to 2,098.

  1. Jaguar/Land Rover: 7,114, up 8 percent.

*Jaguar was up 80 percent, to 2,164, thanks to first U.S. sales last month of the F-Pace crossover and the XE compact sedan.

*Land Rover fell 8 percent, to 4,950.

*Jaguar sold 666 F-Paces and 598 XEs.

  1. Volvo: 5,536, up 10.2 percent.

*XC90 is again the best-seller, at 2,467, up from 741 last year.

*Volvo sold 42 of the S60CC, and XC70 was up 7.2 percent, to 415. Other models were down.

*S60 was off 42.1 percent, to 873, and XC60 was off 21.2 percent, to 1,345.

  1. Porsche: 4,578, up 7.3 percent.

*Macan was up 36.3 percent, to 1,426, though Cayenne was off 7.1 percent, to 1,293.

*911 was up 18.1 percent, to 993. Boxster/Cayman was off 16.9 percent, to 508.

Compact cars, year-to-date:

Midsize cars, YTD:

Compact CUVs, YTD:

Luxury/Premium Brands, YTD:

  • Mercedes-Benz 134,304
  • Lexus 125,785
  • BMW 124,581
  • Audi 78,489
  • Acura 67,642

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



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