In this section of the blog, you can find information and opinions about car sales in the United States. Stay up-to-date with which cars are selling the best and what we think future models will do.
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US sales: July 2017, models

After discussing the US auto brand sales ranking for July, let’s take a closer look at the models ranking.

Top 10

Toyota_RAV4-facelift-2016

Toyota RAV4

After two years of absence Toyota finally put a car on the podium, but this time it’s not the one-time family-favorite Camry – it’s the crossover RAV4, a car much more of the times. With sales 31.2% higher than last year, the RAV4 is suddenly a serious contender for fourth in the rankings by the end of the year, a fight that only last month seemed would be fought between Nissan Rogue and Honda CR-V. Clearly, there is little to choose between these crossovers as far as the consumers are concerned, although the Honda did suffer an unexpected 11.8% loss in sales relative to what the previous-generation model sold last year. Things are not particularly eventful in the Top 10, although it’s worth noting that while both Toyota Camry and Honda Accord have seen their successors revealed, sales of the current models have once again declined only slightly – clearly dealers are using incentives to manage a smooth transition to the new generation models.

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US sales: July 2017, brands [updated w/ Ferrari, Lamborghini and RR data]

Update: we update the ranking with the latest, newly-available data for Ferrari, Lamborghini and Rolls Royce

The decline in the US car market kicked up a gear in July, with sales falling by 6.6% compared to the same month in 2016, the largest decline so far this year. With car brands throwing everything they can, including the proverbial kitchen sink, at customers with seemingly no impact, it is clear more than ever than the market is in for its largest decline in years.

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US sales 2017 first half: Sports Large and Exotics segment

Lexus LC enjoys a strong market debut to rank fourth in Q2’17 standings, while Porsche 911 continues to lose salesUS large sportsSales of Large Sports Cars and Exotics fell by 2.6% in the second quarter of 2017, a slower pace of decline than the 10.4% registered in 2016, or the 5.5% registered in the first quarter of the year. Could this be a sign that the segment is going through a bit of a resurgence? As we previously mentioned, this segment had undergone a huge growth in years past, so the recent declines come from a heady height, and suggest the segment may simply be stabilizing at a sort of “good times” average size, before once again shrinking drastically when the next recession hits (such is the fate of a segment where most cars sell for well over $100,000).

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US sales 2017 first half: Mid-sized Sports segment

Ford Mustang keeps losing sales as Chevy Camaro rebounds

US Small Sports

Sales in the Mid-sized Sports segment fell by 14.5% so far in 2017, a reflection mainly on the dwindling popularity of the mighty Ford Mustang. However, while the headline figure is bad but not horrible, what should be more worrying is the fact that the segment has plenty of new cars such as Chevrolet Camaro, Audi TT, or the Porsche 718 Boxster/Cayman twins, after an early rise their sales have all declined recently. What’s more, Dodge seems to be doing wonders with the Challenger, given how old that model is, but even that can’t last forever. 

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US sales 2017 first half: Small Sports segment

Mazda MX-5 almost takes the segment lead, as RWD cars soar and FWD cars crashThe Small Sports segment lost an astonishing 31.6% sales in the second quarter of 2017, a bad performance second only to that of the Minicar segment that lost almost half its sales over the same period. Combined with the slower decline experienced by the segment in the first quarter of the year, sales in the segment were 22.8% smaller in the first half of 2017 than in 2016. Although there is some hope in the form of the new Hyundai Veloster, that car won’t arrive until sometime in 2018 – until then, it’s likely sales will continue declining.

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US sales 2017 first half: Small Commercial Van segment

Every single model loses sales, as the segment shrinks by almost 20%

US-sales-small-cargo-van-segmentOverall sales of Commercial Vans in the US fell again in the second quarter of 2017, albeit at a slower pace than in the first quarter, resulting in a cumulative drop in sales of 3.2% YTD. As I mentioned earlier, it seems that customers seem to be slowly moving away from commercial vans to pickups, at least to the extent that the latter are used for commercial purposes. Confirming this, the decline is concentrated in the small commercial van segment, which has lost 17.9% of its volume so far this year, while the large commercial vans segment, for which pickups are no substitute, seems largely unaffected.
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US sales 2017 first half: Large Commercial Van segment

Once segment golden boy Ford Transit suffers double-digit sales decline while segment grows slowlyUS large van segmentOverall sales of Commercial Vans in the US fell again in the second quarter of 2017, albeit at a slower pace than in the first quarter, resulting in a cumulative drop in sales of 3.2% YTD. However, this is mainly due to sales decline in the small commercial vans sector – sales in the large commercial vans sector have been growing so far in 2017, albeit at a leisurely 0.5% pace overall.
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US sales 2017 first half: Small Pickup segment

US-sales-small_pickup_truck-segment-2016-Chevrolet_Colorado-Nissan_Frontier-Toyota_Tacoma

After finishing 2016 as the fastest growing segment, with a growth rate of 25.5%, things have slowed down considerably, resulting in a growth rate of only 2.4% over the first half of 2017. Moreover, rather than being evenly spread among all models, the remaining growth in the segment is being driven by one model only: the all-new Honda Ridgeline. With the replacement for the Nissan Frontier, the eagerly-awaited Jeep Wrangler pickup and the return of the Ford Ranger still a while away, it is unlikely the segment will see a huge upturn anytime soon.

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US sales 2017 first half: Premium Large SUV segment

Stable sales for large luxury crossovers, slight growth for full-sized luxury crossovers.

US Large Premium SUV
Sales of Premium Large SUVs appear to have peaked, as first half 2017 figures are up just 1% over the same period last year, for a total of 296,538 sales. So far this year, the trend in the premium segment seems to be: the bigger the truck, the slower the sales growth. However, subdivided in Large and Full-sized SUVs, the former subsegment is down by 1% to 236,206 sales, while the really big trucks still improve by 11% to 60,332 sales. The segment has had a boost of fresh and updated models in recent years, but will take a breather in coming months. We’ve just had the launch of the new generation Land Rover Discovery to replace the LR4, but we’ll have to wait until next year for the arrival of the Lexus RX 7-seater, new generation BMW X5 and the long-awaited new Mercedes-Benz G-Class. In the full-sized subsegment, there will be more news this year, with the new generations of the Infiniti QX80 and the Lincoln Navigator arriving in showrooms in the second half, as well as an updated Cadillac Escalade.

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US sales 2017 Large Pick-up segment

US Large PickupSales in the Large Pickup segment grew by 4.3% in the second quarter of 2017, a slight slowdown relative to the the first quarter, but still enough to register a YTD sales rate of 4.9% – much better than the falling market total. In fact, there is a trend emerging in 2017, wherein pickups seem to be regaining what little ground they lost to commercial vans in recent years (at least those pickups that are used for commercial purposes) – both pickup segments grew so far this year, while the commercial vans segment lost volume. This steady growth trend is likely to continue in 2017, but the arrival of the new RAM Pickup towards the end of the year may result in a quickening of the growth rate in 2018, given how popular the model has been in recent years.

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