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 2015 Q1-Q3 Mid-sized segment

US mid-sized 2

The mid-sized segment recovered from a poor first half of 2015 to record some growth in Q3, the only mainstream segment to do so. As such it put some clear distance between itself and the compact segment, and should finish the year comfortably as the 2nd largest segment, following the compact SUV segment.… Continue Reading …

US sales 2015 Q1-Q3 Subcompact segment

US subcompacts

The Subcompact segment shrank by 14% in Q3, a further acceleration of the decline in the first half of the year, compared to the market growing by 6% over the same period. As with the Minicar segment, a lot of this has to do with low gas prices that see people turning away from cars whose main selling point in the US is good gas milage. … Continue Reading …

US sales 2015 Q1 – Q3 Minicar segment

US mini 2

The Minicar segment could not maintain its growth from the first half of the year, and shrank by 9% in the third quarter of 2015 compared to the same period of 2014. This means that so far this year the segment has only grown by 3%, behind the overall sales growth of 5% , and may yet end up shrinking overall by the time 2015 is over. While at least some of this reversal is due to the continuing low gas prices which promote purchases of large cars, one has the feeling that it is also due to the cars available being a rather uninspiring and aging bunch…

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US sales: October 2015, models

Chevrolet_Silverado-US-car-sales-statistics

Chevrolet Silverado

Last week we looked at US sales broken out by brands, now it’s time to look at the model rankings. At the top we should not be surprised to see the three full-size pickups from the Detroit Big Three. Of the three it’s the Chevy Silverado that’s done best in October, gaining on the Ford F-series and opening up a sizable gap to the Ram Pickup. However, all three underperformed relative to the market as a whole, which grew by 13.6% compared to October 2014. In fact, the Ram Pickup’s slow 2.8% growth has allowed the 4th-placed Toyota Camry to close within a little over 6,000 units – it’ll be interesting to see if the Japanese sedan can continue closing the gap and challenge for the podium in the near future.… Continue Reading …

Hyundai launches new luxury brand: Genesis [w/ poll]

Hyundai-25On Wednesday Hyundai finally announced what many have been speculating for years: that it will spin off a new luxury brand under which it will sell its Genesis, Equus and Coupe models. The brand will be named after the most popular model of the three, the Genesis, taking advantage of the name recognition it has earned since its 2008 debut. It will be the first major luxury brand created since Infiniti, the last of the Japanese luxury brands, came to the market in 1989.

So, what should we think of this? Does Genesis have a chance to succeed in the increasingly crowded luxury market, or does it not have a snowball’s chance in hell? Here are three reasons why I think it could succeed:… Continue Reading …

US sales: October 2015, Brands

US sales monthly logoUS car sales in October 2015 were up by 14% compared to October 2014, continuing their incredible rise in the second half of the year. Clearly, the current market conditions of low gas prices, low interest rates and a favorable economic outlook encourage car buying. It also shows that consumers seem not to have lost their fate in the industry as many have predicted they would in the aftermath of Dieselgate. … Continue Reading …

US is missing out: Nissan Rogue hybrid (but not for long)

Nissan X-Trail HybridOne of the biggest success stories of 2015 in the US has been the Nissan Rogue (X-Trail in other markets). Whereas the previous generation in its first year (2007) sold only 30% as many units as the leader of the Compact SUV segment, the Honda CR-V, in 2015 so far it’s sold more than 80% as many units, and may yet finish the year in 4th place if it can overhaul the Chevy Equinox over the past 3 months of the year. By all rights, Nissan should be very happy with how the new Rogue has performed, however there is one version of the car that Nissan has so far denied that US, but which could cement the model’s success and make a true push for class leadership: the Nissan Rogue Hybrid.… Continue Reading …

US sales: September 2015, Brands

Sales of cars in September 2015 were up by a whopping 16% compared to September 2014, an incredible rise given that they only grew by 4% between the first half of 2014 and 2015. Since sales in the US are cyclical by calendar year it’s hard to imagine this growth is driven by any particular effort on behalf of the manufacturers to move more metal off the forecourts. Rather, it’s probably a result of continually improving economic conditions, low gas price and, possibly more than most, people wanting to take advantage of low lease rates before the Federal Reserve Board raises interest rates later this year.

VW Passat Clean Diesel

VW Passat “Clean” Diesel

The question on everyone’s mind must be “how much was VW hurt by Dieselgate”? The answer is that it does not seem to have been hurt badly at all, with sales actually growing by 1%. Sure, that’s much worse than the market on average, but it’s not like VW was gaining sales before the scandal hit anyway. The fact is it may take time for the sales figures to fully reflect the extent of the damage – October will give us a better look.

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US sales 2015 first half Alternative Power segment

US Alternative PowerSales in the Alternative Power segment fell by 12% compared to the first half of 2014, one of the larger drops from among all segments. In fact, only three cars sold more in the first half of 2015 than in the same period last year – Tesla Model S and BMW’s i3 and i8. This fall in sales most likely is driven by the continuing low gasoline price, as well as the expectation that this situation may continue for a long time.

Toyota Prius 2016

Toyota Prius Mk IV

You don’t get points for guessing the market leader – the Toyota Prius has dominated this segment ever since the second generation came to the American shores in 2004. However, while the introduction of the V (quasi-MPV, albeit not available in the US with 7 seats for some reason, unlike in Europe) and C (smaller model) helped the Prius to its best showing in 2012, when almost a quarter million Prius cars were sold in the US, 2015 seems like it will be the first time since then that the Prius will sell fewer than 200,000 units. I guess customers are waiting for the new model, but you have to wonder if the awkwardly-styled Mk IV is everything they were hoping for…… Continue Reading …

US sales 2015 first half Exotics segment

US ExoticsThe Exotics segment grew by 5% compared to the first half of 2014, roughly in line with the whole industry. The problem with the headline figure is that it encompasses the whole of the Maserati brand, none of which are arguably exotic, but end up here because Maserati is the largest brand that does not break out their sales in the US.

So, excluding Maserati, the largest Exotic brand remains Bentley with over 1,200 sales in H1 2015 – even the 8% fall year-on-year was not bad for what is arguably a rather aged line-up by now. Still, it is reasonable to expect the sales figure to shoot up like crazy in a year or so when the Beluga… sorry, Bentayga goes on sale. For now, though, the brand was almost caught in sales terms by Ferrari, which is on course to go even better than its 2014 record of over 2,000 units sold in one year. The prancing horse is certainly doing better in the US than its main rival Lamborghini, who recorded less than half as many sales and lies in 5th despite a healthy 11% growth following the introduction of the Huracan.… Continue Reading …