US car sales analysis 2019 – brands

 

A lot of analysts had predicted US car sales to dip below 17 million in 2019, but the market proved stronger than expected and has scored a fifth consecutive year above that symbolic 17 million mark, despite a 1.2% drop in sales. As has been the trend in recent years, sales of car models (sedans, hatchbacks, wagons, coupes and convertibles) declined, as they showed an 11.7% drop to a record low share of 27.8% of the total market, while truck sales (crossovers, SUVs, pickups, minivans and vans) were up 2.7% to a record 72.2% of the market. Japanese brands were the biggest losers at -2.9% but still hold 37.2% combined market share, the lowest it has been since 2015. American brands also struggled (-2.1%) to a share of 44.9% the third-ever lowest share after 2012 and 2017. European brands were up 1.2% to a share of 9.6%, the highest since 2013. Korean brands were the big winners in 2019, gaining 4.6% to a market share of 7.8%, the highest since 2016 but still a full percentage point below its peak in 2011.

2019 Manufacturers

Honda_CRV-2017-US-car-sales-statisticsAmong manufacturers, General Motors loses 0.1 percentage point of market share to 16.9%, while Toyota Motor N.A. closes the gap to Ford Motor Company to less than 25,000 sales as the latter loses 0.2 percentage points of share, as both now have about 14% share of the US market. FCA US holds a stable 12.9% share, while American Honda surpasses Nissan-Mitsubishi as the latter loses 0.7 percentage points of share and is the biggest loser among manufacturers with a 9% decline in sales. Hyundai-Kia (including Genesis) gains half a percentage point. BMW of North America (including Mini and Rolls Royce) distances Mercedes-Benz USA (including Smart and M-B Vans) as the gap of just 573 sales of last year is now almost 4,000 sales. Biggest winner among manufacturers is Volvo Cars USA with a gain of over 10%.

2019 manufacturers ranking

Manufacturer 2019 2018 Change 2019 Share 2018 Share
1 General Motors 2,886,904 2,954,037 -2.3% 16,9% 17,0%
2 Ford Motor Co. 2,406,188 2,485,222 -3.2% 14,1% 14,3%
3 Toyota Motor N.A. 2,383,304 2,426,507 -1.8% 14,0% 14,0%
4 FCA US 2,203,663 2,235,204 -1.4% 12,9% 12,9%
5 American Honda 1,608,170 1,604,828 0.2% 9,4% 9,3%
6 Nissan-Mitsubishi 1,466,727 1,611,951 -9.0% 8,6% 9,3%
7 Hyundai-Kia 1,325,342 1,267,620 4.6% 7,8% 7,3%
8 Subaru of America 700,117 680,135 2.9% 4,1% 3,9%
9 VW Group of America 653,813 638,254 2.4% 3,8% 3,7%
10 BMW of N.A. 362,238 355,993 1.8% 2,1% 2,1%
11 Mercedes-Benz USA 358,409 355,420 0.8% 2,1% 2,1%
12 Mazda N.A. 278,552 300,325 -7.2% 1,6% 1,7%
13 Tesla Motors 192,250 191,627 0.3% 1,1% 1,1%
14 Jaguar Land Rover N.A. 125,787 122,626 2.6% 0,7% 0,7%
15 Volvo Cars USA 108,234 98,263 10.1% 0,6% 0,6%

2019 Brands

  • Subaru_Ascent-US-car-sales-statisticsHonda is the only brand in the top-6 to improve thanks to a 0.3% gain, with Nissan as the biggest loser and Toyota as the least unfortunate of the losers. As a result, Toyota consolidates its #2 spot by expanding the gap to Chevrolet to more than 125,000 sales, while decreasing the gap to leader Ford to just over 200,000 sales. This is the 10th consecutive year Ford is on top of the brands ranking.
  • Jeep is down 5.1% on its record year of 2018 and even dips just over 6,000 sales below 2017, its second-best year ever.
  • RAM jumps 2 places past Subaru and Hyundai as it is the biggest winner in the brands top-30. Both RAM and Subaru score record sales, both crossing the 700,000 sales mark for the first time. Hyundai is below that mark for the third consecutive year after spending 2012-2016 above it. Back to Subaru and RAM for a moment: the Japanese brand has now smashed its annual US sales record for 11 consecutive year, while the American truck brand had also never crossed the 600,000 sales mark before.
  • GMC enjoys its second-best ever sales volume, after teh 581,000 it sold in 2004.
  • Volkswagen reclaims its position as the most popular German brand by leapfrogging Mercedes-Benz. VW also held this position from 2009 to 2014 and until 2004.
  • When looking at luxury brands, BMW takes the crown back from Mercedes-Benz (excl. vans, which are not luxury vehicles), for the first time since 2015. Luxury brand #3 Lexus last held the first place in 2010. Audi has been one of the fastest growing luxury brand in the US in recent years, but its growth has stalled in 2019, keeping a gap of 100,000 sales to its German rivals. Cacillac closes the gap to Acura to just over 1,000 sales, while Infiniti is the biggest loser among luxury brands with a 21.1% drop in sales. It now has advantage of just 5,500 sales to Lincoln and 9,500 to Volvo.

  • Among the smaller luxury brands, Genesis is finally gaining some traction, although I can’t believe they could be satisfied with the sales volume of its best seller G70 sports sedan. At least the brand now moves ahead of Alfa Romeo which is already in decline in its second full year on the market. Genesis still has to show a 50% growth rate before it can overtake Jaguar, and it will need some crossovers to achieve that. Jaguar’s dependence on crossovers peaked at over 85% in December 2019 as its sedans are struggling to sell in relevant numbers, especially the XF which was even outsold by the aging XJ sedan in all quarters except for the Q1.
  • Mazda struggles with a 7.2% decline and drops one spot below Lexus, while Chrysler, now down to 2 nameplates, is the biggest loser in the top-30 and drops 2 places behind Acura and Cadillac.
  • Small cars fall out of favor with Americans, which means brands like Mini and Fiat continue to struggle, with the former dropping another 17.4% to the same level as 2003 and 2004, its first two full years of sales in the US, when it was still just a one-model brand. The Italian brand drops by an even more worrying 40.7% to its lowest annual sales volume in the US since its relaunch in 2011. None of its four nameplates sells more than an average of 300 cars per month, and the brand has become so irrelevant in the US market that a potential withdrawal cannot be ignored. Smart has already withdrawn from the US market this year, as its strategy of becoming an EV-only brand has failed.

2019 brands ranking

Brand 2019 2018 Change Ranking Δ 2019-Q4 Change
1 Ford 2,293,984 2,381,635 -3.7% 565,373 -2.2%
2 Toyota 2,085,186 2,128,201 -2.0% 515,185 -0.5%
3 Chevrolet 1,958,783 2,036,023 -3.8% 499,403 -6.1%
4 Honda 1,450,785 1,445,894 -0.4% 347,389 -1.7%
5 Nissan 1,227,973 1,344,597 -8.7% 271,517 -16.5%
6 Jeep 923,291 973,227 -5.1% 221,536 -2.4%
7 Ram 703,023 597,368 17.7% -2 190,655 5.5%
8 Subaru 700,117 680,135 2.9% +1 174,788 -1.1%
9 Hyundai 688,771 667,635 3.2% +1 182,415 4.3%
10 Kia 615,338 589,673 4.4% 151,740 10.3%
11 GMC 564,946 556,449 1.5% 146,880 -8.5%
12 Dodge 422,886 459,324 -7.9% 90,641 -9.0%
13 Volkswagen 363,322 354,064 2.6% -1 85,167 -3.0%
14 Mercedes-Benz 357,729 354,144 1.0% +1 104,672 3.9%
15 BMW 324,826 311,014 4.4% 92,399 7.5%
16 Lexus 298,114 298,302 -0.1% -1 88,561 4.6%
17 Mazda 278,552 300,325 -7.2% +1 70,385 7.9%
18 Audi 224,111 223,323 0.4% 65,640 17.4%
19 Buick 206,929 206,863 0.0% 49,074 -4.3%
20 Tesla 192,250 191,627 0.3% 56,525 -27.1%
21 Acura 157,385 158,934 -1.0% -1 44,572 0.3%
22 Cadillac 156,246 154,702 1.0% -1 40,552 -2.2%
23 Chrysler 126,971 165,964 -23.5% +2 33,005 -15.0%
24 Mitsubishi 121,046 118,074 2.5% -1 25,475 3.2%
25 Infiniti 117,708 149,280 -21.1% +1 29,774 -32.4%
26 Lincoln 112,204 103,587 8.3% 33,355 17.8%
27 Volvo 108,234 98,263 10.1% 30,802 26.6%
28 Land Rover 94,736 92,143 2.8% 28,097 4.0%
29 Porsche 61,568 57,202 7.6% 16,506 13.2%
30 Mini 36,092 43,684 -17.4% 8,339 -12.1%
31 Jaguar 31,051 30,483 1.9% 8,619 -7.4%
32 Genesis 21,233 10,312 105.9% -2 6,327 351.0%
33 Alfa Romeo 18,292 23,800 -23.1% +1 4,945 -12.3%
34 Fiat 9,200 15,521 -40.7% +1 1,737 -49.5%
35 Smart 680 1,276 -46.7% 0 -100.0%
36 Scion 4 4 0.0% 0 -100.0%

 

  1. Jeep and RAM are the only two brands that make money for FCA, not only in USA, but in the whole world. In Europe Fiat is going from bad to worse, Lancia, Alfa and other brands do not sell enough to make any difference, so if Jeep continue loosing sales and they will, FCA is in big trouble. Now, considering the fact that their new partner PSA has declining sales on global basis for 2019 of all its brands Peugeot, Citroen, Opel and DS, no matter they claim profit, situation doesn’t look any good for the new huge company. If a financial crisis happens in 2020, as many experts predict, than people will stop buying huge expensive pick-ups and SUVs and Chrysler will have nothing to offer! Fiat is almost dead for deacdes, Fiat has always been low quality manufacturer, who sells cheap small cars to poor people in Europe and South America or has been selling technologies to Russians during Cold war to produce Lada and Polski Fiat, so if Chrysler wants to survive, they need to separate as fast as possible and to focus on USA, Canada and Mexico for a while, and after they develop some quality products to try to sell in China. North American and Chinese market make together about 60% of all annual car sales in the world. Selling well there is more than enough!

    1. No doubt, here’s a Automotive Consultant at work.;) Chill Madurko, PSA might have lost huge volumes in China, Iran and Argentina and Opel lost 20% volume in Q4 2019 due to the termination of 3 models, the Group will – once again – beat all competitors bar FCA NA when it reports its 2019 Financial Results in March 2020.

  2. FYI: There is an error in the code for the European car sales analysis November 2019 article, so it cannot be opened.

  3. I’m not a fan of Subaru, but their performance amazes me. Outselling VW of America as a company and at brand level the distance between them is even greater. It’s like Americans live in a different world… 😉
    .
    VW being the best selling German brand is nothing special. They should be, because the others are luxury brands, but Mercedes and BMW are almost able to sell the same amount of cars. So let’s be honest, VW does a crappy job in America compared with mainstream competitors like Hyundai-Kia and the Japanese armada.
    .
    FCA should really reposition themselves in the US. Sometimes you have to accept things don’t work like offering Alfa Romeo (i.e. fancy schmancy sports cars) and Fiat (i.e. small cars) to Americans.

    1. Modest Subaru, with a mere 3 model line up and NO truck, outsells the notoriously bragging Wolfsburg outfit’s line-up with 12 models 2:1. Whats more, for decades VW NA was a loss-making operation. As it likely is today …. No so flourishing Subaru NA.

    2. That’s easy to understand.

      Subaru makes RELIABLE vehicles, which is not the case of the german car brands. Even the french/italian car brands are more reliable than the germans.

  4. I would love to see Dodge, Chrysler, Peugeot, Fiat, Opel and Citroën in all segments, in every market, but that’s completely impossible. They all more or less compete for the same costumers, so they’ll need to set up priorities in each market and, unlike Tavares, I think some brands should be dropped.
    In the US, and the world, Chrysler doesn’t mean much anymore and all efforts should be made to rescue Dodge who seem to have a better brand recognition.
    The European brands should stay focused in Europe and Latin America, while trying to renew their image in China.
    The most important thing to do first though, is bringing new product to the FCA brands, and if needed, use some models already being sold some where else but not in the US (been thinking a Dodge Avenger based on the current Pug 508 would be sweet…). And invest heavely on electrification

    1. Last year, Carlos Tavares stated Peugeot will return to the North American market within three to four years. 2026 was their target, but the acquisition of Opel helps them getting to know the American specifications faster. I think Chrysler will be replaced by Peugeot in the long run.

      1. ” I think Chrysler will be replaced by Peugeot in the long run”. HIGH-ly unlikely. A household name in the USA vs some unknown and difficult to pronounce Gallic car builder – the average Yank would turn its back.

      2. Carlos Tavares will bring PSAFCA down if he does that, the french dream to bring Peugeot back to the States but that will be a disaster, even Worse than Alfa. The North Americans don’t care about and even hate french cars.

  5. @RickM
    .
    Perhaps you’re right, but looking at the performance of Chrysler throughout the most recent years and their current line-up, I can see FCA pulling the plug. American brands leaving the American market isn’t that unusual. Chrysler should be way above Acura, Cadillac, Lincoln, Infiniti and Lexus, but they’re not.

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