US sales: 2015, brands

European-car-sales-ranking-november-2014-Jeep-Renegade-CherokeeUS car sales in 2015 were up by by 5.7% compared to 2014, and while it was the slowest growth since 2011, it was enough to set a new record of annual sales. The total number of cars sold, 17.5 million, surpassed the record set in 2000, just before the dot-com bubble burst. The drivers in this record year were low gas prices, an ever-stronger economy and intense competition between carmakers that led them to offer ever-better products at good prices. Consumers in the US have never had it this good, and 2016 looks only to build on this further.

Please note: for those of you interested in US auto sales statistics, Bart & Kriss have been working very hard these last couple of months to add US brand- and model specific pages to the already existing European and Chinese car sales data pages. Use the drop-down menu on the top right-hand corner of this site to browse for car sales data of every brand and model sold in the US since 2003.

Winners in 2015:

  • JeepSubaru and GMC – with gas prices at record lows in 2015, the brands specializing in 4×4 cars that burn more of the stuff, all had a great year; special mention goes out to Jeep, whose sales grew by an astonishing 25% on the back of the success of the new Renegade and the Cherokee, meaning in 2015 it sold more cars than Dodge and Chrysler combined!
  • LexusAudi and Infiniti – these luxury brands all recorded growth of over 10% in 2015 on the back of their successful crossover models – as a result, Lexus came to within 2,000 units of reclaiming the luxury brand crown from BMW
  • Mitsubishi – the recovery continues for the Japanese carmaker, as it reinvents itself as the value-leader in the US, selling OK cars at low prices
  • Land Rover and Volvo – an example of how a single model can change the fortunes of a whole brand, with the Discovery Sport and XC90 lifting their brands to sales growth of over 25%
  • Tesla – another great year for the upstart luxury brand, and that’s even before the Model X has really hit its stride; expect the good times to continue in 2016

Losers in 2015:

  • Honda – 2016 was a bit of a transition year for Honda, with the new Fit, Civic, HR-V, Pilot models, as well as a facelifted Accord, but it seems these did not arrive early enough in the year to lift growth up beyond 2.6%, the slowest growth from the top 10 in 2015; unless things pick up in 2016, it may yet be passed by Nissan for the first time ever
  • Dodge – a patchy line-up, lacking smaller crossovers and a mid-sized saloon, and only a mildly-successful Dart compact model, contributed to Dodge’s sales being almost 10% down compared to 2015, resulting in the brand falling two places in the ranking.
  • VW – a horrible year for the German brand, with an emissions scandal that may yet sink the brand, but it’s the lackluster range that really hurts the brand and contributed to a fall of almost 5% compared to 2014; the new range of crossovers can’t come soon enough!
  • Jaguar and Maserati – both luxury carmakers struggled in 2015 with a line-up that’s missing a crossover, but all that should change in 2016 as the F-pace and Levante arrive; that, and Jaguar should finally bring the XE and new XF to the US
  • Mini, Fiat and Smart – the flip-side of 2015 being a year of cheap gas is that carmakers which rely on small cars, such as these ones, struggled in the market, despite all three having new models on sale.
  • Bentley – the exotic brands all did surprisingly badly in 2015, but none worse than Bentley, with sales down by over 10% compared to 2014; all will change in 2015 when the Bentayga arrives

Brand ranking 2015

Brand 2015 2014 change
1 Ford 2,501,855 2,376,841 5.3%
2 Chevrolet 2,125,347 2,033,442 4.5%
3 Toyota 2,098,545 2,004,373 4.7%
4 Honda 1,409,386 1,373,029 2.6%
5 Nissan 1,351,420 1,269,565 6.4%
6 (1) Jeep 865,028 692,348 24.9%
7 (1) Hyundai 761,710 725,718 5.0%
8 Kia 625,818 580,234 7.9%
9 (1) Subaru 582,675 513,693 13.4%
10 (1) GMC 558,697 501,853 11.3%
11 (2) Dodge 517,153 574,155 9.9%
12 Ram 493,807 469,139 5.3%
13 (1) Mercedes-Benz 372,977 356,136 4.7%
14 (1) VW 349,440 366,970 4.8%
15 BMW 346,023 339,738 1.8%
16 Lexus 344,601 311,389 10.7%
17 Chrysler 324,846 308,785 5.2%
18 Mazda 319,183 305,801 4.4%
19 Buick 223,055 228,963 2.6%
20 Audi 202,202 182,011 11.1%
21 (1) Acura 177,165 167,843 5.6%
22 (1) Cadillac 175,267 170,750 2.6%
23 Infiniti 133,498 117,330 13.8%
24 Lincoln 101,227 94,474 7.1%
25 Mitsubishi 95,342 77,643 22.8%
26 (3) Land Rover 70,582 51,465 37.1%
27 Volvo 70,047 56,366 24.3%
28 Mini 58,514 56,112 4.3%
29 (3) Scion 56,167 58,009 3.2%
30 Porsche 51,756 47,007 10.1%
31 Fiat 42,410 46,121 8.0%
32 Tesla 22,800 18,000 26.7%
33 Jaguar 14,466 15,773 8.3%
34 Maserati 11,697 12,943 9.6%
35 Smart 7,484 10,453 28.4%
36 Bentley 2,686 3,003 10.6%
37 Ferrari 2,124 2,110 0.7%
38 Rolls-Royce 1,140 1,111 2.6%
39 Lamborghini 756 736 2.7%
40 Alfa Romeo 663 91 628.6%

About Krzysztof Wozniak

Kriss grew up in Poland reading German car magazines, before moving to England and graduating to the British magazines, which he still considers the best in the world and continues reading them after he’d moved to the US. In college he promised himself he’s buy himself a used Porsche before he turned 30 (not to be accused of having a mid-life crisis), but instead family needs dictated a Subaru Outback. Still waiting for that perfect moment to buy a used 2008-ish Cayman…
You can find all his articles Here.

Comments

  1. Hi Krzysztof – I don’t mean to get a reputation for disagreeing with you, but the reference to Land Rover sales increasing due to one model is just not correct. As a new model, Discovery Sport sales were only about 7,500 in all of 2015. In contrast, Range Rover, Range Rover Sport and Evoque all enjoyed significant sales increases to lift the 2015 total. I suspect a lot of this increase was due to supply improving as the Chinese market cooled.
    All the best,
    Hugh

    • Bart Demandt says:

      Good points there, Hugh! And you’re absolutely right on both counts.

      Especially the Range Rover and RR Sport have been in very short supply in the US in recent years, but as demand in China has cooled in 2015, they’ve probably switched supply to the US market, giving the brand a nice boost in sales here.
      Unfortunately for them, the margins in China are significantly higher, so it will still hurt Tata’s bottom line.

  2. Krzysztof Wozniak says:

    @Hugh – you’re right to point out the supply shortages, thanks for the feedback! Interestingly, the single model with the largest gain in 2015 was the LR4 (Discovery)

  3. @bart @krzysztof thanks guys for your responses. Also, fascinating to hear that the LR4 had the largest gains. With a replacement imminent, that fact might have JLR management wondering if they should have prioritised other models (e.g. the Defender) instead. Anyway, too late to change now…

    • Krzysztof Wozniak says:

      @Hugh – You’re right, and it’ll be interesting to see whether the new Discovery, which it seems will look exactly like a larger Discovery Sport, which itself looks like a bloated Evoque, which also gave its look to the Range Rover Sport… anyway, whether Land Rover made the right choice in moving away from the boxy/utilitarian formula that made the current Discovery/LR4 a success

Let me know what you think of this article. Thanks!

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