US sales: May 2017, brands

Total US sales fell by 0.5% in May, the slowest rate of decline so far this year, but a decline nonetheless. What’s more, the decline continued despite favorable market conditions: rising employment, economic growth and (relatively) low gas prices. As has been the trend recently, the overall figure masks burgeoning demand for trucks and crossovers, which was up 6.2%, and the continuing decline in demand for cars, whose sales were down 10%.

Highlights:

  • After a really poor market performance in April, when eight out of the top-10 brands lost sales compared to 2016, in May only four brands lost volume
  • The worst performance came from Jeep, whose sales fell by 16.6%, worse than even in April and a new low-point for the brand, and Hyundai, which was outsold by its Kia cousin brand for the first time ever
  • At the front Ford and Toyota both saw positive sales growth, by 2.2% and 3.7% respectively, which was good enough to push the Japanese brand back into the black for the year (Ford, by comparison, is still down by double-digits for the year, worse only than Jeep in the top-10)
  • Honda and Nissan saw modest growth in May, in line with their performance so far in 2017, while Chevrolet matched its rate of sales decline by recording a 3.8% decline in May

  • Subaru and Ram not only featured in the top-10 once again, with better growth figures than other top-10 brands, but in May both brands actually saw their sales grow by double digits: by 12.1% and 17.0%, respectively
  • Immediately outside of the top-10 Dodge recorded its first sales growth in eight months, GMC recorded its worst sales decline so far in 2017, while VW continued rebuilding its sales, helped in small part by the Atlas going on sale in May
  • Among mainstream carmakers the standout performances once again came from Buick, whose 28.5% growth was enough to move the YTD figure into the black (at 3.9%), and from Alfa Romeo, whose sales in May of 919 set a new monthly record for the brand

  • After a strong March and April sales fell once again at Mazda (down 8.1%), dragging the YTD figure once again into the red, while sales at ChryslerMiniFiat and Smart continued falling as they have all year so far
  • The situation was interesting among luxury brands in May, with the three market leaders, Mercedes-BenzBMW and Lexus, all suffering from falling sales (as they have all year long), while every single other luxury brand saw its sales rise, including the usually underperforming Acura, as well as Volvo and Land Rover, which may begin to recover from a poor 2017 so far
  • As sales of the F-Pace seem to be reaching a steady pace so the rate of sales growth at Jaguar seems to be slowing down a bit to below 100% for the first time in a year
  • By comparison, the two other luxury brands that introduced a crucial-for-the-market crossover recently are still mainining healthy growth: Maserati (up 33.9% in May), and Bentley (up 87.5%)

Brand ranking

Monthly YTD
# Model May’17 May’16 Δ # 2017 2016 Δ
a1 Ford 229,962 224,941 2.2% a1 1,020,169 1,133,586 -10.0%
a2 Toyota 192,837 185,998 3.7% a2 843,257 842,217 0.1%
a3 Chevrolet 162,950 169,331 -3.8% a3 799,040 825,503 -3.2%
a4 Honda 134,475 133,547 0.7% a5 592,260 585,999 1.1%
a5 Nissan 124,957 122,668 1.9% a4 609,488 603,641 1.0%
a6 Jeep 75,516 90,545 -16.6% a6 333,138 384,440 -13.3%
a7 (1) Kia 58,507 62,926 -7.0% a9 (1) 239,593 265,755 -9.8%
a8 (1) Hyundai 58,259 71,006 -18.0% a7 283,547 306,549 -7.5%
a9 Subaru 56,135 50,083 12.1% a8 (1) 252,753 232,860 8.5%
b10 Ram 51,044 43,613 17.0% b10 (1) 230,950 215,736 7.1%
b11 (1) Dodge 44,922 42,837 4.9% b12 (2) 218,430 226,931 -3.7%
b12 (1) GMC 41,126 43,395 -5.2% b11 (1) 221,741 211,602 4.8%
b13 (2) VW 30,014 28,779 4.3% b14 (1) 133,861 125,205 6.9%
b14 (1) Mercedes-Benz 29,959 32,147 -6.8% b13 145,658 146,981 -0.9%
b15 (1) Mazda 26,047 28,328 -8.1% b16 (1) 119,282 119,166 0.1%
b16 (2) BMW 25,818 29,017 -11.0% b15 (1) 120,124 124,581 -3.6%
b17 Lexus 25,401 26,682 -4.8% b17 (3) 109,462 125,785 -13.0%
b18 (2) Buick 20,077 15,625 28.5% b18 (1) 91,017 87,632 3.9%
b19 Audi 19,197 18,728 2.5% b19 (1) 83,555 78,489 6.5%
b20 (2) Chrysler 17,969 24,276 -26.0% b20 (2) 82,354 112,625 -26.9%
b21 Acura 13,939 13,561 2.8% b22 (1) 59,833 67,642 -11.5%
b22 Cadillac 13,211 12,099 9.2% b23 (1) 59,493 58,968 0.9%
b23 Infiniti 12,514 10,828 15.6% b21 (2) 66,872 53,920 24.0%
b24 Lincoln 10,288 9,807 4.9% b24 47,062 44,488 5.8%
b25 Mitsubishi 9,429 9,025 4.5% b25 46,951 43,911 6.9%
b26 (1) Volvo 6,202 5,536 12.0% b27 (1) 26,802 28,066 -4.5%
b27 (1) Land Rover 4,993 4,950 0.9% b26 (1) 30,079 30,943 -2.8%
b28 (2) Porsche 4,805 4,578 5.0% b28 (1) 22,649 22,226 1.9%
b29 Mini 4,060 4,595 -11.6% b29 (1) 17,792 20,230 -12.1%
b30 (2) Tesla 3,350 2,800 19.6% b31 (1) 15,590 13,185 18.2%
b31 (2) Jaguar 3,113 2,164 43.9% b30 (3) 17,219 8,248 108.8%
b32 (1) Fiat 2,670 3,137 -14.9% b32 (1) 12,440 15,191 -18.1%
b33new Genesis 1,752 0 new b33new 8,306 0 new
b34 Maserati 1,265 945 33.9% b34 5,818 4,261 36.5%
b35 (5) Alfa Romeo 919 44 1988.6% b35 (5) 2,702 273 889.7%
b36 (1) Smart 331 420 -21.2% b36 (1) 1,757 2,186 -19.6%
b37 (1) Bentley 210 112 87.5% b37 930 484 92.1%
b38 (1) Rolls-Royce* 110 107 2.8% b38 (2) 550 535 2.8%
b39 (1) Lamborghini* 88 87 1.1% b39 (1) 440 432 1.9%
b40 (1) McLaren* 57 65 -12.3% b40 (1) 301 312 -3.5%

*estimates

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.

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