US sales: October 2017, brands

The decline in the US car market resumed in October, and even though the 1.1% decline in sales was the mildest since May it was still an unwelcome return to trend after the surprising 6.3% growth in sales in September. The SAAR (Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate) once again was over 18 million, suggesting a healthy market, but it remains to be seen whether the coming months will be more like September, or whether we will continue to see a steady slide in sales numbers.

October’17 Highlights:

  • Six of the carmakers in the Top 10 registered positive growth in October, one fewer than in September, with Chevrolet being unable to replicate its stellar performance from Oct’16, when it outsold Ford and overtook Toyota to claim second spot in the YTD standings (a feat it is unlikely to repeat in 2017)
  • October was once again a good month for Nissan, with it being the only brand with growth in the double digits, although that still put it behind Honda in the monthly standings and meant the latter continued to consolidate fourth place in the YTD standings
  • Sixth-placed Jeep and ninth-placed Ram continued to slowly lose sales, although that was still a much better performance than Hyundai (sales down 16.4%), which was once again outsold by Subaru
  • GMC also continued its good performance, with sales up 4.6%, allowing it to push Kia out of the Top 10, with the Korean brand unable to build on the growth it recorded in September 
  • October was not at all kind to smaller mainstream brands, with only Volkswagen registering positive growth (up 9.4%) on the back rising Tiguan L and Atlas sales, with sales falling even at the other mainstream “grower” in 2017, Mitsubishi
  • Still, there are falling sales and then there are crashing sales: while all other mainstream brands failed to grow, it was Dodge that once again performed particularly badly with sales down 41.0%, contributing to FCA’s woes as it also saw sales fall at Fiat (down 32.5%) and Chrysler (down 22.3%), with only Smart (sales down by two-thirds) performing worse
  • The situation was a little better among luxury brands, with Tesla (up 28.2%), Volvo (up 10.5%) and Audi (up 9.6%) gaining significant volume, while Mercedes-Benz managed to eek out a small growth of 0.5%
  • Most other luxury brands lost volume, with the fall being particularly painful for Infiniti (down 8.1%), which has enjoyed double-digit YTD growth so far, and Jaguar, whose sales were once again lower than in 2016, a huge reversal from the triple-digit growth rates earlier in the year when customers flocked to the new F-pace
  • From among the new brands, sales of Genesis were up almost by half, though one should remember that the brand was still in start-up mode in Oct’16, while Alfa Romeo once again recorded sales above the 1,000 mark (that’s five months in a row)
  • Interestingly, October was a good month for exclusive brands, with McLaren and Lamborghini almost doulbing sales compared to Oct’16, Rolls-Royce seing its sales rise by almost half, and Ferrari by almost a quarter; by comparison (and possibly related to the good performance amongst its competitors), Bentley once again saw its sales fall by almost a half, suggesting customers are holding off their purchases until the new Continental GT arrives

Brand ranking

Monthly YTD
# Model Oct’17 Oct’16 Δ # 2017 2016 Δ
a1 (1) Ford 190,789 178,623 6.8% a1 2,032,454 2,147,481 -5.4%
a2 (1) Chevrolet 175,110 181,964 -3.8% a3 (1) 1,691,298 1,713,876 -1.3%
a3 Toyota 165,538 161,116 2.7% a2 (1) 1,777,160 1,696,831 4.7%
a4 Honda 114,655 113,292 1.2% a4 1,232,132 1,221,946 0.8%
a5 Nissan 112,716 102,312 10.2% a5 1,195,243 1,188,561 0.6%
a6 Jeep 67,074 68,826 -2.5% a6 689,316 779,002 -11.5%
a7 (1) Subaru 54,045 53,760 0.5% a8 (1) 532,893 500,647 6.4%
a8 (1) Hyundai 51,224 61,304 -16.4% a7 547,774 646,284 -15.2%
a9 Ram 47,831 49,443 -3.3% b10 466,524 446,776 4.4%
b10 (1) GMC 44,630 42,668 4.6% b11 (1) 450,264 434,100 3.7%
b11 (1) Kia 44,397 48,977 -9.4% a9 (1) 502,327 540,741 -7.1%
b12 (1) Mercedes-Benz 31,401 31,383 0.1% b13 298,878 305,743 -2.2%
b13 (1) Volkswagen 27,732 25,358 9.4% b14 (1) 287,769 256,757 12.1%
b14 (2) Dodge 24,476 41,514 -41.0% b12 (1) 390,266 436,059 -10.5%
b15 (1) BMW 23,208 24,017 -3.4% b15 (1) 243,383 254,150 -4.2%
b16 (1) Lexus 22,894 24,803 -7.7% b16 (2) 242,650 260,996 -7.0%
b17 Mazda 20,811 22,711 -8.4% b17 241,108 246,978 -2.4%
b18 (1) Audi 19,425 17,721 9.6% b18 (2) 180,339 169,900 6.1%
b19 (1) Buick 19,142 20,046 -4.5% b19 178,972 189,813 -5.7%
b20 (1) Cadillac 13,931 13,948 -0.1% b21 127,777 133,234 -4.1%
b21 (1) Acura 12,698 12,869 -1.3% b22 126,824 132,596 -4.4%
b22 (2) Chrysler 11,018 14,181 -22.3% b20 (2) 154,827 208,198 -25.6%
b23 Infiniti 10,296 11,208 -8.1% b23 124,010 107,983 14.8%
b24 Lincoln 8,909 9,069 -1.8% b24 91,631 89,495 2.4%
b25 Mitsubishi 7,381 7,637 -3.4% b25 86,576 81,988 5.6%
b26 Volvo 7,008 6,340 10.5% b26 63,974 64,741 -1.2%
b27 Land Rover 5,477 5,532 -1.0% b27 59,958 59,923 0.1%
b28 Porsche 4,715 4,506 4.6% b28 (1) 45,952 44,752 2.7%
b29 Mini 3,669 3,954 -7.2% b29 (1) 38,453 42,865 -10.3%
b30 Jaguar 2,891 3,219 -10.2% b31 (2) 33,119 23,568 40.5%
b31 (1) Tesla 2,115 1,650 28.2% b30 (1) 37,255 35,619 4.6%
b32 (2) Genesis 1,786 1,201 48.7% b33 (3) 16,726 3,908 328.0%
b33 (2) Fiat 1,769 2,622 -32.5% b32 23,021 28,162 -18.3%
b34 (8) Alfa Romeo 1,205 23 5139.1% b35 (7) 8,557 453 1789.0%
b35 (2) Maserati 1,140 1,304 -12.6% b34 11,143 9,460 17.8%
b36 (1) Bentley 188 312 -39.7% b38 1,860 1,787 4.1%
b37 (1) Ferrari 187 150 24.7% b37 2,010 1,890 6.3%
b38 (3) Smart 140 418 -66.5% b36 (1) 2,775 4,462 -37.8%
b39 (2) McLaren 115 58 98.3% b41 758 671 13.0%
b40 Lamborghini 112 63 77.8% b40 (1) 860 858 0.2%
b41 (2) Rolls-Royce 104 71 46.5% b39 (1) 1,139 837 36.1%
b42 (6) Scion 2 376 -99.5% b42 (14) 199 50,886 -99.6%

* 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.

Comments

  1. Where is Europe Q3 data? September is far behind us, other portals did summary month ago but carsalesbase didn’t. October has finished 2 weeks ago. You should be publishing Europe October now.

    Where is Europe’s data? 🙁 carsalesbase used to be the quickest an most accurate website 🙁

    • Good grief!
      Are you actually COMMANDING data?
      Is it a matter of life and death?
      If you already checked other portals, why the fuzz?

      • I’m just waiting for them and becoming inpatient 😉 Only carsalesbase is going really deep into data, what we all like about.

        On the other hand I’m worried if everything is fine with our beloved portal 🙂

        Commanding data -> ah!

      • Bart Demandt says:

        Hi ToJa,

        I must say I’m flattered by your comments. Don’t worry, we (Bart and Kriss) do this as a hobby and both of us still have regular day jobs that sometimes require all of our attention and time. For the last three months, both of us have been in the busy periods of our jobs and we agree that CSB has been a little bit on a sidetrack. I’m working on the latest European analysis right now so you’ll get them this weekend, but I’m afraid we’ll have to skip the Q3 segment reports, as I won’t be able to publish them before December, which is too late for them to be relevant.
        From December onwards, I (Bart) will have more free time to spend on CSB as the F1 season has ended and you’ll see more regular updates again.
        Sorry for keeping you waiting, we’re doing our absolute best to fulfill your desires for our analyses!

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