US sales: September 2017, brands

The decline in the US car market finally halted in September, and not just by dint of the market barely crawling back into the black – growth was a sturdy 6.3%. It is not entirely clear what caused this reversal – was the market just making up for a disappointing summer performance, was it the fact that September’17 had one more selling day than September’16, or are there reasons to believe that this may be the end of a slide that seemed unstoppable even last month. Whatever the case, the SAAR (Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate) bounced back handily from 16.13 million in August to 18.58 million, exceeding all expectations for the month, and ranking as the highest value recorded since June 2005, when SAAR reached 20.64 million rate. Only time will tell if this renaissance will last, though.

September’17 Highlights:

  • Most of the carmakers in the Top 10 did well in September, with the highest growth unusually coming from the Top 3: sales at Toyota and Chevrolet both grew by 17.4%, while they grew at Ford by 9.3%
  • The only brand in the Top 10 that could match the Top 3’s performance was Nissan, with sales up by 9.3%, making up for the double-digit decline in sales registered in August, even if the gap to Honda in YTD sales grew larger still after the latter overtook it last month
  • By comparison to the brands ahead of them, sixth-placed Jeep and seventh-placed Hyundai lost sales in August, though the former’s 3.8% fall in sales was its least bad performance since January’17
  • Subaru just about kept its streak of year-on-year growth with September’17 sales just 0.4% higher than last year
  • By comparison, the 6.6% growth recorded by Kia was a truly good performance for the brand, marking the first month of growth since September’17, and allowing the brand to rank one place higher than last year, pushing Ram one spot down to 10th
  • Just outside of the Top 10 things were pretty interesting as well, starting with Volkswagen in 12th, which sees its sales go up by a third compared to this time last year thanks to its new three-row crossovers, the Tiguan L and Atlas, making this the highest year-on-year sales growth the brand has enjoyed since December’12

Volkswagen_Tiguan-2018-US-car-sales-statistics

  • Among the mainstream brands, Mitsubishi once again saw its sales rise (by 17.2%), GMC is clearly benefitting from the new Acadia (sales up 9.4%), and even Mazda saw its sales rise by 3.4%
  • Once again, though, the number of mainstream brands who suffered sales drops was larger: Dodge suffered a sales drop of 30.3%, Fiat saw its sales fall by 24.3%, while both Buick and Chrysler also suffered double-digit sales declines; still, this is nothing compared to the 60.2% drop in sales over at Smart
  • By comparison, September was a good month for luxury brands: sales at Genesis and Volvo rose by over 40%, Tesla was up 35.9%, Jaguar was up 23.8%, Land Rover was up 13.7%, Infiniti was up 11.7%, Audi was up 9.6%, and even BMWCadillacAcura and Lincoln eeked out a positive growth
  • In fact, the only luxury brands not to record positive sales growth in September were Mercedes-Benz and Maserati
  • Also, while year-on-year comparison is not possible, surely Alfa Romeo will not be too happy with its sales figures which are hovering just above the 1,000 mark
  • Among the exclusive brands McLaren was the stand-out performer, recording 34.8% growth, while Rolls-Royce and Lamborghini also recorded small growth (the latter was once again outsold by McLaren)
  • Things were not so rosy over at Ferrari, whose sales were down by 19.3%, and at Bentley, whose sales fell by almost 45%; it is quite likely that both are suffering from buyers waiting for new models: the Portofino (California T replacement) and the new Continental GT

Brand ranking

Monthly YTD
# Model Sep’17 Sep’16 Δ # 2017 2016 Δ
a1 Ford 212,841 194,647 9.3% a1 1,841,665 1,896,858 -2.9%
a2 Toyota 200,428 170,722 17.4% a2 1,611,623 1,574,888 2.3%
a3 Chevrolet 199,801 170,237 17.4% a3 1,516,188 1,531,912 -1.0%
a4 Honda 129,776 120,842 7.4% a4 1,117,477 1,108,653 0.8%
a5 Nissan 127,187 116,384 9.3% a5 1,082,527 1,086,249 -0.3%
a6 Jeep 73,409 76,331 -3.8% a6 622,242 707,106 -12.0%
a7 Hyundai 55,271 65,399 -15.5% a7 496,638 584,980 -15.1%
a8 Subaru 55,120 54,918 0.4% a8 (1) 478,848 446,887 7.2%
a9 (1) Kia 52,468 49,220 6.6% a9 (1) 457,930 491,764 -6.9%
b10 (1) Ram 51,686 51,866 -0.3% b10 418,693 400,300 4.6%
b11 GMC 47,329 43,268 9.4% b11 (1) 405,634 391,432 3.6%
b12 (5) Volkswagen 32,112 24,112 33.2% b14 (1) 252,456 231,268 9.2%
b13 Mercedes-Benz 32,096 32,470 -1.2% b13 267,477 274,360 -2.5%
b14 (2) Dodge 29,938 42,935 -30.3% b12 (1) 365,790 394,940 -7.4%
b15 (1) Lexus 26,196 25,801 1.5% b17 (3) 219,659 236,193 -7.0%
b16 Mazda 25,738 24,889 3.4% b15 (2) 220,297 224,267 -1.8%
b17 (2) BMW 25,571 25,389 0.7% b16 220,175 230,133 -4.3%
b18 (2) Audi 19,308 17,617 9.6% b18 (2) 160,914 152,179 5.7%
b19 (1) Buick 16,737 20,922 -20.0% b19 159,830 169,767 -5.9%
b20 (1) Chrysler 15,759 18,797 -16.2% b20 (2) 143,809 186,497 -22.9%
b21 Cadillac 15,530 15,368 1.1% b22 113,846 119,286 -4.6%
b22 Acura 12,946 12,813 1.0% b21 114,126 119,727 -4.7%
b23 Infiniti 12,745 11,413 11.7% b23 113,714 96,775 17.5%
b24 Lincoln 8,802 8,797 0.1% b24 82,722 80,435 2.8%
b25 Mitsubishi 8,430 7,191 17.2% b25 79,195 74,351 6.5%
b26 (1) Volvo 7,900 5,615 40.7% b26 56,966 58,532 -2.7%
b27 (1) Land Rover 6,407 5,637 13.7% b27 54,481 54,391 0.2%
b28 Porsche 5,059 4,479 12.9% b28 41,237 40,246 2.5%
b29 (1) Tesla 4,620 3,400 35.9% b29 (1) 39,820 30,600 30.1%
b30 (2) Jaguar 3,296 2,662 23.8% b31 (1) 30,228 20,349 48.5%
b31 Fiat 2,206 2,913 -24.3% b32 (1) 21,252 25,099 -15.3%
b32 (1) Genesis 1,736 1,211 43.4% b33 (3) 15,102 2,708 457.7%
b33 (9) Alfa Romeo 1,268 41 2992.7% b35 (7) 7,352 418 1658.9%
b34 Maserati 1,119 1,185 -5.6% b34 9,989 8,156 22.5%
b35 (1) Smart 241 605 -60.2% b36 (1) 2,635 4,044 -34.8%
b36 (2) Ferrari 171 212 -19.3% b37 1,823 1,740 4.8%
b37 Bentley 156 283 -44.9% b38 1,672 1,475 13.4%
b38 (1) Rolls-Royce 110 108 1.9% b39 990 965 2.6%
b39 (2) McLaren 93 69 34.8% b41 643 613 4.9%
b40 Lamborghini 88 87 1.1% b40 792 780 1.5%
b41 (6) Scion 8 741 -98.9% b42 (9) 197 11,380 -98.3%
b42 (13) Mini 4 4,024 -99.9% b30 (1) 34,787 38,911 -10.6%

* 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. Realize we just had two major hurricanes destroy ~1/2 million?? cars in Texas and Florida that will be replaced

  2. How Mitsubishi’s sales are on the rise while they haven’t introduced a new model in ages? Have they started to give cars for free now?

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