US car sales analysis January 2019 – brands

After eking out a 0.6% growth in 2018, the US market got off to a sluggish start in 2019, as cold weather and the federal government shutdown contributed to a 1.0% drop in sales compared to January’18. Interestingly, this makes it the eighth month in a row where a monthly increase in sales is immediately followed by a sales decrease, and vice versa. In addition to unique circumstances this January, it is also worth remembering that December’18 was a particularly good month for the US market, with sales up 2.2%, so it’s reasonable to think that some of the sales that would have otherwise takes place in January’19 happened instead the month prior. Either way, it will take a few more months to get a sense for where the market is heading in 2019.

Highlights:

  • Six out of the Top 10 brands registered positive sales growth this month, down from seven in December
  • The Top 5 was unusually eventful, with Nissan losing almost 20% of its sales, dropping behind Honda in the standings, Chevrolet losing almost 12% (estimate), while Toyota lost 7%, all while Ford posted a much better-than-usual 6.5% sales growth (in 2018 it posted a 3.3% sales fall)
Nissan_Altima-US-car-sales-statistics
2019 Nissan Altima
  • Also surprising was Jeep‘s 2% drop in sales, the first experienced by the surging brand since Dec’17
  • Less surprising were Subaru‘s steady rise in sales and Ram‘s double-digit sales growth, although for both brands the sales growth was nowhere near as impressive as it was in December
  • After eking out positive growth in 2018, both Hyundai and Kia started 2019 on a positive note
  • Outside the Top 10 mainstream brands did really poorly, with only Kia and Mitsubishi managing positive growth
  • Among the remaining mainstream brands the biggest disappointment probably came from Mazda, whose sales fell by almost 20%, although there were plenty of “usual suspects” with double-digit sales declines, including ChryslerMiniFiat and Smart
  • Among luxury brands there was really only one standout, Tesla, although it has to be noted that estimates for its January sales figure vary widely between different source

  • Most other leading luxury brands all saw their sales fall in January, with Mercedes-Benz doing particularly badly (sales down by almost 14%)
  • Further down things brighten up for luxury brands, with AcuraLincoln, Land RoverPorsche and, in particular, Jaguar doing well to double-digit growth
  • Unfortunately, this upswing did not extend any further though, with Genesis and Alfa Romeo both seeing sales fall by more than 20%
  • Among the exclusive brands McLaren saw its sales triple (!) on Jan’18, allowing it to comprehensively outsell Bentley, which at least looks like it might start recovering from an almost-20% sales drop in 2018, as well as Lamborghini and Rolls-Royce
  • Brand ranking

    Monthly YTD
    # Model Jan’19 Jan’19 Δ # 2019 2018 Δ
    a1 Ford 164,048 154,001 6.5% a1 164,048 154,001 6.5%
    a2 Toyota 138,601 149,142 -7.1% a2 138,601 149,142 -7.1%
    a3 Chevrolet* 125,212 141,947 -11.8% a3 125,212 141,947 -11.8%
    a4 (1) Honda 96,375 95,634 0.8% a4 (1) 96,375 95,634 0.8%
    a5 (1) Nissan 90,439 112,903 -19.9% a5 (1) 90,439 112,903 -19.9%
    a6 Jeep 58,401 59,703 -2.2% a6 58,401 59,703 -2.2%
    a7 Subaru 46,072 44,357 3.9% a7 46,072 44,357 3.9%
    a8 Hyundai 40,796 39,630 2.9% a8 40,796 39,630 2.9%
    a9 (2) Ram 39,649 32,039 23.8% a9 (2) 39,649 32,039 23.8%
    b10 GMC* 37,810 33,058 14.4% b10 37,810 33,058 14.4%
    b11 (2) Kia 37,376 35,628 4.9% b11 (2) 37,376 35,628 4.9%
    b12 (13) Tesla** 31,900 7,700 314.3% b12 (13) 31,900 7,700 314.3%
    b13 (1) Dodge 27,077 27,600 -1.9% b13 (1) 27,077 27,600 -1.9%
    b14 (1) Mercedes-Benz 23,721 27,498 -13.7% b14 (1) 23,721 27,498 -13.7%
    b15 VW 23,074 24,744 -6.7% b15 23,074 24,744 -6.7%
    b16 (2) Mazda 20,045 24,962 -19.7% b16 (2) 20,045 24,962 -19.7%
    b17 (1) BMW 18,102 19,016 -4.8% b17 (1) 18,102 19,016 -4.8%
    b18 (1) Lexus 17,420 17,914 -2.8% b18 (1) 17,420 17,914 -2.8%
    b19 (1) Audi 14,253 14,511 -1.8% b19 (1) 14,253 14,511 -1.8%
    b20 (1) Buick* 12,072 13,348 -9.6% b20 (1) 12,072 13,348 -9.6%
    b21 (1) Infiniti 10,302 10,635 -3.1% b21 (1) 10,302 10,635 -3.1%
    b22 Cadillac* 9,766 9,895 -1.3% b22 9,766 9,895 -1.3%
    b23 Acura 9,764 8,908 9.6% b23 9,764 8,908 9.6%
    b24 (3) Chrysler 9,054 10,584 -14.5% b24 (3) 9,054 10,584 -14.5%
    b25 (1) Mitsubishi 8,711 8,480 2.7% b25 (1) 8,711 8,480 2.7%
    b26 (1) Lincoln 7,715 6,410 20.4% b26 (1) 7,715 6,410 20.4%
    b27 (1) Land Rover 7,385 6,446 14.6% b27 (1) 7,385 6,446 14.6%
    b28 Volvo 5,854 5,567 5.2% b28 5,854 5,567 5.2%
    b29 Porsche 5,419 4,816 12.5% b29 5,419 4,816 12.5%
    b30 (1) Jaguar 3,078 2,604 18.2% b30 (1) 3,078 2,604 18.2%
    b31 (1) Mini 2,457 2,937 -16.3% b31 (1) 2,457 2,937 -16.3%
    b32 (1) Genesis 1,224 1,613 -24.1% b32 (1) 1,224 1,613 -24.1%
    b33 (1) Alfa Romeo 1,150 1,648 -30.2% b33 (1) 1,150 1,648 -30.2%
    b34 (1) Maserati* 925 897 3.1% b34 (1) 925 897 3.1%
    b35 (1) Fiat 751 1,229 -38.9% b35 (1) 751 1,229 -38.9%
    b36 (4) McLaren* 238 79 201.3% b36 (4) 238 79 201.3%
    b37 (1) Bentley* 169 157 7.6% b37 (1) 169 157 7.6%
    b38 Lamborghini* 97 94 3.2% b38 97 94 3.2%
    b39 Rolls-Royce* 92 90 2.2% b39 92 90 2.2%
    b40 (3) Smart 83 105 -21.0% b40 (3) 83 105 -21.0%

    Note: * Estimate