By the Numbers auto news

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What you missed on 8.1.14

08/02/2014   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Sports/GTs, Tech, Dodge, By the Numbers

Daily U-Turn

By The Numbers: July 2014

It's summertime and the car buying comes easy. This month's By The Numbers report shows bullish sales from GM in spite of the continued recall madness, and Toyota overtaking Ford in the US sales race for the very first time this year.

Guys more open to Google Car than ladies

A new survey about the openness of the public to the charms of autonomous vehicles, finds some interesting gaps in the data provided by each gender. The tenor of public opinion about self-driving cars might be looking up, but if these results hold water Americans aren't exactly ready to jump behind the wheel and let the bots do the driving just yet. Once more around the block, Jeeves.

Charger Hellcat could debut at Dream Cruise

What has 707 horsepower, four doors, an insatiable appetite for gasoline and a vendetta against rear tires? If you answered "Dodge Charger Hellcat" you win a cookie. The SRT boys haven't confirmed it yet, but all indications point towards Dodge making a muscle-sedan splash at the Woodward Dream Cruise this year, bringing along the supercharged-Hemi version of its Charger sedan. Hold your breath and look for rubber smoke.

Top Stories

  • How the 'unpretentious beauty' of 'flyover states' will influence your next car color
  • Hyundai recalls over 419k vehicles in three campaigns
  • 2015 North American Car and Truck of the Year long list revealed
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June 2014: The SAARs Have It Edition

07/02/2014   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: By the Numbers

SAAR, in case you're not aware, stands for Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate, and what it basically refers to, in this case, is the total number of automobiles experts predict automakers will sell in the United States in the 2014 calendar year. The big news is that the SAAR has been adjusted upward again, reaching the 17-million-unit level for the first time since July of 2006.

Put more plainly, Americans are buying lots of cars these days, and that's why you're seeing quite a bit of green and just a little bit of red (well, it's sorta a pinkish mauve hue...) in our monthly chart below. As has been the case all year, the automaker with the highest percentage sales increase in June was Maserati, though with sales of less than a thousand total units, that's not exactly a fair comparison to some larger companies. Next in line, again echoing its performance in recent months, is Jeep, which is continuing to sell a lot of Cherokee, Grand Cherokee and Wrangler models. Subaru's 41,367 sales equals its best-ever June, and continues that automaker's impressive sales streak.

As far as the big conglomerates go, Chrysler is leading the sales race, posting a nearly 10-percent gain over the same period a year ago and, in doing so, notching the 51st straight month of sales growth. Nissan and Toyota also did well, and how could we miss General Motors' one-percent sales increase in June, despite all the negative publicity we'd expect from massive recall after massive recall.

It wasn't all roses in June, though (actually, our red hue is a bit rosy, isn't it?). Ford and Honda notched matching 5.76-percent sales drops last month, and Volkswagen, once again, performed dismally in the US in June. If it weren't for the GTI and Jetta Sportwagen, in fact, every single VW model sold in the States would have been down, and most of them by double digits.

As ever, you can read past sales recaps by checking out our By The Numbers category here.

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May 2014: May The Sales Be With You Edition

06/04/2014   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: By the Numbers

Demand for automobiles remains high, judging by the latest round of sales reports filtering in from automakers doing business in the United States. Even those heavily embroiled in recall controversies, most notably General Motors, witnessed year-over-year improvements in the month of May. GM, specifically, saw sales rise nearly 13 percent last month - notching its best month since August of 2008 in the process - led by strong demand for bread-and-butter core models from Chevrolet like the Cruze and Impala.

Ford, itself suffering from massive recall numbers, recorded its best May in a decade, garnering an improvement of about three percent over the previous year. Nissan's 18-percent sales gain also represents a record for the month of May, and the brand's Infiniti luxury division did even better with a 31-percent improvement. Numbers for Toyota, too, are impressive, with the brand managing to sell 17 percent more than it did a year ago; with Lexus matching it's parent's percentage gain, as well.

The final notably good notes worth noting regard streaks: Jeep has posted gains cresting 30 percent for seven consecutive months, and Subaru's best-ever May marks the 30th month in a row of year-over-year growth. Nicely done.

Of course, not all automakers are turning up roses in May. Mini sales continued their downward slide, dropping nearly four percent in May. But the biggest loser of the month may well be Volkswagen, which saw sales of its Golf, GTI, Jetta, Passat, Beetle, Touareg, CC and Eos all falling in May, leaving the Tiguan as its only volume model to post an increase, and just a meager 0.5-percent increase at that. Yowza. Here's hoping the newly on-sale Golf and GTI will help end the skid. As always, you can read past sales recaps by checking out our By The Numbers category here.

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April 2014: It's Raining Sales Edition

05/02/2014   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: By the Numbers

April 2014 car sales

If you're in the Northern Hemisphere, you're probably enjoying the good fortunes of springtime. With the rains of April come the beautiful greening of lawns and trees as they blossom, with the sun staying out longer and longer. All that goodwill must be bringing increased foot traffic into car dealerships, because the chart below is full of a heck of a lot of green, too.

As has been the case all year, Maserati is holding its Trident high in celebration - the Italian brand has posted an impressive 373-percent sales gain in April. Jeep, led by the strong-selling Cherokee, also continues rolling uphill in April, with an increase of 52 percent, though there's a newcomer sitting in second place: Smart. The beleaguered brand has lately been hanging out at the bottom of the sales charts, but its mighty 57-percent improvement over April of 2013 lands the little German brand in second place this month.

Mitsubishi, like the aforementioned Smart, is a surprising addition to the leaderboard, its 47-percent sales boom landing the Japanese company just below Jeep and into fourth spot. But perhaps the most impressive performances come from much larger players like Nissan, Toyota and the Chrysler Group, the last of which is riding its 49th consecutive month of sales increases. These three massive conglomerates all posted double-digit gains this month, with Nissan reporting its best-ever results for April. Subaru also deserves credit for managing to increase sales 16th months in a row.

General Motors, mired in recalls as it's been so far this year, still managed to increase sales by nearly seven percent over last April, due in part to rising demand for its redesigned fullsize pickup trucks and SUVs.

Lincoln didn't fare so well in April, with sales down almost 11 percent year-over-year after seeing big gains in the first three months of 2014. Ford's luxury division joins Mini, which has been in the doldrums all year, as has Volkswagen, which continues to see rather disastrous results in the US market.

As always, all of the month's sales figures can be seen below, and you're urged to compare them with past months in our By the Numbers archive.

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March 2014: Better Weather Is On The Horizon Edition

04/02/2014   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Car Buying, By the Numbers

By The Numbers March 2014

After the Polar Vortex-saddled January and February months of 2014, something tells us a break in the weather is exactly what car shoppers have been waiting for. Perhaps it's all the lovely green we see in the chart below that has us in an upbeat mood, but there's no denying most automakers doing business in these United States saw big sales improvements this month, led by the seemingly unlikely duo of Maserati and Mitsubishi.

Wait... is this the same Mitsubishi that has been struggling mightily over the last several years, with some analysts questioning how long the Japanese automaker will continue to do business in the States? Yep, that one. Mitsubishi posted a strong 70-percent improvement in March compared to the same time a year ago. And, although it's a relatively small number of vehicles on the grand scheme of things, it's hard to overlook the success of Maserati, which saw its sales improve by an astounding 342 percent on the strength of new models.

Other big winners in March include Jeep, Lincoln and Jaguar, all of which have been going gangbusters for the year that has been 2014 (so far). The biggest loser was Mini, as it has been all year, with a guest appearance from Chrysler, which lost 55 percent of its 200 sedan sales. We'd expect Chrysler's sales figures to recover over the next few months as the redesigned 2015 200 hits dealership lots. The only major automotive company that didn't post an improved March was Honda, and even that loss was pretty minor at two percent. Overall, not a bad sales month for the industry.

Check out all of the month's sales figures below, and feel free to compare them with past months in our By the Numbers archive.

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February 2014: Brrr, It's Cold Out There Edition

03/04/2014   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: By the Numbers

By The Numbers February 2014

It's that time of the month again, folks. The automakers have released their results for February, and there are, predictably, both high and low notes worth talking about. The automaker with perhaps the most to crow about so far this year is Jeep, and much of its stellar performance in 2014 can be attributed to the brand-new (reborn) Cherokee, with the new 'ute contributing 11,705 sales last month for a grand total of 22,300 for the year.

Other highlights include Lincoln, which can boast that sales of its MKZ sedan were up by 222 percent over the same period a year ago. Buick, another entry-level luxury player, saw a nice sales increase, too. And finally, Nissan has a hit on its hands in the form of its redesigned Rogue crossover, though it's still early in that model's lifespan. The Rogue's 17,197 deliveries in February is impressive, and it's a 72.6-percent increase over last year.

While Jeep is quick to point out that its vehicles sell well even when the weather is frightful, not all automakers count themselves so lucky. Big names like Chevrolet, Dodge, Ford, Honda and Toyota were all down in February, alongside Volkswagen and Mini. Speaking of VW, nearly all of its nameplates were down by large percentages in February, lending credence to the idea that its US operations are a "disaster."

As always, all of the month's numbers are below, and you can view more from the past in our By the Numbers archive.

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January 2014: Polar Vortex Edition

02/04/2014   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Car Buying, By the Numbers

It doesn't really have a name, but the meteorological events in January that caused record-breaking low temperatures across most of the Midwestern United States and Canada is being blamed for many automakers' sales woes last month. The dangerous temperatures, which were colder even than what the North and South Pole were experiencing at the time, kept potential buyers bundled up indoors rather than walking the floors of dealerships shopping for new cars and trucks.

Worst hit were the industry's largest automakers that deal in the highest volumes of sales. American Honda, for instance, reported sales in January that were down 2.13 percent to 91,631 units. Likewise, Ford Motor Company was down 7.12 percent, Toyota Motor Sales down 7.20 percent, and General Motors, the largest automaker by volume, was down 11.92 percent, selling 23,213 fewer vehicles than January of last year.

While those major auto companies were down as a whole, many luxury brands bucked the trend by reporting positive sales. Lincoln sales were up 42.52 percent thanks to the MKZ, while Jaguar reported a 30.9-percent increase, Infiniti was up 26.27 percent and Acura sales rose 14.06 percent.

Of the major brands, Jeep stood out as a bright spot, reporting an increase of 30.9 percent on a strong month of sales for the new Cherokee. Ram also did well for itself, recording a sales increase of 24.04 percent, and the unstoppable Subaru kept improving with an increase of 19.29 percent, thanks in large part to two of its models best suited for winter warfare: the Forester and XV Crosstrek. Maserati enjoyed the best month-over-month increase thanks to its new Quattroporte and Ghibli sedans, up a stratospheric 229.6 percent.

The rest of the numbers are below, and you can view more from the past in our By the Numbers archive.

*Brands and companies are displayed in descending order according to their percentage change in volume sales. There were 25 selling days in January 2014 and 25 selling days in January 2013, so there is no difference between the change in monthly sales volume and the change in average daily sales rate (DSR) for each brand/company. Also, brands are combined and reported as companies only if their sales figures are released jointly.

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2013: Keep On Truckin' Edition

01/06/2014   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Car Buying, By the Numbers

By The Numbers - Autoblog graphic - blue

Last year wasn't quite the blockbuster year of sales growth that 2012 was, but there are plenty of automakers in our table with reason to be happy. Subaru, for instance, duplicated its 2012 performance by again recording annual sales growth of over 26 percent. At the other end of the spectrum, Mitsubishi followed up its 2012 performance of 28-percent sales growth with a much healthier 11-percent gain in 2013.

Among individual brands, other standout performers from last year include Jaguar, which led all brands with 41-percent growth, and Cadillac, which followed up a negative year in 2012 with a nearly 22-percent gain in 2013. Some brands, however, couldn't avoid the red, including Lincoln, whose rocky launch of the MKZ may have contributed to its results being slightly in the red, and Chrysler, down nearly 2 percent last year compared to stellar growth of nearly 40 percent the year before. Also surprising to see in the red is Kia, which couldn't maintain the sales growth it saw in 2012 and recorded a loss of over 4 percent last year.

Lastly, it's worth noting that companies as a whole (those reporting multiple brands) all reported positive sales growth in 2013. Among the major players, even with Lincoln dragging it down somewhat, Ford Motor Company performed best, with sales nearly 11-percent higher than the year before, followed by Nissan North America (9.35 percent), Chrysler Group (9 percent), Toyota Motor Company (7.37 percent), General Motors (7.33 percent) and American Honda (7.21 percent).

Lastly, here are some standout individual performers that give a better picture of last year's winners.

  • Best-Selling Brand: Ford (2,412,224, +11.26 percent)
  • Best-Selling Luxury Brand: Mercedes-Benz (334,350 *includes Sprinter, +13.31 percent)
  • Best-Selling Vehicle: Ford F-Series (763,402, +18.3 percent)
  • Best-Selling Car: Toyota Camry (408,484, +0.9 percent)
  • Best-Selling CUV: Honda CR-V (303,904, +7.9 percent)
  • Best-Selling Minivan: Honda Odyssey (128,987, +2.4 percent)
  • Battle of the Pony Cars: Chevrolet Camaro (80,567, -4.5 percent) beat Ford Mustang (77,186, -7 percent) and Dodge Challenger (51,462, +19 percent)
  • Battle of the Pickups: Ford F-Series (763,402, +18.3 percent) beat Chevrolet Silverado (480,414, +14.8 percent) and Ram (355,673, +21.2 percent)
  • Top Five Midsize Sedans: Toyota Camry (408,484), Honda Accord (366,678), Nissan Altima (320,373), Ford Fusion (295,280), Hyundai Sonata (203,648)
  • Top Five Minivans: Honda Odyssey (128,987), Dodge Caravan (124,019), Chrysler Town & Country (122,288), Toyota Sienna (121,117), Nissan Quest (12,874)

*Brands and companies are displayed in descending order according to their percentage change in volume sales. There were 307 selling days in 2013 and 307 selling days in 2012, so there is no difference between the change in yearly sales volume and the change in average daily sales rate (DSR) for each brand/company. Also, brands are combined and reported as companies only if their sales figures are released jointly.

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December 2013: Whimpering In The New Year Edition

01/04/2014   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Car Buying, By the Numbers

After a particularly bullish November, the holiday season saw automakers reporting relatively unimpressive sales numbers to finish off the year. In particular, industry giants General Motors and Toyota ended 2013 with a bit of a whimper. After being treated to volume rising by 13.70 percent in November, GM recorded a decline of 6.34 percent in December, earning a last-place finish. Toyota fell by 1.7 percent for the month after gaining more than 10 percent last time out, and was again outsold by Ford and GM.

Industry giants General Motors and Toyota ended 2013 with a bit of a whimper.

In general, volumes leveled off during December, hampered in some part, no doubt, by wintery weather almost everywhere in the country that threatened to keep dealerships nearly empty for days at a time. Volkswagen and Volvo repeated their chart-bottoming finishes from November, albeit with slightly less-pointed declines in year-over-year volume, and in reverse order: Volvo dropped 20.52 percent, and VW 22.70.

Chrysler Group, which lead the way for Detroit Three automakers in November with a 16.08-percent volume bump, saw a more modest jump of 5.67 percent this past month.

There were a few successes to be had, however. Jaguar Land Rover continued to top the list of companies with positive growth, scoring a rise of 17.44 percent, albeit on a comparatively tiny volume of 7,308 units sold. Subaru capped off an amazing year of growth as well, with a nice year-over-year jump of 9.60 percent in December. That number pales somewhat to the 30- and 40-percent gains Subie was seeing earlier in 2013, but it's still a nice little stocking stuffer.

Check out all of December's sales figures in the chart below, and look for our full 2013 By The Numbers wrap-up next week.

*Brands and companies are displayed in descending order according to their percentage change in volume sales. There were 25 selling days in December 2013 and 26 selling days in December 2012, so there is a difference between the change in monthly sales volume and the change in average daily sales rate (DSR) for each brand/company. Also, brands are combined and reported as companies only if their sales figures are released jointly.

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November 2013: Gobble Gobble Edition

12/04/2013   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: By the Numbers

The US auto industry will be giving thanks after a month of sales for November worth celebrating. Automakers were facing a potentially tough month, at least compared to the same month last year, which saw increased sales in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy from pent up demand. Volvo, for example, which reported sales fell 31.17 percent, qualified its performance saying, "Excluding a large fleet deal coupled with damaged cars from Hurricane Sandy in November 2012, our dealers actually had a strong November 2013, up 10.97 percent in the retail channel."

Chrysler Group led major automakers with a 16.08-percent rise in sales for November, the Jeep brand being its top performer with a nearly 30-percent sales lift. Credit goes to the all-new Cherokee, which ended its first full month on sale with 10,169 new owners. General Motors came in closely behind Chrysler with sales rising 13.7 percent, followed by Nissan North America (up 10.74 percent), Toyota (up 10.11 percent) and Ford Motor Company (up 7.19 percent). The groups that ended in the red include Honda (down 0.06 percent) and BMW Group (down 0.37 percent).

Among individual brands, Jaguar and Mitsubishi are enjoying some time in the light at the top of our list with sales in November rising 102.81 and 47.61 percent, respectively. Sales for Maserati were even better thanks to the smaller Ghibli joining its lineup, but the brand's overall sales were still below 1,000 units last month. Subaru, meanwhile, continued its impressive and long-sustained growth in November, posting 29.83 percent more sales versus last year.

Check out all of last month's sales figures in the chart below.

*Brands and companies are displayed in descending order according to their percentage change in volume sales. There were 26 selling days in November 2013 and 25 selling days in November 2012, so there is a difference between the change in monthly sales volume and the change in average daily sales rate (DSR) for each brand/company. Also, brands are combined and reported as companies only if their sales figures are released jointly.

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