US light vehicle sales (SAAR) by quarter, since 1967 (don’t forget to factor in population growth)
I used to do a lot of new car sales analysis at TTAC, and I sometimes miss it. In fact, I miss covering aspects of the industry in general, and I still follow some of it quite closely, mostly new tech developments, like EVs, hybrids and autonomy. Since Johannes Dutch decided to post 2016 EU sales by manufacturer and market share, I decided to make up a spread sheet for the US too.
First up, US sales by manufacturer and market share.
|2016 US Light vehicle sales|
|Rank||Manufacturer||Full year sales||% change||Market Share|
|Total Light Vehicles||17,550,351||0.4||100|
Here’s a chart (below) from goodcarbadcar.net with the US sales stats by brand.
2016 US Vehicle Segments (wsj.com):
The Top 30 models in 2016 (US), from goodcarbadcar.net. Here’s their listing of the top 299 models: Top 299 Best Selling Vehicles in the US (godcarbadcar.net)
More 2016 sales stats:
Top 299 Best Selling Vehicles in the US (godcarbadcar.net)
Sales 2015/2016 and Share by manufacturer, and more charts (WSJ.com)
No french cars in USA?
Not currently in the dealership. But with the proper registration, people can still drive it every day.
French cars have not done well in the U.S. I think the last French-branded car sold here was Peugeot, in 1991. Renault currently has a shadowy presence through Nissan, but nothing sold under its own brand.
I’m thinking he said this snarkily, not seriously.
I believe the Toyota Yaris hatch is imported from France.
Depends how you define the term. No cars are sold in the USA that are produced by French brands, no.
But you can buy a French *made* car in the USA.
The Toyota Yaris, as sold in the USA, is made in France.
Go check the VIN; I’ll wait.
That’s what the Yaris window label said. The reason for this, I guess, is that Toyota bypasses punitive tariffs or “Export Quotas” by having a French plant, not because French labor costs are low. Maybe someone in the know can shed more light.
Well, any plant in the EU would avoid tariffs vs a car made in Japan for example.
I have no idea about this particular plant, but labour costs aren’t everything – if productivity rates are much higher and the plant is more efficient than one in an area with lower labour rates then it can work out cheaper. French productivity levels are generally very high.
There could also be a national or local government subsidy involved.
124 large car sales during Dec in the US. Something must be wrong, and I wonder which type of car it’s referring to.
I noticed that too. These segment charts are obviously not always perfectly accurate.
I remember the last time sales number looks like that is clearing the inventory of Ford Crown Victoria.
General Motors reports Australian-import Chevrolet Caprice sales of 124 for December and 1,021 for 2016, corresponding to the given large car segment figures.
Are those Caprice PPV models (is it really selling that poorly?) or has GM authorized import of civilian versions for fleet use or something similar, I wonder?
The 2nd table would be better if the groups were used instead of the brands. Wouldn’t change much for FCA (add Fiat, Maserati and Alfa to Chrysler) staying at #4, but VAG (VW + Audi + Porsche + Lambo + Bentley) would be around 590,000 — up above Subaru at the #9 spot.
I know; there’s so many ways to slice an dice these. GM is considered a “manufacturer”, as is Fiat. It’s a legal thing. But it would be better to lump all the FCA brands into one.
Then wouldn’t Subaru would be under the Toyota Brand, since they own a portion of it?
No. GM is one manufacturer with a number of brands. Toyota’s (the manufacturer) brands are Toyota and Lexus (and formerly Scion). But owning a minority share in another company does not make it your brand.
Thanks for this. It did clear up one thing that has always bothered me. I wondered why GM didn’t just sell all pickups under one brand, thus giving Ford a run for their money in claiming the best selling. However, even combining Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra, they are still selling less than the Fords. It still makes you wonder how it all breaks down if you compare F150’s against a Silverado 1500, etc. and how that pans out.
I agree, I have always felt that having both a Chevy pickup and a GMC pickup truck that were pretty much the same except for the different badging. I feel that GM is simply competing with itself instead of against Ford by having two divisions that make almost the same truck, so GMC is stealing sales from Chevy instead of Ford. If I was in charge of GM, GMC would make all the heavy trucks and all pickup trucks would be made by Chevy.
However then I worked at a GM dealership that sold both GMC and Chevy trucks(the dealership bought the failing Pontiac, Buick, GMC dealership 10 miles away)
I witnessed a lot of folks that came into the dealership to buy a GMC Sierra and refused to buy a Chevy Silverado because they did not “want no damn Chevy” in front of the house. Then we also had Chevy folks that would not even consider a GMC. It boggled my mind because other then small trim changes and badging, it was the same truck. But there seem to be diehard folks for the GMC brand.
I have a 2011 Chevy Colorado which I bought because I wanted a truck and it was there. However had there been a GMC canyon instead of a Colorado, I would have bought it instead. I wanted and needed a small pickup truck and it satisfied my needs.
That Chevy vs. GMC mentality is an example of how irrational buyers can be with brand chauvinism, & the Jeep & Harley cults show how profitable it is.
The last bastions of socially-respectable prejudice are product branding & sports.
I continue to be amazed that Chrysler (or the Chrysler part of FCA) has more market share now than it did in 1962, when its share was somewhere between 9.5% and 12%, depending on the source.
You’re not alone in being surprised but I imagine the biggest part of this has got to be those 489,000 Ram pickup sales. That number helps offset a lot of Furys, Satellites, and Polaras.
And then there’s (cough, cough) Jeep. Its sales have been explosive in the past some years, and that’s starting from a healthy base.
FCA’s success (as it is) is almost totally based on Jeep and Ram.
FCA’s success (as it is) is almost totally based on Jeep and Ram.
So, by market share measure, Chrysler management has done a better job than GM and Ford, by revising their product mix to satisfy shifts in demand.
Off the top of my head, seems the market shares for the big three in the 70s were something like 17% for Chrysler, 25-27% for Ford and something in the high 50s for GM. Sticks in my mind one of Roger Smith’s objectives was to get market share to 60%.
Of course, Ram used to be part of Dodge, supposedly separated because Dodge was supposed to build a performance image that was judged incompatible with trucks, so you could argue that Ram’s success is Dodge’s success, while Chrysler withers. At the Detroit show last week, all the FCA brands except Alfa were grouped together, with Chrysler in the back corner, with 3 Pacificas, 2-300s and even a 200, in spite of production ending last month, to fill up the space.
Chrysler is the only major automaker having a stable market share since the ’60s, but the process is the least stable.
The volume of today’s Jeep almost covers the volume of Plymouth, and Dodge has a much higher truck ratio. And the remaining old buyers of Plymouth go to the cheaper Chrysler and traditional Chrysler buyers choose the platinum model.
I think this is great content to have here and would welcome more of it. It’s nice to be able to view it and if one so desires, to engage in a discussion about it without all the rancor and/or juvenile distractions of other places.
I’m surprised that “midsize car” still outsells “small car” unless the boundary between them is drawn by rental-car definitions since at least up to $50k MSRP or so the bigger and spendier you get the deeper the crossover domination cuts.
the comment I always heard(here in Canada) was that chevy pickups were “work” trucks and gmc were “personal” trucks. I do remember several bare bones chevs in the late 60’s, early 70’s but never a stripper gmc.
although we were also a country that had Pontiacs as top sellers for years even though they were basically no different than your neighbors Chev under the skin!
Here’s the link for the monthly data dump from the WSJ. I always find these tables fascinating.
Having Chevy & GMC pickups in the same showroom does seem a little ridiculous, but at least here in Michigan there are still a fair number of standalone Buick/GMC dealers that would not be happy to lose those truck sales.
Having Chevy & GMC pickups in the same showroom does seem a little ridiculous,
Following Chrysler’s bankruptcy, it seems the vast majority of dealers carry Dodge, Chrysler, Jeep and Ram under the same roof, meaning the Dodge Durango and the Jeep Grand Cherokee share the showroom, with the Dodge being a long wheelbase, three row, version of the Cherokee, both made at the Jefferson North plant in Detroit. Last year’s sales were 68,474 for the Durango and 212,273 for the Grand Cherokee.
In Marchionne’s press conference a couple weeks ago, he talked about how the Grand Cherokee will “need” a new architecture and how they are studying the feasibility of using the Alfa platform. He also said “So the real issue now going forward is how do we make sure that we get as many Grand Cherokees out of Michigan as we can?” All without a mention of the Durango that currently shares the GC’s platform. As the Durango comes off the same line as the GC, and Jefferson is going flat out, it follows that every Durango that comes off the line represents a GC that was not built. If Marchionne wants to maximize GC production, and does not mention the Durango, I start to wonder if the Durango will be dropped. The Dodge Journey is on a very old platform, whose replacement has reportedly been delayed once or twice already. With Jeeps in the same showroom, will the Journey be dropped?
I think that’s the direction they’re going. With the Pacifica having replaced the Caravan, if they drop the Durango and Journey, then Dodge will be down to Charger and Challenger. Presuming that there will eventually be a Fiat-based Dart replacement (I can’t imagine they’ve given up the small car segement completely) then you’d have a car-only Dodge line which probably makes more sense from a non-redundancy standpoint. Give the SUV market to Jeep, the pickups to RAM, and Dodge and Chrysler can shake out the cars (Chrysler mainstream, Dodge performance-oriented.)
Presuming that there will eventually be a Fiat-based Dart replacement (I can’t imagine they’ve given up the small car segement completely)
The Chinese Fiat Viaggio is a Dart,and it would be cheaper than the US built version, but, in the press conference Marchionne said their search for someone to built a Dart on the cheap is on hold. He said words to the effect that the Dart/200 program had the lowest ROI in the company, so he really isn’t interested in spending more money in that segment. Fortunately for FCA, when the CAFE standard methodology was changed 10 years ago, automakers were relieved of the need to make small cars to offset the low mpg of large cars. If FCA wants to make nothing but big, gas guzzling pavement rippers, it is now possible.
The new Compass is slated for Toluca, which also makes the Journey and Fiat 500. 500 production is slated to be consolidated in Poland with the next generation, in 18 or 19. That leaves the Compass sharing the line with the Journey, and a repeat of the problem FCA has at Jefferson: every Dodge SUV that goes down the line takes a production slot away from the Jeep that it shares the line with, and Marchionne wants to increase Jeep production. I can see FCA making an SUVish derivative of the Pacifica, to replace the Caravan and calling it a Journey, which would move Journey production to Windsor, freeing Toluca’s entire capacity for the Compass. The Pacifica is a bit pricy, and Marchionne has talked about producing a cheaper version of the Pacifica when the Caravan runs down.
Paul, this is great. I’m wondering if you’ve ever come across a chart that tracks sales over the years broken down by vehicle type (e.g. car, light truck, minivan, SUV, sports car, CUV)? I’m thinking of a stacked line chart that would show not only changes in overall sales but also in the type mix. Plotting that against gasoline prices would be v. interesting as well.
Those kind of charts, or the stats to make them, are readily available, but for a price. At least two companies sell access to data bases going back decades. We paid for one at TTAC for while, which I used for a number of analyses. It’s pretty hard to do proper sales analysis without that kind of info, because trends are so crucial in this business.
The things that caught my eye here, not necessarily surprises since I too follow these stats (in a possibly unhealthy, obsessive way), but still highlighted by the tabular presentation, is the strong relative showing of Subaru, Tesla and Land Rover. And conversely, the weakness of the Cruze and Focus. Finally, the strong sales of the Rogue are in fact a surprise, as I rarely notice them … though perhaps that’s due to the anonymous (for Nissan) appearance.
I’m wondering why Mazda isn’t more successful than they are, with sales less than half of that of Subaru or Kia, and less even than post-dieselgate VW. Enthusiasts seem to hold almost all of their models in high regard, and several of them (the 6 in particular) are really good-looking. They offer 3 sizes of crossover, they used to offer a minivan (dropped due to slow sales), small and midsizers, plus the Miata. What’s keeping the bulk of consumers away?
I loved my 85 Mazda GLC. I absolutely burned for a Protege5. Since the end of the Protege5, seems every time they revise the Mazda3, to my eye, they hit it again with the ugly stick, inside and out.
The Mazda2 was another exercise in making a car look like a flea. It’s no longer available in the US, as a Mazda. Rumor mill says it is now here dressed up as a Toyota.
It’s the Yaris iA. Decent sub compact stats and a good review by C/D
A very good question, as recent Mazda models have gotten high marks from most reviewers & are statistically reliable as well. My guess is, buyer perception: many still think Toyota & Honda are the “premium” Japanese makes regardless of the facts. Also, FWIW, Mazda has no hybrids.