At the end of each month several sources report on car sales. We also have reports of what are the most popular models that are viewed online and also what brands and models are selling.
The Ford F-150 is the vehicle Americans read about the most, according to digital advertising provider Swoop. Swoop’s Automotive Digital Brand Exposure Index ranks all cars, trucks and SUVs sold in North America based on how much people read articles about them.
The F-150 has been second on the list, which comes out quarterly, since Swoop first started the ranking, but the first quarter of 2017 saw the long-time top vehicle, Chevrolet’s Corvette, drop to the third spot. The Ford Mustang also leapfrogged the Corvette, coming in at number two. After Corvette, the next most popular cars are Jeep Wrangler, Dodge Ram, Jeep Cherokee, Toyota Tundra, Honda Civic, Chevy Silverado and Camaro.
More SUVs Please
The SUV segment is growing while mid-size vehicles are declining. Subaru is one of the few brands that continues to expand.
Edmunds.com forecasts that 1,431,695 new cars and trucks will be sold in the U.S. in April for an estimated seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of 17.0 million. This reflects nearly an 8 percent decrease in sales from March 2017, and a 4 percent decrease from April 2016.
“The industry has been holding its breath to see if the days of peak sales are over, and while Q1 sales managed to remain stable, we’re starting to see the slowdown in 2017 we’ve been anticipating,” said Jessica Caldwell, Edmunds executive director of industry analysis. “These year-over-year declines may become more typical as the year progresses, but there’s no reason to be in panic mode. Historically, car sales are still strong.”
*NOTE: April 2017 had 26 selling days, April 2016 had 27 and March 2016 had 27.
Edmunds estimates that retail SAAR will come in at 13.6 million vehicles in April 2017, with fleet transactions accounting for 19.5 percent of total sales. An estimated 3.6 million used vehicles will be sold in April 2017, for a SAAR of 38.4 million (compared to 3.4 million — or a SAAR of 38.4 million — in March).
New-vehicle sales are expected to decrease 3 percent year-over-year to a total of 1.45 million units in April 2017, resulting in an estimated 17.1 million seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR), according to Kelley Blue Book.
“After a weaker-than-expected March, it’s becoming more likely that 2017 will be the first down year for the industry since 2009,” said Tim Fleming, analyst for Kelley Blue Book. “Kelley Blue Book expects April to continue this downward trend, however the SAAR should bounce back to approximately 17.1 million as a result of one less selling day. Beyond April, we will continue to closely monitor still high levels of inventory and elevated incentive spending by manufacturers, both of which are signs of overproduction following last year’s sales peak.”
Key Highlights for Estimated April 2017 Sales Forecast:
- In April, new light-vehicle sales, including fleet, are expected to hit 1,445,000 units, down 3 percent compared to April 2016 and down 7 percent from March 2017.
- The seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) for April 2017 is estimated to be 17.1 million, down from 17.3 million in April 2016 and up from 16.5 million in March 2017.
- Retail sales are expected to account for 79.2 percent of volume in April 2017, slightly up from 79.0 percent in April 2016.
Subaru Expected to Set Monthly Record Amidst Industry Declines; Fiat Chrysler to Post Greatest Declines in April 2017
While most manufacturers will likely report declines in April, Subaru is poised to set another monthly record. The recently redesigned Impreza is leading the way for the automaker, at a time when most cars are struggling in the market. To help achieve this growth, Subaru is boosting its incentive spending, but the manufacturer still maintains the lowest incentive levels in the industry.
Fiat Chrysler could see one of the greatest sales declines of all major manufacturers at a projected volume loss of 6 percent. The Jeep brand, now the highest volume brand for FCA, has faltered as of late and needs a solid launch for the new Compass, which recently hit dealerships. April looks to be a down month for Jeep and FCA’s overall SUV lineup, even as SUV sales are generally faring well across the industry.
Sales Volume 1
Market Share 2
General Motors (Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC)
Ford Motor Company (Ford, Lincoln)
Toyota Motor Company (Lexus, Scion, Toyota)
Fiat Chrysler (Chrysler, Dodge, FIAT, Jeep, RAM)
American Honda (Acura, Honda)
Nissan North America (Infiniti, Nissan)
Subaru of America
Volkswagen Group (Audi, Volkswagen, Porsche)
1 Historical data from OEM sales announcements
2 Kelley Blue Book Automotive Insights
3 Includes brands not shown
Sport Utilities Continue to Outpace All Segments; Mid-Size Cars Will Continue to See Poor Performance Throughout the Year
Sport utilities continue to dominate sales growth in the industry, and this month, analysts expect the mid-size SUV segment to see the highest growth at an estimated 8 percent increase. Mid-size SUVs appear to have the largest impact in swaying consumers from buying mid-size cars and minivans, both of which are down 20 percent this year.
“Mid-size cars continue to endure another poor month, and Kelley Blue Book anticipates the segment’s market share will fall nearly two percentage points,” said Fleming. “Just two of the twelve models in the segment – the Passat and the Mazda6 – have seen positive growth so far this year. Incentive spending for mid-size cars still remains high, despite the contraction in volume, which suggests further weakness may still lie ahead.”
Sales Volume 1
Full-Size Pickup Truck
1 Kelley Blue Book Automotive Insights
2 Includes segments not shown
There are 26 sales days in April 2017, compared to 27 sales days in April 2016. All percentages are based on raw volume, not daily selling rate.