MARCH 2010 SALES VERSUS MARCH 2009
General Motors +21%, or +43% for New GM (Buick-Cadillac-Chevrolet-GMC)
Spurred by fleet sales and incentive spending, General Motors regained the top spot in the U.S. auto market in March - although, in a statistic that's ripe with foreshadowing, the company actually sold more cars and trucks in China than in the USA.
The LaCrosse (+236%) was the big winner, while the Enclave (+42%) also gained, and the Lucerne stagnated.
The SRX was just trickling onto the market last year, so its better-than-six-times March '09 total easily set the pace for Cadillac. The CTS was the brand's biggest disappointment, at -26%.
Equinox deliveries nearly tripled, while the Suburban (+83%), Aveo (+74%), and HHR (+55%) also posted big gains.
The Sierra (+23%) and the Acadia (+37%) were aided by the addition of the Terrain.
Toyota Motor Sales +41%
Toyota's big incentive spending (big for Toyota, but still less than the domestics) had the desired effect in March, with significant gains for all the company's core models, sizeable gains for some other vehicles, and only a few cars doing worse than last year. In the latter camp are all three Scions.
Camry (+41%), Corolla (+33%), Highlander (+121%), and RAV4 (+117%, its best March ever) lead the charge volume-wise, but we also should acknowledge the Tundra (+84%), 4Runner (+149%), Venza (+41%), and Prius (+32%).
The RX (+30%) and the IS (+29%) did well, but the addition of the HS250h was also a factor.
All three Scion models fell further in March.
Ford Motor Company +40%
After enjoying a brief moment as the country's number one automaker last month, Ford slipped back to third place behind GM and Toyota. Still, Ford's volume increase over last year easily outpaced the industry as a whole and so the company again picked up market share. Yes, incentive spending was high and fleet sales were a significant factor, but a 40% year-over-year gain is still good news. Factor out Volvo (-18%), and it's actually even better: +43%.
With the exception of the Ranger and the Crown Victoria, every one of Ford's continuing nameplates did better than last March. Notable gainers included Fusion (+79%), Focus (+57%), Taurus (+86%), Mustang (+57%), Escape (+52%), Edge (+67%), and F-series (+30%).
After a big February, the Milan +71% had anther good month, and Mercury's other models were also in the black.
Lincoln's biggest percentage gainers were its retrograde entries: Navigator (+96%) and Town Car (+56%). The MKS (-16%) and MKX (-14%) both slipped.
American Honda +18%
American Honda's sales increase couldn't quite keep pace with the overall market, probably a result of Toyota's aggressive dealing.
The Insight (+179%) had a huge percentage increase, though it was only just coming into the market last March. More representative were gains for the Accord (+23%), the Pilot (+48%), and the Odyssey (+26%). But the Fit fell back a bit (-15%).
Acura enjoyed mostly modest but consistent gains, led by the MDX (+42%), with assistance from the TL (+17%), the TSX (+16%), and the RDX (+18%).