Mazda sales jumped by one-third, allowing it to leapfrog Subaru and the BMW Group. For Mazda, the good news came largely from three sources: the addition of the Mazda2, the redesigned Mazda5 more than doubling its volume, and more modest but still significant growth for the CX-7 and CX-9.
Could Subaru finally be cooling? New product hits had Subaru defying gravity throughout the great recession, but this March was the second month in a row that the brand grew at a slower pace than the overall market. The Forester (-10%) actually declined, which dragged down results despite robust increases for the Legacy (+28%) and the Outback (+38%).
BMW GROUP +22%
The new X3 continues on its steep upward trajectory, and in March it exceeded the combined totals of the X5 and the X6 (both of which fell back compared to a year ago). On the car side, the 5-series is still doing well (+56%) while the 3-series (-10%) declined again.
The new Countryman didn't account for all of Mini's increased sales, only about 70% of it.
44 Rolls-Royce cars glided out of showrooms in March, which is 2 more than did last March.
Mercedes-Benz didn't match the industry's overall growth, but it outsold Lexus and BMW for the month of March and is ahead so far this year. Contributions came both from expected quarters (E-class +21%) and unexpected ones (Sprinter, +175%). The sports cars were down, but a new SLK will arrive soon.
Now fully back in the Mercedes-Benz fold, Smart slumped again, despite higher gas prices.