CHRYSLER GROUP +12%
Chrysler was the only U.S.-brand automaker to post a sizeable increase in September. And all its divisions contributed.
Chrysler was able to manage a small increase, mostly thanks to the 200 (+14%).
The arrival of the Dart more than made up for the departure of the Caliber and the Nitro. The Avenger (+89%) had a sudden spike, and the Journey (+41%) and Grand Caravan (+32%) did well. The Durango (-39%) and the Charger (-14%) were off.
Jeep's twin compacts went in opposite directions in September: Compass (-20%) and Patriot (+42%).
The big Ram climbed from the number eight spot to number five among all nameplates.
Fiat 500 sales topped the 4000 mark again, and the brand reached a new high water mark.
AMERICAN HONDA +31%
With more new entries, Acura's comeback outpaced Honda's in September.
Accord sales and Civic sales were both up by exactly the same measure (+57%). Other big gainers were the Crosstour, of all things, (+86%); the Ridgeline (+51%); and the Odyssey (+29%). The Fit was flat, as was the Pilot. Meanwhile, the Insight (-52%) continues to sink.
The new RDX was up hugely (+120%), while the not-at-all-new MDX (+60%) was up half as much. The TSX, though, suffered a big fall (-46%), and the ZDX (48 sold) is all but forgotten.
The Koreans' resumed their market-share-grabbing ways, despite the return of a full-strength Toyota and Honda.
The arrival of the Turbo boosted Veloster sales, and the new Azera is back from the dead. Mostly, though, Hyundai's increase was a group effort, with the Elantra (+27%) earning a special shout-out, and the Genesis (-11%) and the Sonata (-5%) looking like laggards.
Continuing the pattern we saw last month, Kia SUV sales have fallen but its car sales more than made up the difference.
NISSAN NORTH AMERICA -1%
Nissan is in the same boat as the U.S. automakers: It enjoyed a boost last year due to Toyota and Honda weakness, so it's having a hard time improving on those numbers.
The new Altima was flat, but that was enough to stay in third place behind the Camry and the Accord. The Versa fell (-32%) but the Cube, surprisingly, increased (+17%). The new Quest (+40%) made some headway, and the old Pathfinder (+39%) enjoyed a pop ahead of its redesign.
The new JX accounted for all of Infiniti's increase, as the M (-45%), the G (-27%), and the EX (-59%) all slumped.
Mercedes-Benz remained comfortably ahead of a stagnant BMW and also topped an improving Lexus to regain the top spot among luxury brands. The sports cars all recorded big increases, albeit on small volumes. The updated GLK (+66%) shot ahead, but not so the renewed M-class (-2%) or the GL (-23%).
Suddenly smarter? The tiny two-seater is back above 1000 units.
Another 4 Maybachs rolled out of dealerships and into the history books.