CHRYSLER GROUP +4%
With the departure of the Liberty, and the Grand Cherokee in changeover mode, Chrysler wasn’t able to outpace the industry but still did manage to beat last year.
With the 300 (-35%) and the Town & Country down (-11%), the 200 (+18%) was the only Chrysler in positive territory.
Like its Chrysler twin, the Avenger (+52%) had a big jump, but here it was joined by increases for the Charger (+41%), the Durango (+38%), and the Challenger (+34%).
The loss of nearly 6000 sales from the discontinued Liberty, and 3000 from the Grand Cherokee, dragged Jeep’s total down. Both situations will soon be remedied, however, with the new Cherokee stepping into the Liberty’s spot, and a 2014 model Grand Cherokee just now being introduced.
The big Ram looked strong but steady.
Fiat 500 sales appear to have reached a plateau—at least until the four-door arrives.
AMERICAN HONDA -2%
Honda had an unimpressive month, with deliveries down slightly from 2012.
The Accord’s increase (+35%) looks good, and it remained in the number two spot behind the Toyota Camry—but it did so with only a razor-thin margin over the Ford Fusion and Nissan Altima. The revamped Civic actually declined (-16%), as did the CR-V (-17%).
The new RDX nearly tripled year-ago volumes and the ILX added some 2000 units to Acura’s total, but otherwise the news was all bad: MDX (-18%), TL (-31%), TSX (-60%). The new RLX just started trickling into dealerships, so it isn’t yet a significant factor.
NISSAN NORTH AMERICA -7%
Nissan showed weakness across much of its lineup this month.
The new Pathfinder continues to far exceed sales of the old model (+146%), and the new Versa was up too (+29%). Otherwise, it was a sea of negative numbers for Nissan in February. Although none were severe, the most damaging were the Rogue (-26%), the Altima (-16%), the Frontier (-35%), and the Murano (-21%).
The addition of 2300 JXs almost but didn’t quite make up for declines in all the other Infiniti models.
HYUNDAI – KIA -3%
Last month saw the Koreans suffer a very rare decline—actually, it was upstart Kia that had the setback, as Hyundai managed a (small) sales increase.
The new Santa Fe was up big (+64%) while the Elantra was up small (+17%). Nearly all other Hyundai’s were down. The new Azera is still only a very minor player for Hyundai, with sales that aren’t even one-third those of the Genesis.
The Optima (+14%) was the only Kia to beat its year-ago total. The Sportage suffered the brand’s worst drop (-32%).