CHRYSLER GROUP +11%
Chrysler was easily able to continue its streak of year-over-year sales increases in April -- now 37 months and counting.
The 300 (-47%) had another big drop, while the 200 was down a bit and the Town & Country (+4%) scratched out a small gain.
Dart sales of better than 8000 units and a 65% increase for the Durango helped the Dodge cause last month. The Grand Caravan (-13%) was a minor drag on results.
The early arriving 2014 Grand Cherokee (+27%) helped stop the losses resulting from the departure of the Liberty at Jeep. That model's replacement, the new Cherokee, should shore things up further.
No one capitalized on the renewed interested in big pickups more than Ram, where sales of the big pickup topped 30,000 units.
Fiat 500 volume is holding steady.
AMERICAN HONDA +7%
Honda's total increase was unspectacular, but it scored a helluva trifecta with the Accord the bestselling car, the Civic the bestselling small car, and the CR-V the bestselling SUV.
Beyond its aforementioned major players, Honda saw some gains for its supporting models as well: Fit (+34%), Ridgeline (+48%), Pilot (+20%), and Odyssey (+13%). Only perennial losers the Crosstour (-15%) and the Insight (-47%) were left out.
Acura's churning lineup saw the new ILX add 1894 units, the just-introduced RLX chip in only 400, while the new RDX doubled year-ago volumes. Continuing models were all over the map: the TSX fell by half, the TL was flat, while the MDX split the difference (-27%).
NISSAN NORTH AMERICA +23%
Nissan is becoming the top-tier automaker whose sales results most closely resemble a roller coaster ride. February was all downhill, March was flat, and April soared.
After taking bestselling car honors from the Toyota Camry last month, the Altima dropped out of the top ten nameplates in April -- although it was still +35% over a particularly weak April 2012. At least the new Pathfinder's trajectory is moving in one direction: up. It tripled the sales of the old model. The new Sentra (+45%) is also reaping the fruits of its redesign. It was a ride down, however, for the Cube (-18%), the 370Z (-28%), the Juke (-15%), the Maxima (-22%), and the Quest (-44%). The Titan (-34%) sank despite the big-pickup upswing, and yet the Xterra (+80%) suddenly popped.
The JX (+24%) is humming along while the EX has ground to a halt (91 sales). The G (+18%) was up but the M (-16%) was down.
HYUNDAI - KIA +1%
The formerly white-hot Koreans have seen another month of essentially flat sales.
The new Azera was up by nearly half, but the other premium Hyundais -- the Genesis and the Equus -- were both down. The Sonata (-22%) is not old but is suffering against newer competitors. The new Santa Fe, however, was up 10%.
The Optima (+33%) looks like it may catch the Sonata. The Rio and the Soul managed minor gains but all other Kias were down.