CHRYSLER GROUP +1%
A 1% increase isn’t great, but it allowed Chrysler to keep its streak of year-over-year monthly sales increases alive. It also pushed Chrysler past American Honda and into fourth place among all carmakers.
Some uncharacteristic consistency for the Chrysler division: The 2% increase exactly matched August’s, and the same two models were up—the 300 and the Town & Country—while the 200 again was down.
The Dart was up by half, easily outselling the Avenger (-42%) and the Journey (-9%) to become the third highest-volume Dodge. The Charger jumped (+49%), cementing its number-two spot, while the bestselling Grand Caravan declined (-19%).
Jeep division continues to suffer the loss of the Liberty, with its successor, the Cherokee, delayed. Other Jeeps were up, but not enough.
The big Ram pickup was a bright spot at Chrysler, as it climbed all the way up to number four on the sales charts, bested only by the F-Series, the Silverado, and the Camry.
A troubling month for Fiat, with the brand’s first big monthly decline. And it would have been twice as bad without the addition of the 500L.
AMERICAN HONDA -10%
It was not a great September at Honda, with the company getting passed by Chrysler, the Civic falling behind the new Corolla, and Acura continuing to falter.
The Accord (-14%) was the second-bestselling passenger car; the Civic (+7%) lost its number-one spot among small cars to the new Corolla. The CR-V (-4%) slipped behind the Ford Escape in the SUV derby, but remained on the top ten list—in the #9 spot—overall.
A bad month for Acura saw the TL fall by two-thirds, the TSX (-23%), and the new ILX (-22%) were also down significantly. The new RLX found only 311 buyers (two-thirds the August total), while the SUVs—increasingly the heart of the brand—treaded water.
HYUNDAI - KIA -14%
Both Hyundai and Kia saw declines that were greater than the industry average.
Hyundai pointed to model-changeover supply constraints in explaining the results for the Santa Fe (-10%), the Tucson (-38%), and the Sonata (-20%). What about the Veloster (-25%)? That must be slacking demand. There were no such problems, however, with the Azera (up by two-thirds), the revised Equus (+16%), or the Elantra (+8%).
All Kias dropped compared to year-ago September figures, with declines ranging from 15% (Rio) to 50% (Sedona minivan). The big-volume models were in between: Optima (-19%), Sorento (-22%), and Soul (-22%). The new Cadenza only added two-thirds as many additional sales as it did in August.
NISSAN NORTH AMERICA -6%
Nissan trailed the overall market but not by much.
The new Pathfinder (+73%) continues to be the happiest story at Nissan, although we also note that the newly lower-priced Leaf doubled—and outsold the Volt. In less-happy news, there was the Altima (-13%), the Murano (-22%), and the Sentra (-17%).
The arrival of the Q50 masked other problems at Infiniti. All other models were down, most alarmingly the FX/QX70 (-80%) and the M (-26%).