Motor City Blogman

October 2017 Auto Sales: Ford Moves F-Series, Honda Moves Its Sedans

Subaru edges Hyundai again; GM, Fiat Chrysler see declines

Volkswagen, Audi, Nissan, and Ford Motor Company were the big winners in the October 2017 sales race, when measured against October 2016.

While VW and Audi can ascribe their successes to sport/utilities, notably the VW Atlas and Tiguan and Audi Q5 and Q7, the Ford story is as usual, about pickup trucks. The increase in F-Series sales is equal in volume to nearly 90 percent of Ford’s higher number of 11,623 more cars and trucks than last year at this time. Nissan, somewhat incongruously, had a good month with its Sentra compact, as well as its hot, and expanded, Rogue sport/utility line.

American Honda, which recorded a slight increase last month, says it’s mostly due to car sales, not SUV sales. Civic and Accord both outsold CR-V in October. The Honda results, at least, and maybe the Nissan Sentra show there’s still life in the compact and midsize sedan segments, and that perhaps the surge in SUV popularity isn’t a permanent thing.

GM attributes its fairly small decline to continued discipline on fleet sales, and says its retail market share has topped 17 percent for three consecutive months, for the first time since 2011.

One somewhat disturbing trend is that big luxury sedans, specifically the Mercedes-Benz S-Class, Cadillac CT6, Lincoln Continental, and Audi A8 all were down substantially last month, though the unveiling of Audi’s next A8 no doubt contributed to its slower sales. We don’t know about the BMW 7 Series yet, because BMW Group in the U.S. will be a day late reporting sales results, due to an IT issue.

Subaru again outsold Hyundai/Genesis for the month, though by just 135 units. Year-to-date, Hyundai/Genesis is 32,103 units ahead of Subaru, and has some strength in its more profitable premium brand, which doesn’t have any SUVs of its own just yet.

Cadillac has sold 953 more units, year-to-date, to slide past Acura and become the fifth-bestselling luxury/premium brand.

And so, to the numbers …

1. General Motors: 252,813, off 2.2 percent.

  • Chevy Camaro led Pony Car Wars, though it dropped 9.6 percent, to 5,674, as Ford Mustang sales fell 3.3 percent, to 5,236, and Dodge Challenger was off 6 percent, to 3,893.
  • Chevrolet sales fell 3.8 percent, to 175,100, while GMC was up 4.6 percent, to 44,630, Buick was off 4.5 percent, to 19,142 and Cadillac dipped 0.1 percent, to 13,931.
  • Chevy Equinox, though temporarily hit by a strike at its Ontario assembly plant last month, was up 28.5 percent, to 25,272.
  • Malibu fell 9.3 percent, to 14,647, and Cruze plunged 35 percent, to 11,129.
  • Chevy Traverse was up 1 percent, to 11,098. GMC Acadia sales rose 5.2 percent, to 9,012 and Buick Enclave, a mix of old and new, was up 30.5 percent, to 5,243.
  • Chevy Silverado sales rose 6.8 percent, to 53,157 and GMC Sierra was up 25.5 percent, to 18,895, for a combined 73,052.
  • Chevy Colorado was off 5.6 percent, to 9,990 and GMC Canyon inched up 2.7 percent, to 2,860, for a combined 12,850.
  • Buick Encore was up 25.2 percent, to 5,243 while LaCrosse lost 43.7 percent, to 1,408.
  • Cadillac Escalade was up 4.6 percent to 2,079 and Escalade ESV was off 17.7 percent, to 1,196.
  • XT5 was again Cadillac’s sales leader, up 19.5 percent to 5,961, as CT6 fell 39.5 percent, to 796.

2. Ford Motor Company: 200,436, up 6.2 percent.

  • F-Series sales jumped 15.9 percent, to 75,974, making it more popular than Subaru and Mazda combined.
  • Transit was up 0.9 percent, to 10,290.
  • Escape continues to lead Ford’s SUV sales, though off 1.9 percent, to 23,064, while Explorer was up 5 percent, to 16,914.
  • Fusion was off 6.2 percent, to 17,536 and Focus was up 7.8 percent, to 10,095.
  • Lincoln brand slid 1.8 percent, to 8,909. MKX was sales leader, jumping 17.8 percent to 2,684. MKC also was up, by 10.3 percent, to 2,114.
  • Lincoln MKZ fell 10.9 percent, to 2,211 and Continental was off 18.5 percent, to 996.

3. Toyota Motor Sales: 188,434, up 1.1 percent.

  • The Toyota brand was up 2.5 percent, to 165,540 and Lexus was off 7.7 percent, to 22,894.
  • RAV4 remains Toyota’s bestseller, up 34.1 percent to 34,086. The RAV4 Hybrid accounted for 5,012 of those, up 46.8 percent over October ’16.
  • Camry was off 11.2 percent, to 26,252 and Corolla dropped 17 percent, to 24,667.
  • Prius was off 5.2 percent, to 7,710.
  • Highlander was Toyota’s second-bestselling SUV, off 1.2 percent to 17,461, and 4Runner was next, up 30.6 percent, to 11,153. Toyota sold 3,638 CH-R crossovers.
  • Toyota 86/Scion FR-S was off 27.6 percent, to 458.
  • Tundra was up 5.1 percent, to 10,022, and Tacoma was off 0.4 percent, to 15,804.
  • RX led Lexus sales again, up 4.1 percent to 8,374. The NX was next, up 6.2 percent to 4,540.
  • Lexus ES was off 19.7 percent, to 3,365. IS sales fell 21.8 percent, to 1,972.

4. Fiat Chrysler: 153,373, off 13 percent.

  • Jeep slipped 3 percent, to 67,074, as changeover to the much-anticipated new Wrangler helped knock that model’s sales down by 7 percent to 13,391.
  • Grand Cherokee was off 4 percent, to 17,215 and Cherokee was up 19 percent, to 16,138.
  • The new Jeep Compass was up 81 percent, to 11,207.
  • Chrysler brand fell 22 percent, to 11,018. Pacifica was off 2 percent, to 7,593 and 300 slipped 4 percent, to 2,917.
  • Dodge plummeted 41 percent, to 24,476, with Caravan down 79 percent, to 2,431. Journey was down 60 percent, to 4,719 and Durango was up 11 percent, to 5,148.
  • Dodge Viper was down 73 percent, to 17. Charger sales rose 19 percent, to 8,096.
  • Ram brand slid 3 percent, to 47,831, with the pickup up 1 percent, to 44,201. ProMaster was off 41 percent, to 2,638.
  • Fiat fell 33 percent, to 1,769, with 500 down 37 percent to 801 and 500X down 28 percent, to 561.
  • Fiat 500L was up 34 percent, to 159 and 124 Spider was down 44.1 percent, to 248.
  • Alfa sold 726 Giulias and 434 Stelvios, while new showroom traffic worked out for 4c, up 96 percent, to 45.

5. American Honda, 127,353, up 0.9 percent.

  • Honda division was up 1.2 percent, to 114,655 and Acura was off 1.3 percent, to 12,698.
  • Is an SUV backlash starting with Honda? Civic was its bestseller last month, up 15 percent, to 30,319. CR-V was next, off 8.4 percent, to 27,773, and Accord, amidst a model changeover, was up 4.7 percent, to 26,740.
  • Honda Pilot was up 18.5 percent, to 10,285, Odyssey was off 4.2 percent, to 7,301 and Ridgeline was off 19.6 percent, to 2,709.
  • Utilities continue to propel Acura, though, with MDX up 4.7 percent, to 5,287 and RDX off 10.4 percent to 3,532.
  • TLX was next, off 1.7 percent, to 2,668 and ILX was up 2.6 percent, to 1,025.
  • Acura sold 87 NSXes, up 29.9 percent.

6. Nissan Group: 123,012, up 8.4 percent.

  • Nissan division was up 10.2 percent, to 112,716 and Infiniti dropped 8.1 percent, to 10,296.
  • Rogue, including the new, smaller Rogue Sport, remains a blockbuster, at 30,286, up 43 percent.
  • Sentra, up 29.5 percent to 18,341, led Altima, off 11.8 percent to 17,863.
  • Pathfinder was up 4.5 percent, to 6,708 and Versa was up 7.2 percent, to 9,556.
  • Titan sales fell 2.3 percent, to 4,114 and Frontier was off 2.3 percent, to 6,219.
  • QX60 is Infiniti’s bestseller, at 3,227, up 10.2 percent. Q50 was off 24.3 percent, to 2,751 and Q60 was up 25.4 percent, to 909. QX30 was off 7.7 percent, to 671.

7. Subaru: 54,045, up 0.5 percent.

  • Outback led, but fell 12.3 percent to 15,786, while Forester was off 12.4 percent, to 13,430.
  • Crosstrek made up for them, up 29.9 percent to 10,871.
  • Impreza was up 123.7 percent, to 6,733, compared with an early launch month for the new model in October ’16.
  • WRX/STI was off 6.3 percent, to 2,416 and BRZ was off 17.9 percent, to 271. Combined Toyota 86/Scion FR-S and Subaru BRZ sales totaled 729.

8. Hyundai: 53,010, off 15 percent.

  • That entails 51,224 Hyundai-brand vehicles, off 15.9 percent, and 1,786 Genesis models (measured against Hyundai Genesis sedan/Equus models from 2016), up 48.7 percent.
  • Elantra led the Hyundai brand at 14,733, off 7.4 percent. Santa Fe was next, up 15.1 percent to 13,024.
  • Tucson was up 8 percent, to 8,731. Sonata dropped 49.3 percent, to 13,024.
  • Genesis sold 1,408 G80s, up 27 percent over the Hyundai Genesis in October ’16.

9. Kia: 44,397, off 9.4 percent.

  • Soul jumped to the top of Kia sales for the month, though down severely by 29 percent, to 9,254. Forte edged up 15 percent, to 9,219.
  • Optima was off 24.3 percent, to 7,554. Sorento was off 15.3 percent, to 6,478.
  • Kia sold 1,935 Niros, for a total of 22,605 year-to-date.

10. Mercedes-Benz USA: 31,541, off 0.8 percent.

  • Mercedes passenger cars were up 1 percent, to 28,995, while vans were off 10.1 percent, to 2,446 and Smart dropped 66.5 percent, to 140.
  • C-Class still leads, though off 3.7 percent, to 5,996.
  • GLE-Class was up 19.2 percent, to 4,817, and E-Class/CLS was up 22.3 percent, to 4,681.
  • GLC-Class was up 18.3 percent, to 4,245. S-Class dropped 49.3 percent, to 1,228.

11. BMW Group: SALES REPORT DELAYED 24 HOURS

BMW Group says U.S. sales results will be delayed until Thursday, due to a “significant IT issue.”

12. Volkswagen: 27,732, up 11.9 percent.

  • The new Atlas more than covered VW’s 2,953-unit increase, with 3,664 of the midsize three-row SUVs sold. VW sold 3,848 ’18 Tiguans and 1,263 old ones, up 53.9 percent over the ’17 Tiguan last year.
  • Passat was off 36.8 percent, to 3,937.
  • Jetta remains VW’s bestseller, up 14.2 percent, to 9,217 and Golf was off 8.6 percent, to 4,697.
  • Beetle plunged 47.2 percent, to 796.

13. Mazda: 20,811, off 4.7 percent.

  • The compact CX-5 SUV leads, at 10,306, up 15.3 percent.
  • CX-9 was up 7 percent, to 1,971 and CX-3 slid 17.5 percent, to 1,278.
  • Mazda3 was off 32.1 percent, to 4,534 and Mazda6 slid 27.3 percent, to 2,125.
  • MX-5 Miata sales were up 18.2 percent, to 597, for a combined 845 for the RWD sports car platform.

14. Audi: 19,425, up 9.6 percent.

  • SUVs are the success story at Audi, which boasts its best October ever. Q5 was up 43.6 percent, to 5,416, and Q7 was up 22.9 percent, to 3,438.
  • A4 was Audi’s next-bestseller, at 2,576, off 33.3 percent. A5 was up 251.9 percent, to 2,143.
  • Q3 was up 4 percent, to 2,021.
  • TT sales dropped 44.3 percent, to 160, and R8 was down 42.6 percent, to 35.

15. Jaguar/Land Rover: 8,368, off 4 percent.

  • Land Rover sales inched down by 1 percent, to 5,477
  • Jaguar was off 10 percent, to 2,891.
  • The new Range Rover Velar became the Land Rover’s bestseller in its first month, with 1,327 sold.
  • Jaguar F-Pace was up 16 percent, to 1,444.

16. Mitsubishi: 7,381, off 3.4 percent.

  • Outlander Sport was off 5.8 percent, to 2,537. Outlander was off 1.3 percent, to 2,397.
  • Mirage sales jumped 18.7 percent, to 1,768, while Lancer sales dropped by 33.5 percent, to 679.

17. Volvo: 7,008, up 10.5 percent.

  • XC90 continues to lead, up 7 percent to 2,550.
  • Volvo sold 1,210 new XC60s and 678 old leftovers, for a total of 1,888, compared with 1,611 of the old models last year.
  • Volvo moved 213 new V90 Cross Countrys, compared with 31 V90s. S90 was up 166.1 percent, to 934.

18. Porsche: 4,715, up 4.6 percent.

  • Panamera was up 118.3 percent, to 644, and 911 was up 55.6 percent, to 691, while all other models slid.
  • Macan dropped 16.1 percent, to 1,779 and Cayenne lost just four units, to 1,202. Boxster/Cayman was down 9.5 percent, to 399.

Luxury/Premium Brands, YTD:

1. Mercedes-Benz 271,205
2. Lexus 242,533
3. BMW TBD
4. Audi 180,339
5. Cadillac 127,777

Pony Car Wars, Year-to-Date

1. Ford Mustang 67,432
2. Chevrolet Camaro 59,401
3. Dodge Challenger 56,169

Select Sports Cars and EVs, YTD:

1. Chevrolet Corvette 20,236
2. Chevrolet Bolt 17,083
3. Chevrolet Volt 16,710
4. Nissan Leaf 10,953
5. Mazda MX-5 Miata 10,314

Midsize cars, YTD:

1. Toyota Camry 308,759
2. Honda Accord 277,542
3. Nissan Altima 217,724
4. Ford Fusion 177,278
5. Chevrolet Malibu 155,809

Compact CUVs, YTD:

1. Toyota RAV4 346,316
2. Nissan Rogue 327,213
3. Honda CR-V 308,706
4. Ford Escape 256,942
5. Chevrolet Equinox 238,007

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