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April 2015 Auto Sales: Still on a Roll

Sales pick up as crossovers continue to perform.

As spring arrives across the nation, car sales continue to climb overall. Most automaker sales suffer over winter, and April was a sign of stronger months to come. With the seasonally adjusted annual selling rate (SAAR) pegged at about 16.7 million vehicles by General Motors' analysts, 2015 still looks to be a reasonably strong year for new-car sales. In fact, many car companies set April sales records last month.

And so, to the numbers …

1. General Motors: 269,056, up 5.9 percent.
*Chevy Camaro was -23.6% to 6,909, versus the new Ford Mustang, +81.5% to 13,144 and Dodge Challenger +32% to 6,771.
*Cheap gas is still helping big vehicles sell -- Silverado pickup +7.5% to 45,978, GMC Sierra +4.8% -- at the expense of small cars like the Chevrolet Cruze (-3.7%) and Spark (-3.4%).
*Cadillac cars are struggling this year, with ATS -22.6% and CTS -47.2%, but sales of the Escalade and SRX SUVs keep climbing.

2. Ford Motor Company: 222,498, up 5.4 percent.
*F-150 was -0.9% to 62,827 as the truck's sales continue to struggle, falling behind GM trucks (64,060 combined) but beating Chrysler's Ram (37,921).
*Of those F-150 sales, Ford claims 63 percent had EcoBoost V-6 engines, and 60 percent were the high-zoot Lariat, King Ranch, and Platinum trim levels.
*The arrival of a new Ford Edge bumped sales +77.6% to 13,097, the nameplate's best-ever April sales result.

3. Toyota Motor Sales: 203,329, up 1.8 percent.
*They may not be our favorites, but nothing can stop the Corolla (+10.1% to 31,990) and the Camry (-10.4% to 34,066) from winning the hearts and dollars of American shoppers. They are Toyota's two top-selling models.
*Lexus saw its cars perform adequately (+2.6% to 13,425 sales), but it was the luxury brand's crossovers and SUVs that really pushed the needle, +23.5% to 12,451 sales.

4. Chrysler LLC: 139,239, down 1 percent.
*Jeep sales continue to go from strength to strength. The brand was +20% to 71,759, led by the Cherokee (+27%, 19,072) and the Wrangler (+22%, 18,849).
*Early Jeep Renegade sales look promising, as the car racks up 4,214 sales in April for a total of 5,157 since it launched.
*Thirty-eight people bought an Alfa Romeo 4C last month!
*Dodge brand sales -16% to 44,906 as Caravan (-54%), discontinued Avenger (-98% to just 140 sales), and Durango (-2%) hurt the overall total.

5. American Honda: 130,068, down 1.8 percent.
*CR-V crossover (+3.4% to 29,452) beat out Honda's popular cars, the Civic (+2.8% to 28,380) and the Accord (-20.1%to 27,251).
*Acura brand sales rose 5.3 percent thanks to the new TLX sedan's 4,093 sales. Every other Acura model saw its sales decline last month; without the TLX, Acura sales would have fallen 23.6 percent.

6. Nissan North America: 109,848, up 5.7 percent.
*As with most automakers, Nissan crossovers (+23.7%) steal the spotlight away from the company's cars (Altima -11.6%, Versa -8.0%, Maxima -23.1%). The Nissan Rogue, +44.5% to 21,767, is the second best-selling model behind the Altima midsize sedan (22,108 sales).
*Infiniti sales are mostly stable, with the brand as a whole +8.8% to 9,979. Dark spots include the Q40 (-10.1% to 1,371), Q60 (-55.2% to 379), and QX50 (-17.8% to 185).

7. Hyundai: 68,009, up 2.9 percent.
*Hyundai was one of several automakers to set an April sales record, and year-to-date the South Korean company has seen sales +6.2%.
*Elantra leads in volume, +8.3% to 21,911, followed by Sonata -12.6% to 17,914 sales.

8. Kia Motors America: 53,282, down 0.7 percent.
*Most models saw sales slip last month. Bright spots were the Sedona minivan, Sorento crossover, and Sportage crossover.

9. Subaru: 47,241, up 17.9 percent.
*Sporty coupes are a tough sell. BRZ sales -39.8% to just 494, and year-to-date the BRZ is -42.7%. The Subaru's twin, the Scion FR-S, is also struggling, with sales -29.0% to 1,026.
*The new Legacy and Outback are posting big gains over the outgoing versions, +68.8% to 5,276 and +17.6% to 12,534 respectively.

10. Daimler-Benz: 32,432, up 10.6 percent.
*The Mercedes-Benz C-Class remains the top seller, +30.3% to 6,665.
*Among crossovers, the M-Class remains the kind, +29.1% to 4,945 sales, with the GLK-Class trailing at 3,071, -2.3%.
*The new Mercedes-AMG GT found 205 buyers in its first month on sale.

11. BMW Group: 32,428, up 9.6 percent.
*The 3-Series and 4-Series family remains the volume leader, +5.9% to 10,374 sales.
*Mini Hardtop sales continue to rise this year, with two-door models +77.7% to 2,141 last month.
*BMW is one of the few automakers to see its crossover sales fall, -4.1% to 7,938, even with the addition of the new X4.

12. Volkswagen: 30,009, down 2.67 percent.
*The high-performance Golf GTI (+97.2% to 1,905) outsold the standard Golf (+109.0% to 1,739), the Golf R (327), and the e-Golf (309).
*But nothing can touch the Jetta sedan, +5.4% to 11,440, and the Passat midsizer, -28.9% to 6,623.

13. Mazda: 24,123, up 26.1 percent.
*Only two models improved their sales and kept Mazda's numbers in the black: The Mazda6 sedan, +30.9% to 4,995, and the Mazda CX-5 crossover, +31.1% to 8,960. Both of those models recently received significant refreshes.
*No surprises that sales of the old MX-5 Miata are down, -17.4% to 384, but it's more of a shock the popular Mazda3 compact is -6.8%, finishing the month with 8,006 sales.

14. Audi: 16,827, up 7.5 percent.
*The Audi A3 (+47.6% to 3,187) and the Q5 (+14.2% to 3,762) led in terms of volume, as Audi celebrated its 52nd consecutive month of increased U.S. sales.
*Whether it's because the model is so old or because buyers are switching to the A3, sales of the A4 are -26.5% to 2,327. One year ago, A4 sales outpaced those of the A3, but the tables have since turned.

15. Mitsubishi: 8,216, up 25.5 percent.
*Don't count Mitsubishi out just yet. Sales are up so far this year, thanks almost entirely to growth of the Mirage (+80.8% to 2,407) and steady sales of the Outlander Sport (+2.1% to 2,674).

16. Jaguar Land Rover North America: 6,390, up 15 percent.
*Land Rover doesn't break down sales by models, but last month the brand's sales were +17% to 5,311 units
*Jaguar sales were +4% to 1,079, with the XF sedan leading the volume +16% at 484 units. The F-Type sports car is +198%, but that only translated to 274 sales versus a paltry 92 in April 2014.loo

17. Porsche: 5,217, up 28.1 percent
*Here, too, crossovers reign supreme. The Boxster, Cayman, and 911/918 sports cars collectively racked up 1,522 sales last month. But the Porsche Macan managed 1,537 and the Cayenne posted 1,773.

18. Volvo: 4,381, down 5.5 percent.
*The only cars with sales gains were the S80 luxury sedan, +8.0% to just 121 sales, and the XC60 crossover, +44.0% to 1,819. The new-for-2015 V60 CC posted 313 sales, only slightly trailing the standard V60 wagon's 400 sales.

Compact cars, April sales:
1.) Toyota Corolla 31,990
2.) Honda Civic 28,380
3.) Chevrolet Cruze 20,947
4.) Hyundai Elantra 21,911
5.) Ford Focus 18,100

Compact CUVs, April sales:
1.) Honda CR-V 29,452
2.) Chevrolet Equinox 28,856
3.) Ford Escape 25,770
4.) Toyota RAV4 22,914
5.) Nissan Rogue 21,767

Midsize cars, April sales:
1.) Toyota Camry 34,066
2.) Honda Accord 27,251
3.) Ford Fusion 24,957
4.) Nissan Altima 22,108
5.) Chrysler 200 18,850

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