2012 Chrysler 300S V6, photo by Greg Wilson. Click image to enlarge
Chrysler was the big winner again in April, continuing its sales push and edging ahead of Ford for the month and for the year. Chrysler moved 24,540 vehicles, an improvement of 3.0 percent when the market itself was down 1.4 percent compared to last April. Notable successes came from the Chrysler 200 (264 percent improvement!!!), Fiat 500 (could it finally be gaining acceptance?), Chrysler Town & Country (umm, discounts?) and Jeep Wrangler, which all had record sales in a given month. The Ram pickup also had a record April, selling 6,129 units for a 22 percent bump over last year, and a 20 percent improvement year to date.
Hot on Chrysler’s heels is Ford, though the news isn’t all positive for them, as they actually lost ground compared to last year. The 24,171 vehicles it sold are a 5.4-percent drop over last April and for the year they are off by 2.7 percent compared to 2011, but they are only about 600 units back of Chrysler on year-to-date sales. However, Industry analyst Dennis Desrosiers notes: “Last year… they blew the doors off the market most months so it is not surprising that they were down slightly.” Breaking it down, Ford’s car sales were up (Focus, Mustang, and Fusion all posting double-digit gains and the new Taurus up 106 percent), crossovers were up (Edge, Explorer) and trucks were down.
2013 Ford Taurus; photo by Paul Williams. Click image to enlarge
GM, too, is falling behind last year’s pace, selling 21,090 cars and trucks, 6.8 percent below last April and down 4.0 percent on the year. GM is blaming it on the fact that there were more weekends in April this year: “On a selling-day adjusted basis, GM total sales were up 5.4 per cent in April, with Chevrolet sales up 2.1 per cent, Buick sales up 11.6 per cent and GMC sales up 15.7 per cent. There were three fewer selling days in April 2012 than a year ago.” It’s okay, GM, you’re allowed to have a bad month, but how do you explain the year-to-date drop? Thought so… no matter, the Cruze and Sonic are selling like gangbusters, and the Verano is reviving the Buick brand.
Rounding out the top five are Toyota with 17,394 sales (-1.8 percent), Hyundai at 14,301 — virtually dead even with last year’s April, but up 5.6 percent on the year. Two more notable successes are Kia, which continues its stupendous growth, April sales up 18.2 percent at 8,010 and YTD sales up 20.8 percent and Mercedes-Benz, 3,275 sales for an 18.7 percent increase over last year and tracking at 16.1 percent up on the year.
Biggest losers? Mitsubishi, which dropped 28.5 percent for April and down 5.0 percent YTD and poor little Suzuki, selling only 413 vehicles in April, 34.4 percent lower than last April, and 16.2 percent behind last year’s pace overall.