NYAS: Regal Returns as – What Else? – a Crossover

AutoInformed.com on NYAS and Diminished Detroit Three SalesDetailer Lise Pivaral shining a 2018 Buick Regal TourX today in preparation for the New York International Auto Show in New York, New York – a town so good they named it twice. Unveiled last week, the Regal TourX is a crossover with – allegedly, but quite probably likely – the driving dynamics of a car and the versatility of an SUV, a segment that Buick despised for so long.

The former Detroit Three can’t give away a car, but are basking in the strong sales sunshine of pickup trucks (no Buick thus far? Grin), SUVs and crossovers. The much Diminished Detroit Big Three – held 43.8% of the U.S. March vehicle market, down from 46% last month – despite an ongoing boom in light truck and crossover sales, slipping from 44.5% last March.

Overall, the Diminished Detroit Three sold 681,729 units, up from 614,134 vehicles in February. Nevertheless, this was still off from 704,306 vehicles in March 2016. This resulted in a sales decrease of -3.2% from last March. Trucks – Detroit’s bread and butter –  are no longer unchallenged by offshore brands.

Trucks and SUVs – no surprise given gasoline prices and American tastes –  are favored by shoppers. Six of the Top Ten selling vehicles for March – more than 25% of the market or where the real money is – were held by vehicles in this segment. The Ford F-Series – no surprise led, this has been going on for decades, followed by Ram, and Chevrolet Silverado pickups took the top three spots.

However, the highly-styled Nissan Rogue was in fourth place, upholding its status as the top selling crossover for the month. Sales of the Rogue are up 42.6% compared to last March. The recently-redesigned Honda CR-V took sixth place with sales up 23% compared to March 2016. The Toyota RAV4 finished the month in seventh place with sales up 10.3%.

Nonetheless cars – but not Diminished Detroit Three cars – remain strong competitors with three models making the month’s list of best-sellers. The Toyota Camry finished in fifth place as the top selling car in the U.S., although sales were down -3.6% (a rounding error, frankly given the volume) from last March. Honda Civic finished in eighth place with sales decline of -4.1%, and the Toyota Corolla—finished in ninth place with sales down -6.1%. The Nissan Altima took tenth place for the month with sales down -18.2 %.

The New York International Auto Show media preview days begin tomorrow. The show opens to the public on Friday.

About Ken Zino

Ken Zino is an auto industry veteran with global experience in print, broadcast and electronic media. He has auto testing, marketing, public relations and communications expertise garnered while working in Asia, Europe and the U.S.
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