U.S. Auto Sales Thaw in April


There were no surprises in the Top Ten list.

U.S. auto sales increased in April with the overall market up 8.1% for all brands to 1.391 million vehicles. AutoData said the seasonally adjusted annual rate, or SAAR, for April at 16.04 million, showed an improvement from 15.9 million units in April 2013. Offshore brands held a 53.9% market share, selling 750,328 vehicles, down from a market share of 55.1% and sales of 847,047 units last month.

Putting some big increases on the scoreboard year-over-year were Fiat Chrysler whose truck and Jeep sales showed a whopping +14% gain at 179,000; Nissan + 18% at 104,000 from surging car sales; Kia +12.9% at 54,000; Subaru +22% at 40,000, and Toyota +13% at 200,000. Ford Motor’s aging product line caused sales to drop slightly to 210,000; While GM was untouched by the ignition switch controversy and posted a +7% increase at 254,00.

Asian nameplates held 44.9% of the market, down from 46.1% in March, but up from 44.4% in February. They sold 624,892 vehicles, down from 707,962 in March. Asian brands are up 11% compared to last April when they occupied 43.8% of the market. European brands held 9% of the U.S. auto market in April, the same as last month’s market share. They sold 125,436 vehicles, down from 139,085 vehicles in March. Nonetheless, they also finished the month ahead of last April, with sales up 9.3% overall. Domestic brands took 46% of April’s U.S. auto market, up from 44.9% last month, with sales of 640,185 units.

Together, Asian and European brands sourced 472,108 cars and trucks sold in April from their North American plants. Asian brands assembled 251,728 cars and 187,162 trucks from these facilities, while European brands made 18,622 cars and 14,596 trucks.

There were no surprises in the Top Ten best-selling list. As usual, Ford F-Series led the way at 63,000 units, followed by Chevrolet Silverado at 43,000. In Third place was the Toyota Camry (38,000), which just edged the Ram pickup line at 37,000.Honda Accord, Toyota Corolla, Honda CR-V, Honda Civic, Ford Fusion and Nissan Altima held the Five through Ten spots, respectively.

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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