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Friday, May 2, 2008


April was a bad month. We've covered that already. It's settled. But did every car suffer? Some companies made hay in April, even as General Motors, Chrysler, and Ford suffered. 

Jaguar recently introduced its new XF, a handsome and sporty midsize luxury competitor. Mainly because of that car's success, Jaguar sales jumped 15.7% in America. That's a tidy 300+ car increase in a month where almost every car company declined.

Nissan sold about 6,000 more cars this April than the Japanese company did last year. Daily sales rates adjust the percentages for the number of days available for selling. You can read about that in the earlier post. Nissan rose just 0.1% in April/08 vs April/07 contrasting.

Subaru saw a gain of 12% and Mini sold about 1,400 extra vehicles, comparing month-over-month results. Kia generated a 6.7% climb. But what about the losers? What happened?

To state the obvious, fewer people are buying trucks. At General Motors, cars and crossovers joined up to produce 9% greater sales than the same period of last year at a company that saw truck and SUV sales decline 27%. Truck numbers fell 19% at Ford; SUVs were even worse - 36% down.

The Dodge Caliber, Jeep Compass, and Jeep Patriot trio helped stem the outgoing tide at Chrysler. The trio's combined 16% climb was vastly outdone by truck and SUV sales at Chrysler which dropped 27%.

Blame doesn't sit on truck shoulders alone. Preliminary figures show sales at Japan Luxury Central (Infiniti, Lexus, and Acura) dropped. 

Drop, fall, decline, suffer. Words of the month.

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