Improved figures for America's international auto industry sales in April continued the march toward industry-wide recovery. Sales have improved every month in 2010. April's growth was second only to March's 24.3 percent improvement over March 2009. Last month, international brands were led by Hyundai (up 29.7 percent), Nissan (up 33.8 percent), and Subaru (up 48.2 percent). Toyota, which continued its exceptional incentive offers from March, sold the most vehicles of any international brand with 139,080 units, up 23.8 percent from April 2009.
"The auto retail industry, and the international sector in particular, continues to show stable growth," said AIADA president Cody Lusk. "Our dealers are reporting steady traffic not only from repeat buyers, but also shoppers new to international brands. International nameplate dealers have something for everyone on their lots -- from value to safety to performance."
International Brands Occupy Largest Chunk of Market Share
According to numbers from Autodata Corp., international brands sold 540,077 units in April, down from 607,383 units in March, but up from 417,013 units in February. Overall, internationals occupied a total 55 percent share of the U.S. auto market, down slightly from 56.9 percent in March. Asian brands accounted for 46.5 percent of the market, down from 49 percent in March, while European nameplates held 8.5 percent, up from 7.9 percent last month. Domestic brands finished the month with 45 percent of the market, up from 43 percent in March.
Top Selling Vehicles
Six of the top 10 selling vehicles in April were international nameplates, unchanged from March. The Toyota RAV4 and Nissan Altima each slipped off the top ten list, as the Hyundai Sonata and Honda CR-V gained a foothold, placing ninth and tenth respectively. While all vehicles, with the exception of the Honda Civic, charted average year-over-year sales gains of 28.2 percent, the Hyundai Sonata recorded the biggest improvement with sales up 56.9 percent over April 2009. Both Honda and Ford tied for top honors with three vehicles apiece in the month's top 10.
Americans bought 281,695 SUVs and crossovers in April, down from the 322,394 purchased in March. The mid-size car segment once again clocked in at second place with 254,214 vehicles sold. As a whole, Americans purchased 505,598 cars and 476,533 trucks during April. Asian nameplates sold 283,173 cars and 173,806 trucks, while European nameplates sold 61,559 cars and 21,539 trucks. Domestics registered sales of 160,866 cars and 281,188 trucks.
Overall sales, including domestic brands and unadjusted for business days, were up 19.8 percent from April 2009 and 16.7 percent for the year. The seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) for light vehicles now stands at 11.21 million, an improvement from 9.23 million units in April 2009.
See below for a complete breakdown of April 2010 monthly and year-to-date sales by international nameplate.