Auto Sales Continue Spring Slump

The American auto market showed signs of a plateau in April. Despite the trend, many international automakers maintained a strong performance for the month. Toyota’s sales slightly outperformed analyst’s expectations, falling just 3.5 percent from a year ago. Honda’s sales slipped 6.3 percent, Nissan saw a 2 point reduction, and Hyundai remained nearly flat with a 0.9 percent dip. Subaru and Volkswagen bucked the industry-wide slump, up 3.9 percent and 1.6 percent, respectively.

Auto Sales Lose Momentum Heading Into Spring

March U.S. auto sales leveled off from the strong, rapid growth they experienced in recent months. The average length of time a car sat on a dealer’s lot hit 70 days in March—the longest stretch of time since July 2009. For all automakers, car sales were down 10.6 percent from a year ago while light truck sales were up 5.2 percent. Honda’s sales were up 1.8 percent from last March, Nissan’s sales rose 0.5 percent, and Subaru experienced an impressive 11.3 percent sales improvement—its 64th month of consecutive gains. Toyota’s sales were down 1.2 percent while its Lexus division slipped 7.5 percent.

Light Trucks Drive Gains for International Nameplates

Although the February auto market continued to cool from the record sales clip it hit in late 2016, sales remained strong due to high demand for trucks and SUVs. International brands were well positioned to take advantage of U.S consumer demand, logging a strong month overall.

Auto Industry Begins 2017 with a Steady Pace

International automakers continued to perform well with U.S. vehicle shoppers in January—a month traditionally recognized as the slowest of the year. Honda’s sales rose 7.7 percent from last January; Nissan’s sales were up 3.6 percent; and Volkswagen saw an improvement of 17.1 percent. Toyota, coming off a record December, saw sales slip 9.2 percent while its luxury division Lexus had a 25.6 percent dip. Subaru, meanwhile, enjoyed its best January ever on the strength of its crossovers with 43,879 units sold, a 6.8 percent improvement from a year ago.