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April a Mixed Bag, SAAR at 14.42 Million Units

May 03, 2012

Total light vehicle sales were up 10.3 percent from a year ago and 14.9 percent vs. March, according to AutoData, which put the seasonally adjusted annual rate at 14.42 million units. Big winners were Audi, Chrysler and Volkswagen, while Ford and General Motors reported sales decline.

Audi: The German automaker reported a record-setting April with a 15 percent sales increase in new vehicles sold. This marked the 16th consecutive month of record sales in the U.S. market, with April also marking the fourth best month ever for the brand. Sales of the A8, A7 (91.2 percent sales increase from a year ago), A6 (136.8 percent sales increase) and Q7 (12.3 percent increase) jumped 52 percent and represented 31.2 percent of total sales.

BMW/Mini: The BMW Group reported April U.S. sales of 26,793 vehicles, a 6.1 increase from a year ago. Year-to-date sales were up 13.7 percent on sales of 102,522 vehicles for the first four months of the year. Sales of BMW brand vehicles increased 12 percent to a total of 21,062 units sold. Year-to-date sales were up 15.7 percent for the first four months of 2011. Top sellers included the X5 SAV (up 50.9 percent), the 3 Series (up 20.8 percent) and the 6 Series (up 92.9 percent).

Mini USA reported sales of 5,731 units in April, a decrease of 11.1 percent from the record 6,446 units sold in April 2011. Year-to-date sales were up 6 percent for the first four months of the year.

Chrysler Group: The Detroit automaker realized its best April since 2008, with sales up 20 percent (141,165 units sold) from the year-ago period. The Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, Ram Truck and FIAT brands each posted sales increase in April vs. a year ago, with FIAT recording a sizable 336 percent year-over-year sales gain — the largest percentage increase of any Chrysler Group brand in April.

Chrysler brand sales were up 56 percent in April, representing the brand’s best April sales since 2007. All three Chrysler models contributed to the strong showing, with sales of the Chrysler 300 up 138 percent from a year ago. The Chrysler Town & Country and Dodge Grand Caravan each posted double-digit sales gains, while the Chrysler 200 set an April sales record with a 61 percent sales increase from the year-ago period.

Jeep brand sales increased 19 percent in April compared to a year ago, the brands best April in five years. The Jeep Wrangler led the way with a record-setting April, recording a 35 percent sales increase. The Liberty, Grand Cherokee and Patriot also posted sales gains in April vs. a year ago, with the Grand Cherokee recording its best April in seven years.

The Ram Truck brand posted its best April sales in four years, while Dodge brand sales increased 2 percent in April, which was enough for the brand to record its best April since 2008. Dodge was led by the Dodge Avenger, which set an all-time sales record with a 47 percent sales increase. The Challenger, Grand Caravan and Journey also recorded April sales records.

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