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Autodata: December Sales Push 2016 New-Vehicle Sales Above 17.5 Million

January 12, 2017

WOODCLIFF LAKE, N.J. — The 3.1% year-over-year increase in new-vehicle sales in December was more than enough to push the industry’s annual sales tally above the 17.5 million-unit mark for 2016, according to Autodata Corp.

The industry sold 1.69 million units in December for a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 18.43 million units. That’s up from last December’s SAAR of 17.52 million. For all of 2016, the industry sold 17.55 million units, a 0.4% increase from a year ago.The following is a breakdown of sales performance by manufacturer.

BMW: BMW group sales totaled 37,493 units in December, a 5.4% decrease from a year ago. For the year, the automaker sold 365,204 units, a 9.7% decline from 2015 sales.

The BMW brand sold 32,835 vehicles in December, a 5.45% decrease from a year ago. For the full year, BMW brand sales were down 9.5% on sales of 313,174. Notable performances include sales of the BMW 7 Series, the BMW X1 and BMW X3. The 7 Series saw sales grow by 39% year-over-year to 12,918, while sales for the X1 grew 92.9% to 27,812. The X3 realized 44,196 sales for the month, 38.4% more than it did in 2015.

MINI USA reported 4,658 units sold during the month, a decrease of 7% over the year prior. For full year 2016, MINI USA sold 52,030 units, down 11.1% over the same time in 2015. The best-performing model for MINI USA in December was the Cooper S Clubman, with sales increasing 230.4% from a year ago to 1,520 units sold . The Clubman was also the best-performing model for the year, with sales increasing 2,541.6% from the year prior to 12,204 units sold.

Chrysler: FCA US LLC sold 192,519 units in December, a 10% decreased from the prior-year period. For the full 2016 calendar year, unit sales were essentially flat, according to the automaker.

Retail sales represented 81% of total sales in December, while fleet sales accounted for 19%, the company stated. Retail sales declined 2% year-over-year to 155,987 units and fleet sales were down 34% on 36,532 units sold.

Ram Truck brand sales were up 10% year-over-year in December, according to the automaker. This growth, the automaker added, was driven by the brand’s pickup truck, which posted a 15% year-over-year sales gain, and the ProMaster van, which recorded a 13% increase over the same period. For the full year, Ram Truck brand sales were up 11% over 2015.

Jeep brand sales were down 6% in December, compared to the year before. Even still, four Jeep brand models — the Renegade (39% sales increase), Grand Cherokee (13% sales increase), Wrangler (2% sales increase) and Compass (10% sales increase ) — posted year-over-year gains during the month. For the full year, Jeep brand sales were up 6%.

For Dodge, December sales were down 21% compared to the year prior on 26,329 units sold. For the full year, the brand posted a 4% sales decline compared to 2015, with 506,858 units sold. The Challenger was one of the bright spots for the brand in December. It posted a 15% sales increase from a year ago.

Sales of the Chrysler brand were down 32% in December from a year ago on sales of 16,776. For the full year, the brand sold 231,972 units, a 27% decline over the same time last year. The brand’s Pacifica minivan, however, posted an 18% sales increase compared to the previous month, making December the best-selling month for the model.

Fiat sales for December were down 54% from a year ago on 2,606 units sold. For the year, sales were down 24% from 2015 totals on 32,742 units sold.

Ford: Ford Motor Co. sold 239,854 units in December, an increase of 0.3% over the prior-year period. Of that amount, 183,454, or 76.5%, originated from retail sales, representing the company’s best retail sales since 2004 and a 5% increase over the same month in 2015. The rest, 56,500 units, originated from fleet sales.

The Ford brand sold a total of 227,063 units in December, a 0.6% decline from a year ago. Sales of the F-Series trucks totaled 87,512, a 3% increase from a year ago. Ford van sales also grew 3% during the month on 22,302 units sold. The best year-over-year gain, however, belonged to the company’s SUV segment, which grew sales 6% to 68,685 units.

For the full year, the Ford brand sold 2,502,973 units, a decline of 0.4% compared to the prior-year period.

For Lincoln, December sales totaled 12,791 units, a 17.8% year-over-year improvement from the prior-year period. For the full year, the brand realized 111,724 unit sales, 10.4% more than the same time in 2015. Segment-wise, Lincoln car sales posted an 8% year-over-year gain, while SUVs posted a 12% improvement.

General Motors: General Motors reported total U.S. sales of 319,108 in December, up 10% from the prior-year period. Of that, 249,983 units in December were retail sales, 3% more than in the previous year. Fleet sales accounted for 69,125 units during the month, a 4.9% increase over the year before.

Chevrolet posted sales of 212,959 units in December, 12.8% more than the prior-year period. GMC sold 63,415 units, 5.8% more than the year before. Buick sales came in at 21,288, a 2.8% year-over-year gain. The Cadillac brand sold 21,446 vehicles, a 3.2% gain.

For the full 2016 year, GM sold 3,042,775 vehicles, 1.3% less than it did in 2015. Breaking that down into retail vs. fleet, retail sales were up 1.8% at 2,446,582 units while fleet sales were down 2.4% at 596,193.  

Honda: In December, American Honda Motor Co. sold 160,477 vehicles, a 10.3% improvement over the year before. For the year, sales totaled 1,637,942 units, a 3.2% improvement over 2015 totals.

The Honda brand contributed 143,329 units to the automaker’s total sales number in December, 10.9% more than in the previous year. For the full year, the brand accounted for 1,476,582 units, a 4.8% year-over-year improvement. One of the best-performing vehicles for the brand in 2016 was its Civic, which realized a 9.4% year-over-year improvement selling 366,927 units.

December Acura sales totaled 17,148 units, 5.7% more than in the prior-year period. Full year sales totaled 161,360, 8.9% less than in 2015. A unit leader for the brand was the RDX compact SUV, which sold 552,361 units in 2016, 2.6% more than it did in the previous year.

Hyundai: Sales for Hyundai Motor America came in at 62,305 units in December, down 1.9% from the year before. For the full year, the automaker sold 775,005 units, 1.75% more than it did in 2015.

Hyundai sales accounted for 60,572 units in December, 4.8% less than in 2015. For the year, the brand’s sales accounted for 768,057 units, 0.8% less than in 2015. One of the company’s top performers for the year was the Sante Fe compact SUV, which realized a 10% sales increase in 2016 on sales of 131,257 units.

Genesis, the company’s new luxury brand, posted sales of 1,733 units in December. For the full year, the brand sold 6,948 units. Its best-selling model for the year was the G80 sedan, with 6,166 units sold.

Mazda: Mazda North American Operations reported sales of 28,754 units in December, a 1.8% decline from a year ago. For the full year, the automaker sold 297,773 units, a 6.7% sales decline.

The automaker partially attributed the decline to its overall sales strategy of selling significantly less fleet vehicles. In 2016, the automaker sold 20,359 units to fleets, a 28% decline from 2015. Retail sales were also down, however, with 277,414 units sold, 4.6% less than in 2015.

For the year as a whole, nearly all of the automaker’s small cars, save for the MX-5, posted year-over-year sales declines. The three vehicles in the automaker’s lineup that realized sales gains were the MX-5, CX-3 and CX-5, which posted 10.5%, 190.6% and 1.0% year-over-year increases, respectively.

Mercedes-Benz: Mercedes-Benz USA reported sales of 37,057 vehicles in December, 4.8% less than it did in the prior year period. For the full 2016 calendar year, sales totaled 380,752, 0.1% more than in 2015.

 Volume leaders for the automaker in December included the C-Class, GLE and E-Class model lines. The C-Class sold the most with 7,345 units, followed by the GLE with 5,574 and the E-Class with 4,851. Mercedes-AMG high performance models were up 33.3% year-over-year with 3,126 units sold in December.

For the full year, the model line to see the highest year-over-year gain was the GLC/GLK, which posted a sales gain of 71.6% over 2015 with 47,872 units sold.

Mitsubishi: Mitsubishi Motors North America Inc. reported December sales of 7,383 units, a 6.8% year-over-year sales decline. Sales for the year were 96,267, up 1% over 2015.

Volume leaders for the brand in December were the Outlander Sport and Outlander, with sales totaling 2,500 and 2,465 units, respectively. The same was true for the year as a whole, as sales of the Outlander Sport and Outlander totaled 33,067 and 26,576 units, respectively.  

Nissan: Nissan Group sales in December totaled 152,743 units, a 9.7% increase from a year ago. For the full year, sales totaled 1,564,423, a 5.4% increase compared to 205 and an all-time record high, according to the automaker.

The Nissan division also set an all-time sales record in 2016 with 1,426,130 vehicles sold. For December, sales totaled 134,545 units, 8.3% more than the prior-year period. Sales of Nissan crossovers, trucks and SUVs also set a December record with a 35.6% boost in sales.

The Titan, Armada and Murano all posted significant year-over-year gains, with sales growing by 331.8%, 114% and 11.3%, respectively. And for the first time, Nissan’s Rogue crossover was the brand’s top-selling model with 329,904 units sold in 2016, a 14.9% increase.  

Infiniti sales totaled 18,198 units in December, a 20.6% improvement. Full-year sales totaled 138,293 units, a 3.6% year-over-year improvement.

Toyota: Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A Inc. reported December sales of 243,229 vehicles, an increase of 2% over the prior year period. Full-year sales totaled 2,449,630 units, a 2% decrease over 2015.

The Toyota division posted December sales of 202,047 units, a 2.6% increase on a volume basis over 2015. Full-year sales for the Toyota division totaled 2,118,402, a 1.7% decrease. Lexus sales in December totaled 41,182 units, down 0.5% on a volume basis from a year ago. Full-year sales for Lexus were down 3.9% on 331,228 units sold.  

For the Toyota division, its SUV segment realized its best year-over-year improvement, posting 27.6% more sales in December than in the previous year. Lexus saw a similar trend, with its NX compact SUV realizing a 44% year-over-year sales gain — the brand’s best year-over-year improvement.  

Volkswagen/Audi: Volkswagen of America Inc. reported a 20.3% sales increase in December, with sales totaling 37,229 units. For the full year, sales totaled 322,948 units, a 7.6% decrease over 2015.

The automaker’s Tiguan compact SUV had its best month ever in December, according to Volkswagen, delivering 5,675 units. The Golf family delivered 8,968 units, 56.9% more than in December 2015. And the Chattanooga-built Passat delivered 7,241 units, a 101.4% increase over December 2015.

As for Audi of America, December marked the best-ever sales month in the brand's history, according to the automaker. Sales for the month totaled 23,195, 13.7% more than in 2015. For the whole year, sales totaled 210,213, 4% more than in 2015.

SUV demand was high for the brand in December, with the Q5 and Q7 each having their best sales month. The Q5 posted sales of 6,396 units, while the Q7 posted sales of 3,275 units, a 175% increase over the prior year.

Sales for Porsche Cars North America Inc. totaled 4,015 units in December, about 2% more than the year before. For the full year, sales totaled 54,280 units, 4.9% more than in 2015 and a new PCNA sales record, the automaker stated. The volume driver for the year was the Macan compact crossover, with sales totaling 19,332 units.

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