WOODCLIFF LAKE, N.J. — According to Autodata Corp., the industry sold about 1.54 million units last month, or 6% fewer vehicles than a year ago. The dip was fueled, in part, by two fewer selling days compared to the same time last year. The seasonally adjusted rate annual rate (SAAR) was adjusted to 17.45 million, an improvement from April’s SAAR of 17.42 million but a drop from the 17.70 million SAAR posted in May 2015.
Nearly all manufacturers reported year-over-year declines, while only four — FCA, Hyundai, Kia and Volvo — performed better last month than the same time last year. Save for some exceptions like the Honda Civic, cars were down compared to a year ago. SUVs and CUVs, however, continued to perform well and helped offset poor sales in other segments.The following is a breakdown of sales performance by manufacturer.
BMW: BMW Group reported May sales of 33,612 vehicles in the U.S. market, down 8.8% compared to the year-ago period. The BMW brand accounted for 29,017 of those vehicles, an 8.7% decrease from a year ago. MINI sales totaled 4,595 vehicles, a 21.2% decrease.
Ford: Ford delivered a total of 235,997 vehicles in May, a 6% decline compared to a year ago. While overall sales were down, multiple segments saw strong improvements that softened the blow from weak sales in the automaker's other segments. The brand saw its van segment post its best results in 38 years, propelled by a 16% improvement in Transit sales (13,640).
As has been the case through 2016, the F-Series line of pickups continued to perform well. For the month, sales totaled 67,412 units, a 9% improvement over the prior year. So far, Ford has sold 324,307 pickups in 2016.
FCA: FCA US posted its best May sales in 11 years with 204,452 units sold, a 1% improvement over the same time last year. Leading the way were the Jeep, Dodge and RAM brands, which all posted healthy sales gains for the month. They helped offset sales declines realized by the Chrysler, Alfa and FIAT brands.
The Jeep Renegade, Jeep Patriot, Ram ProMaster, Ram ProMaster City and the Jeep Compass saw the most consumer demand, according to the company.
General Motors: General Motors sold a total of 240,450 vehicles in May, an 18% decline from the year-ago period. The company attributed this drop to two less selling days and a lack of supply of new model-year vehicles to meet demand. Sales leaders included the Chevrolet Malibu, Chevrolet Cruze, Cadillac XT5 and Cadillac CT6.
The automaker sold 190,613 vehicles to individual or "retail" customers in May, a 13% decline from a year ago. However, where retail demand has been falling, fleet and government demand has been rising. Vehicle sales from government agencies rose 15% in May, with fleet sales accounting for 21% of the company’s total sales.
Honda: American Honda reported May sales of 147,108 units, a decrease of 4.8% compared to the year-ago period. All models for the Honda Division, except the Honda Civic and HR-V, posted sales declines compared to a year ago. The Civic posted 35,396 units sold, a 2.7% improvement over the same time last year and the seventh consecutive month of year-over-year improvement. The HR-V posted sales of 7,392 units, a 15.8% gain over May 2015. However, all other Civic models posted sales declines compared to the year-ago period.
The Acura division posted sales of 13,561 units, a 20.4% decline from a year ago, with all vevhicles for the division posting sales declines vs. a year ago.
Hyundai: May ended up being one of Hyundai’s all-time best sales months, according to its sales report. The manufacturer sold 71,006 vehicles, a 12% increase compared to the same time last year.
The automaker attributed its successful may to the brand’s refreshed CUV lineup. The brand’s three CUVs, the Tucson, Santa Fe and Santa Fe Sport, posted sales improvements of 90%, 123% and 74%, respectively.
Kia: Kia Motors America reported its best-ever May, with sales inching up 0.8% from a year ago to 62,926 units. Leading the way were the Forte (9,910 units), Sportage (8,569 units), Sorento (11,914 units), and Sedona (5,170 units), which bested last May's sales totals by 15%, 91%, 11% and 26%, respectively.
Mazda: Mazda North American Operations posted May sales of 28,328 units, a 4.3% decrease compared to a year ago. In its report, the company stated that in just one week of sales, the all-new CX-9 sold 600 units, with sales expected to improve even more in the months to come, officials said.
The MX-5 also posted a strong May, with sales improving 122.7% from a year ago to 1,000 units sold.
Mercedes-Benz: Mercedes-Benz USA reported May sales of 32,567 vehicles, a 1.9% drop from the same time last year. Volume leaders included the C-Class (6,954 units), GLC (4,183 units) and GLE (4,003 units) model lines.
Mitsubishi: Mitsubishi posted May sales of 9,025 units, a 5.7% decrease compared to the year prior. The Outlander was the best-performing vehicle in the brand’s portfolio, with sales increasing 119% from a year ago to 2,936 units.
Nissan: Nissan Group reported total unit sales of 133,496, a 1% decline compared to a year ago. Nearly 92% of the group’s sales came from its Nissan division, with Infiniti accounting for the rest. The Nissan division posted sales of 122,668 units, a 1.3% decrease compared to last year. The Infiniti division posted sales of 10,828 units, a 3.4% increase from last year.
Both divisions also had clear leaders in terms of year-over-year sales improvements. In Nissan’s corner, the Maxima posted a 146.8% increase in sales, with sales totaling 5,032 units. As for Infiniti, its QX50 posted a 583.3% increase, with sales totaling 1,632 units in May.
Toyota: The automaker posted May sales of 219,339 units, a 9.6% decrease from May 2015. The company’s Toyota division posted sales of 192,657 units, a 9.5% year-over-year decrease on a volume basis. The Lexus division experienced a slightly larger decrease of 10.1% on a volume basis, with sales totaling 26,682 units.
In spite of overall sales being down, the company’s SUV segment was up on multiple fronts. The Toyota RAV4 posted sales of 32,261 units, a 12% increase over last year. Sales of the Toyota 4Runner were up 21%, with sales totaling 10,352 units. Sales of the Toyota Land Cruiser increased 31.3% from a year ago, while sales of the Lexus RX increased 10%.
Volkswagen: Volkswagen’s struggle to recoup consumer trust continued in May, with sales falling 17.2% from a year ago to 28,779 sold. While the majority of models suffered year-over-year sales declines, two models did manage to post positive gains. Sales of Golf R increased 38.8% from a year ago to 433 units sold last month, while sales of the Tiguan improved 42.7% to 4,394 units sold.
Volvo: Volvo posted strong sales numbers for May. Sales improved 10.2% from a year ago to 5,536 vehicles sold. The biggest contributor to these numbers was the brand’s XC90 luxury SUV, which accounted for 2,467 units sold.