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Published on April 6th, 2019 | by Zachary Shahan


15 Automakers + 8 Additional Car Brands See Sales Drops In USA

April 6th, 2019 by  

Now that we’ve got a truly mass market electric car in the US (the 13th best selling car in the country in the first quarter of 2019 and the best selling luxury car), I’ve found it interesting to take a closer look at changes in all automakers’ overall car and automobile sales. I meticulously track changes from month to month and quarter to quarter using automaker sales reports for this purpose.

As you can see in the headline, the following automakers saw their sales drop in March 2019 compared to March 2018:

  • Fiat (−45%)
  • Chrysler (−38%)
  • Alfa Romeo (−31%)
  • Infiniti (−23%)
  • Mazda (−19%)
  • Jeep (−11%)
  • Buick (−9%)
  • Chevrolet (−8%)
  • Dodge (−6%)
  • Toyota (−5%)
  • Nissan (−5%)
  • Mercedes (−5%)
  • GMC (−4%)
  • Ford (−2%)
  • Cadillac (−2%)

Those are the 15 automakers that saw sales drop across all categories/vehicle classes combined. In most cases, car sales were down even more than overall vehicle sales.

There were also 8 cases in which an overall automaker’s sales were up but its car sales were down year over year. Those carmakers were:

  • Subaru Cars (−22%)
  • Lincoln Cars (−17%)
  • BMW Cars (−15%)
  • Volvo Cars (−10%)
  • Hyundai Cars (−9%)
  • Acura Cars (−7%)
  • Audi Cars (−7%)
  • Lexus Cars (−6%)

There were only 4 automakers that saw overall growth year over year and also didn’t see a drop in car sales:

  • Ram (+15%)
  • Volkswagen (+14%)
  • Kia (+10%)
  • Honda (+4%)

So, what’s the takeaway? The biggest takeaway is that most automakers are getting hammered in the US while Tesla sales have been climbing (up 110% Q1 2019 versus Q1 2018) and a few other select automakers saw much more modest sales increases.

In total 14 auto brands saw their sales decline from March 2018 to March 2019, while another 8 brands saw their net sales increase by their car sales decrease. This is worth noting in the context of the Tesla Model 3’s burst onto the scene as well as a broader shift away from cars and into crossovers, SUVs, and trucks.

Luxury brands, especially luxury car brands were hit across the board, which is not particularly surprising since the Model 3 fits into the luxury car category.

What’s in store in the coming months? We’ll see, but if more than a dozen automakers continue to suffer sales drops, a few of them may hit a fatal financial wall. Stay tuned.

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About the Author

Zach is tryin' to help society help itself (and other species). He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director and chief editor. He's also the president of Important Media and the director/founder of EV Obsession and Solar Love. Zach is recognized globally as an electric vehicle, solar energy, and energy storage expert. He has presented about cleantech at conferences in India, the UAE, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, the USA, and Canada. Zach has long-term investments in TSLA, FSLR, SPWR, SEDG, & ABB — after years of covering solar and EVs, he simply has a lot of faith in these particular companies and feels like they are good cleantech companies to invest in. But he offers no professional investment advice and would rather not be responsible for you losing money, so don't jump to conclusions.

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