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

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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%)

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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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Zachary Shahan

Zach is tryin' to help society help itself one word at a time. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director, chief editor, and CEO. 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, Canada, and Curaçao. Zach has long-term investments in Tesla [TSLA], NIO [NIO], Xpeng [XPEV], Ford [F], ChargePoint [CHPT], Amazon [AMZN], Piedmont Lithium [PLL], Lithium Americas [LAC], Albemarle Corporation [ALB], Nouveau Monde Graphite [NMGRF], Talon Metals [TLOFF], Arclight Clean Transition Corp [ACTC], and Starbucks [SBUX]. But he does not offer (explicitly or implicitly) investment advice of any sort.

Zachary Shahan has 7344 posts and counting. See all posts by Zachary Shahan