Tracking monthly US auto sales by company or brand is one of the oddest-feeling things I’ve done in my decade or so covering cleantech. Perhaps that’s because the focus is on tracking non-clean tech. The fact is, though, it shocks me every month to see how many people still buy gasoline cars. Gasoline cars are far worse than electric cars currently on the market for the same cost (or even less). Nonetheless, there are so many people buying clunky, noisy, slow, high-maintenance, low-tech, high-depreciation gasoline vehicles every single day.
Objectively, it doesn’t make sense.
I know, however, that most buyers are not aware of the electric offerings on the market and have no idea about their many benefits. I also know that the idea of a “rational consumer” is mostly a fallacy, since we tend to buy things for irrational reasons and without doing much actual research or analysis. So, the numbers are not surprising from that perspective. However, they are still shocking month after month, which is what leads to titles like these:
- Honda Accord & Toyota Camry Buyers — What The Heck Are You Doing?
- “If You Didn’t Buy A Tesla, You Just Made A Mistake”
Tallying up US auto company sales this month, the big shocker was that 17 brands had their sales grow by a net 42,441 in November 2019 compared to November 2018. Further, 14 of those brands saw sales growth, and only 3 saw their sales decline.
This report doesn’t cover all auto brands, since US auto companies no longer disclose monthly sales — and we have to wait one more month to get 4th quarter sales. However, from the ones that do report sales, there’s no denying November was a booming month. In fact, if you removed Nissan and Infiniti (which have clearly been going through something difficult since former CEO & Chairman Carlos Ghosn was jailed for months — and seemingly without true warrant — in Japan), only MINI was down, and that was by only 461 sales. These brands were up by the following totals:
- Toyota — 17,434
- Honda — 12,989
- Kia — 5,403
- Mercedes — 4,384
- Lexus — 3,647
- Audi — 3,536
- Hyundai — 3,519
- BMW — 2,883
- Volkswagen — 2,429
- Genesis — 1,750
- Volvo — 1,454
- Mitsubishi — 500
- Acura — 429
- Subaru — 111
Nissan was down 12,865, Infiniti was down 4,701, and MINI was down 461.
November Was Not Normal
While the November sales totals were up a great deal, these 17 automakers’ January–November sales were still down — but by just 7,914 units. We may as well say that sales are flat year over year, which is mind boggling when so many of those consumers could have saved money and gotten a much better driving and ownership experience by buying a Tesla Model 3. Alas, the world is not sane.
Of those 17 automakers, though, only 6 have sales down from January through November, while 11 have seen their sales increase. The thing is, Nissan has been hemorrhaging sales and Toyota and Infiniti also lost a high number of sales. The following automakers saw their sales increase by the indicated amounts:
- Honda — 22,799
- Subaru — 22,159
- Kia — 21,864
- Hyundai — 21,524
- Volkswagen — 13,428
- BMW — 12,423
- Genesis — 9,313
- Volvo — 6,437
- Mercedes-Benz — 4,445
- Mitsubishi — 2,043
- Lexus — 3
These 6 auto brands saw the following drops in sales:
- Nissan — -79,507
- Toyota — -29,785
- Infiniti — -24,750
- MINI — -7,105
- Audi — -2,297
- Acura — -908
Here’s another way to view these numbers while also showing you which brands don’t report monthly US sales:
Oh, yes, most of these brands sell one or two plug-in vehicles, but availability is highly limited and non-Tesla net EV sales have not changed a great deal in the USA in the past couple of years. My electric vehicle sales report will be coming soon for more details on that market niche, though, so stay tuned!
If you’d like to buy a Tesla Model 3, Model S, or Model X and get some free Supercharging miles, feel free to use my special, magical, unicorn-blessed referral code: https://ts.la/zachary63404. You can also get a $100 discount on Tesla solar with that code. There is currently no use for a referral code when putting down a reservation for a Cybertruck or Model Y.
Top photo by Kyle Field, CleanTechnica
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