I’ve been creating monthly auto sales reports for a long time. Last year, I faced a bit of a conundrum. All US automakers (Ford, GM, and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles) decided they didn’t want to report monthly sales any longer and were going to switch to quarterly sales reports only. Fine. Okay. That sucked, but I worked around it. Now, 2020 has rolled around and a bunch more automakers have decided to ditch monthly sales reporting. Nissan (& Infiniti), Jaguar Land Rover, and Volkswagen (including Audi and Porsche) announced the change with press releases. Others didn’t seem to announce it but just stopped publishing the monthly numbers (Mercedes, BMW, and Toyota).
Perhaps they got tired of sites like CleanTechnica reporting the numbers and showing millions of people (on CleanTechnica alone) that their sales were not looking hot. (See: “Non-Tesla US Auto Sales Down 177,839 In 2019.”) Perhaps they’re concerned about what’s to come. Perhaps they just saw the US automakers do this and thought they’d like to follow suit to avoid month-to-month noise in favor of more relevant quarterly numbers and discussions.
No matter the reason, my monthly sales spreadsheets are now barren and sad. I’ve got numbers from Honda (including Acura), Hyundai (including Genesis), Kia, Subaru, and Volvo — mostly companies that have been doing better than their competitors. Coincidence? I doubt it. Useful? Not so much.
Clearly, I’ll have to switch to quarterly auto sales reports now. Since we’re here, though, here are some top-line January 2020 vs. January 2019 stats takeaways from those 7 auto brands still sharing monthly data:
- Acura: Down by more than 500, or 5%.
- Genesis: Up by a couple hundred, or 14%.
- Honda: Down by nearly 4,000, or 4%.
- Hyundai: Up by 2,000, or 5%.
- Kia: Up nearly 3,000, or 8%.
- Subaru: Up by a couple hundred, or 0.5%.
- Volvo: Up by a few hundred, or 5%.
Here’s how the US auto industry was standing — brand by brand — at the end of 2019 compared to 2018:
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