A total of 1.5M light vehicles were sold in April. Although this represented a 3.4% increase in volume over April 2015, the market saw a 0.5% drop in DSR* (daily sales rate) year-over-year. April 2016 included more automotive selling days than last April (including May 1 in the final tally), which accounts for the conflicting directions posted by market volume and DSR.
Among the major automakers, Fiat Chrysler, Honda, Kia, Nissan, and Subaru all posted gains over last year. VW, GM, Ford, Hyundai and BMW all lost ground for the month. Sales of large vans vaulted 29% versus April 2015, while small vans again posted double-digit gains (+16.7%). CUVs were up again, but their growth has decelerated.
Low fuel prices once again played a part in the light truck / car balance. Passenger vehicle sales dropped 9.4% — their sixth consecutive contraction — while light trucks posted their 68th straight month of gains at +6.8%.
Your ESA Car Keys recap follows.
APRIL 2016 HIGHLIGHTS
Wards Auto and NADA MarketBeat
- April SAAR: 17.32M units
- April Units: 1.5M vehicles sold
- Change: DSR* -0.5% | Volume +3.4% vs April 2015
- Gainers (by DSR*): Honda +10.2%, Nissan +8.6%, Mazda +4.6%, Subaru +2.7%, Kia +2.1%, Audi +1.9%, FCA +1.6%
- Laggards: VW -13.0%, Hyundai -11.9%, BMW -11.7%, GM -7.1%, Ford -0.6%
*DSR: Daily Sales Rate. A more reliable indicator of the pace of auto sales which accounts for actual car-selling days per month.
*SAAR: Seasonally-Adjusted Annual Sales Rate.
SOURCES: Wards Automotive InfoBank, NADA MarketBeat, Automotive News.
Dave Eckstein is a Partner in the firm ESA & Company. He specializes in highly profitable market share growth for local businesses and gets a kick out of demonstrating a declining cost of customer acquisition. He plays baseball, but isn't that Dave Eckstein.