The sales numbers are in for America's trio of muscle machines.
As 2019 gets underway, we’re beginning to see the flood of year-end sales statistics from automakers. We’ll have a few 2018-in-review pieces coming, but right now our focus is on American muscle. The U.S. sales figures are in for the 2018 Chevrolet Camaro, 2018 Ford Mustang, and 2018 Dodge Challenger, and for one of these cars, the news is quite grim.
We’ll lead with the sales leader, and that title goes once again to the Ford Mustang. The original Pony Car is still the favorite among U.S. buyers by a significant margin, with 75,842 ‘Stangs sold for the year. 2018 was the first full year for the car’s mid-cycle facelift, not to mention the launch of the new Bullitt but not all the news is good. Despite holding the top spot with ease, Mustang sales are actually down 7.4 percent compared to 2017.
Gallery: 2018 Ford Mustang GT: Review
We’ve heard some disapproving comments from the Mustang community about the car’s new front clip, or perhaps buyers are awaiting the new GT500 which will debut in just a couple weeks at the Detroit Auto Show. In any case, we suspect the year-over-year drop has the attention of Dearborn executives at the very least.
Also grabbing their attention – not to mention the high-level suits at FCA headquarters on the other side of Detroit in Auburn Hills – is Dodge Challenger sales. Despite a platform that’s now a decade old, sales for the big muscle car are up. 66,716 Challengers found new homes last year, a rise of 3 percent compared to 2017. It’s not much of an increase, but it’s the only car among the three to post a year-over-year gain.
Gallery: 2019 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye: First Drive
Credit Dodge for continually offering interesting packages to keep the old Challenger relevant among competition that’s seen several major revisions in the same time frame. We also suspect the bonkers Challenger SRT Demon performed well not just at the drag strip, but in dealerships as a halo car.
That leaves us with the 2018 Chevrolet Camaro, and as you can guess by now, this is where the news isn’t so good. Despite offering perhaps the best Pony Car among the three on this list, Camaro sales fell through the floor last year. Only 50,963 were sold, representing a 25 percent drop from the previous year. Like the Mustang, the Camaro entered 2018 with a facelift but it was widely criticized – so much in fact that Chevrolet is fast-tracking a new front fascia to production.
Gallery: 2019 Chevrolet Camaro SS
That’s too bad, because in our comparison tests we loved nearly everything about the Camaro versus the competition, especially its driving dynamics. Here’s hoping the new front fascia brings buyers back to Chevy showrooms, or else the fabled car could disappear from the lineup completely as it did in 2002.
Source: GM, Ford, FCA
FORD F-SERIES MARKS 42 STRAIGHT YEARS AS AMERICA’S BEST-SELLING PICKUP, TOPPING 900,000 SOLD IN 2018; FORD HITS NINE STRAIGHT YEARS AS AMERICA’S BEST-SELLING BRAND; LINCOLN SUV SALES UP
DEARBORN, Mich., Jan. 3, 2019 – Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F) today reported its December 2018 U.S. sales results. Click here or visit media.ford.com to view the news release. Ford will begin its monthly sales call at 10 a.m. EDT this morning when Erich Merkle, Ford U.S. sales analyst, will host a conference call for the investment community and news media to discuss the results and related market trends. He will be joined by Mark LaNeve, Ford vice president, U.S. Marketing, Sales and Service, and Emily Kolinski Morris, Ford chief economist.
* * *
FCA US Reports 2018 December and Full-Year Sales
- FCA US reports highest calendar year of retail sales in 17 years
- Jeep® brand sets full-year record as sales climb 17 percent
- Ram brand notches full-year record as sales climb 7 percent
- Dodge Challenger reports full-year record
Retail sales for the month rose slightly to 151,077 vehicles. Fleet sales totaled 45,443 vehicles and accounted for 23 percent of total sales during the month.
The Jeep® Wrangler was the standout for the month and the year. Wrangler notched record December sales of 19,800 vehicles and full-year sales of 240,032. The results significantly exceeded the former full-year sales record of 202,266 set in 2015.
For the year, U.S. retail sales were 1,760,488, marking the highest level since 2001 when sales reached 1,833,186 vehicles. Total U.S. sales rose 9 percent to 2,235,204 compared with 2,059,376 vehicles for 2017. Fleet sales accounted for 21 percent of the company’s overall sales in 2018.
“This year’s performance underscores the efforts we undertook to realign our production to give U.S. consumers more Jeep vehicles and Ram pickup trucks,” Head of U.S. Sales Reid Bigland said. “We see sales remaining solid in 2019 and we look forward to expanding our vehicle portfolio with the addition of the much anticipated Jeep Gladiator.”
Jeep brand sales rose 10 percent to 80,449 vehicles in December. For the year, sales increased 17 percent to a record 973,227 vehicles, eclipsing the last record of 926,376 vehicles in 2016.
The Jeep Cherokee and Jeep Compass joined the Wrangler in setting new records for December and the year. Cherokee sales rose 7 percent to 20,800 vehicles. For the year, sales were 239,437 vehicles. Compass sales rose 46 percent to 12,745 in December. For the year, sales were 171,167, which beat the previous record of 94,601 set in 2016.
Ram brand sales rose 37 percent in December to 68,195 vehicles. For the year, sales hit a new record of 597,368 vehicles. The Ram 1500 – the Most Awarded Full-size Truck – drove the performance as total sales climbed 15 percent to 377,286 vehicles for a new record. Ram ProMaster and ProMaster City reported the best December ever. ProMaster sales rose 75 percent to 5,857 vehicles while ProMaster City sales increased 35 percent to 2,183 vehicles.
Dodge brand December sales rose 17 percent to 32,528 vehicles. For the year, Challenger sales rose 3 percent to 66,716 which is a new record for the nameplate. The previous record was 66,377 in 2015.
Alfa Romeo Brand
Alfa Romeo brand December sales fell 4 percent to 1,946 vehicles. Alfa Romeo’s 2018 annual sales rose to a record 23,820, which was almost twice as much as the brand sold in 2017. Both Stelvio and Giulia finished the year notching more than 11,500 vehicle sales.
Chrysler brand December sales fell 28 percent to 12,425 vehicles. However, the Pacifica reported higher year-over-year results as vehicle sales totaled 118,322. Overall, the brand has seen some softening during the year following the continued wind-down of the Chrysler 200 and the Town & Country.
Fiat December sales declined 44 percent to 977 vehicles in December. Fiat finished the year with 15,521 vehicle sales.
Method of Determining FCA US LLC’s Monthly Sales. FCA US’s reported vehicle sales represent unit sales of vehicles to retail customers, deliveries of vehicles to fleet customers and to others such as FCA US’s employees and retirees as well as vehicles used for marketing. Most of these reported sales reflect retail sales made by dealers out of their own inventory of vehicles previously purchased by them from FCA US. Reported vehicle units sales do not correspond to FCA US’s reported revenues, which are based on FCA US’s sale and delivery of vehicles, and typically recognized upon shipment to the dealer or end customer. As announced on July 26, 2016, FCA US has modified its methodology for monthly sales reporting as follows:
- Sales to retail customers by dealers in the U.S. are derived from the New Vehicle Delivery Report (“NVDR”) system and are determined as the sum of (A) all sales recorded by dealers during the month net of all unwound transactions recorded to the end of that month (whether the original sale was recorded in the current month or any prior month); plus (B) all sales of vehicles during that month attributable to past unwinds that had previously been reversed in determining monthly sales (in the current or prior months).
- Fleet sales are recorded upon the shipment of the vehicle by FCA US to the customer or end user.
- Other retail sales are recorded either (A) when the sale is recorded in the NVDR system (for sales by dealers in Puerto Rico and limited sales made through distributors that submit NVDRs in the same manner as for sales by U.S. dealers) or (B) upon receipt of a similar delivery notification (for vehicles for which NVDRs are not entered such as vehicles for FCA employees).
* * *
GM’s U.S. Crossover Sales Topped 1 million in 2018
CHEVROLET AND GMC TOGETHER LEAD U.S. INDUSTRY
PICKUP SALES FOR THE FIFTH CONSECUTIVE YEAR DOUBLE-DIGIT GAIN IN COMMERCIAL DELIVERIES VS. 2017
RECORD FOURTH QUARTER AND FULL-YEAR AVERAGE TRANSACTION PRICES
DETROIT – General Motors (NYSE: GM) announced today that it delivered 2,954,037 vehicles in 2018, including more than 1 million crossovers, almost 974,000 pickup trucks and more than 280,000 large SUVs.
“We have built the most successful pickup, SUV and crossover business in the industry and we gained considerable momentum in the fourth quarter of 2018 as dealers began delivering the all-new Chevrolet Silverado, GMC Sierra and Cadillac XT4,” said Kurt McNeil, U.S. vice president, Sales Operations.
GM’s fourth quarter deliveries totaled 785,229 units and the company’s share of the industry’s retail sales grew every month from October through December.
“We feel confident heading into 2019 because we have more major truck and crossover launches coming during the year and the U.S. economy is strong,” McNeil added.
GM delivers more than 1 million crossovers in the U.S. in 2018
- GM crossover deliveries totaled 1,034,808 in 2018, up 7 percent versus 2017, and the following five nameplates had record calendar year sales:
- GMC Terrain up 34 percent
- Chevrolet Traverse up 19 percent
- Chevrolet Equinox up 15 percent
- Chevrolet Trax up 13 percent
- Buick Encore up 6 percent
- The first-ever Cadillac XT4 became the best-selling vehicle in its segment just two months after launch. Cadillac will be introducing all-new models every six months, on average, through the end of 2021.
Total sales of all utility vehicles, including large SUVs, totaled 1,295,700, up 7 percent. The Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban were up 5 percent and 7 percent, respectively, and the Cadillac Escalade ended the year with a retail segment share twice that of its closest domestic competitor.
Chevrolet and GMC pickup sales leadership continues
- The Chevrolet Colorado had its best year ever, with 134,842 pickups sold, up 19 percent versus 2017.
- Combined sales of the Chevrolet Silverado and Colorado, and the GMC Sierra and Canyon, rose 3 percent versus 2017 to a total of 973,463 pickups.
- GM has now sold more pickups in the United States than any other competitor for five consecutive years. Through November, the next closest competitor had sold 821,558 pickups.
A fast start for new Chevrolet and GMC pickups
GM’s all-new light-duty pickups, the 2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and GMC Sierra 1500, have invigorated the segment and helped the company pass its domestic competitors in key areas:
- GM’s retail share of the light-duty pickup segment has increased every month since August, according to J.D. Power PIN estimates, and GM led the segment every month during the fourth quarter.
- GM has had the highest ATPs in the segment since October, according to J.D. Power PIN, driven by incentive discipline and a strong mix. More than 90 percent of the all-new 2019 model-year sales in the quarter were crew cab models, and at GMC, more than 70 percent of deliveries were premium Denali and AT4 models.
- GM’s incentives as a percent of ATP were the lowest among domestic competitors during the fourth quarter.
These results reflect the successful sell-down of the previous generation Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra 1500s, and strong demand for the all-new models. During the fourth quarter, the all-new models accounted for 17 percent of GM light-duty deliveries, as planned. By the end of January, the new models are expected to be the majority of light-duty sales.
“We are very bullish on pickups heading into 2019,” McNeil said. “The light-duty launch has been one of the best in our history, with a very smooth production ramp-up of the new models and a faster than expected sell-down of the old models. We are following that up with all-new HD trucks, and the first-ever Chevrolet Silverado medium-duty chassis cab trucks for commercial customers.”
In December, Chevrolet confirmed that its next-generation Silverado 2500HD and 3500HD will be on sale in the second half of 2019. The medium-duty Silverados are now shipping to dealers.
Double-digit Commercial delivery increase
- GM posted an 11 percent year-over-year increase in Commercial deliveries in 2018, following average annual growth of 7 percent from 2012-2017.
- Fleet sales for the year were up 9 percent versus 2017, and were down 4 percent for the fourth quarter.
- Commercial and government deliveries in 2018 were more than half of fleet sales, as planned.
Chevrolet Bolt EV sales
- GM increased production of the Chevrolet Bolt EV during the fourth quarter to meet strong global demand, including higher than expected demand in South Korea and Canada, and to begin rebuilding U.S. dealer inventories.
- GM expects higher year-over-year sales in Bolt EV’s major markets in 2019.
GM operating highlights
- GM estimates that the light vehicle SAAR in the fourth quarter was 17.7 million units. Light vehicle sales for the calendar year are estimated at 17.3 million units.
- GM’s retail mix was 80 percent for the fourth quarter and 79 percent for the year.
- ATPs were a record $36,974 in the fourth quarter and a record $35,839 for the year, according to J.D. Power PIN estimates.
- GM’s incentives as a percent of ATP for the fourth quarter were 12.7 percent, down 1.0 percentage point year over year, according to J.D. Power PIN estimates. For the year, incentives were 13.0 percent of ATP, down 0.3 percentage points.
- Year-end 2018 inventory was 755,000 units, essentially equal to a year ago.