With warmer spring weather finally taking hold, the industry showed promising signs for the second straight month thanks to an 8 percent year-over-year increase in vehicle sales compared to April 2013.
Chrysler, Nissan and Toyota led the pace for the industry, as each high-volume automaker boasted double-digit sales increases. Chrysler Group’s 14-percent growth overall came on the backs of a 52-percent increase in the Jeep brand and a 22-percent increase in Ram. Toyota was up 13-percent overall, which included a strong 28-percent growth from the Lexus luxury wing. Meanwhile, Nissan bested the other two with 19-percent growth.
General Motors, in spite of a recent recall controversy, posted a 7-percent increase, while Ford had a slight dip of 1 percent for the month. Both GM and Ford continue to substantially lag behind Chrysler for the year overall.
American Honda was also lackluster in April compared to chief rivals Toyota and Nissan, showing just a 1-percent increase in sales – with 2 percent growth in the Acura division. The growth, however, does mark the first gains for the automaker overall in 2014.
Subaru continues to make waves on the sales end with a 22-percent increase compared to its record-setting April of 2013. The company also extended its streak of double-digit sales gains to 16 months.
Volkswagen Group continues on its steady slide, down 1 percent overall, thanks mainly to an 8-percent drop in the VW brand. However, all other brands in the group posted gains, including an impressive 19-percent increase in Audi sales.
Continuing with the German automakers, Audi’s main competition also posted gains – albeit not at the same level. The BMW brand had a 9-percent increase, while Mercedes-Benz grew 11 percent. Despite having slightly lower sales growth, BMW and Mercedes-Benz each typically sell about 9,000 to 13,000 more units than Audi per month.
Other notable growers include Jaguar Land Rover, with a 19-percent increase, mainly powered by a winter-weather-aided sales growth of 28 percent for Land Rover itself, and the Hyundai Group, which experienced a decent four-percent increase in sales for the Hyundai brand and a strong 13-percent increase for Kia. Mazda also posted a 13-percent sales increase – albeit at less than half the volume of Kia.