As expected, the Ford F-Series carried its sales momentum from 2011 into the New Year. January also proved to be a good month for midsize trucks like the 2012 Toyota Tacoma, which was favored over its bigger sibling Tundra. Ram also continues to do well and is one of the bright spots in Chrysler Group's current sales portfolio.
Ford Motor Company
When it comes to year-over-year improvements, the outgoing Ford Ranger took a resounding lead last month with a 71.1-percent improvement at 5043 units sold. Not surprisingly, the F-Series was the brand's volume leader with 38,493 units sold, an improvement of 7.5 percent from January 2011. The Explorer also sold well with 9966 purchased last month, up 35.6 percent.
The truck family was closely followed by the Escape SUV, which saw sales jump 23.5 percent to 17,259, the model's best-ever January sales figure. The Edge crossover, which fell 6.8 percent to 8315 sales; and the Flex, which suffered a 26.9-percent sales decline to finish the month at 1465 units.
The Lincoln division struggled last month and as a result sales fell 7.9 percent compared to a year prior. The MKT crossover also suffered a 28.5-percent sales hit and finished the month with just 279 sales. However the MKX crossover enjoyed a 6.7-percent gain to 1650 units.
Sales of GM compact trucks improved last month, while both the full-size Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra slid slightly. The Chevy Colorado found its way home to 2872 customers (up 30.3 percent), while the GMC Canyon sold 1059 units, up 52.6 percent. In terms of volume, however, the full-size trucks lead the way with 26,850 Silverados sold (down 4.7 percent), and 9517 sold for the Sierra (down 10.4 percent). The Avalanche pickup was up 15.7 percent to 1617 sales.
The Buick Enclave was down 28.1 percent to 3124 sales, Escalade was down 34.9 percent to 985 sales. The Escalade ESV was down 10.3 percent to 531 sales, while the EXT variant was down 29.4 percent to 108 sales. The brightest spot in the Cadillac brand was the SRX, which stayed about flat: it went down 1.7 percent to 4166 sales, enough to give the SRX the top spot among the Caddies. The Suburban sold 2935 units, up 25.3 percent, even though the smaller Tahoe dropped 24.4 percent to 3995 sales, and the Equinox crossover edged up 6.3 percent to 13,662 sales, despite the larger Traverse dropped 22.8 percent to 6640 sales.
Elsewhere around the brand, the Acadia crossover mirrored its Chevrolet counterpart and dropped 14.9 percent to 4870 sales. The same can't be said for the Terrain: while the Equinox was up, the Terrain was down 11.3 percent to 5649 units sold. The Yukon was down 2.6 percent to 2022 sales, and the Yukon XL was down 30.3 percent to 1011 sales. The Savana van, meanwhile, was the only other positive model -- it was up 16.7 percent to 838 sales.
January marks the 22nd consecutive month of year-over-year sales gains for the Chrysler Group, and Ram has been a huge driving force. The Durango was up 152 percent to 3021 sold. As for the Nitro crossover, the 41 percent drop in sales to 1159 could signal that the model is drifting towards death, but Chrysler has yet to confirm as much.
As the Ram brand loses the classic Dakota-which dropped 81 percent to just 155 sales-it's seeing new sales in the form of the Ram Cargo Van, which sold 406 units last month. The vast majority of the sales increase for the brand came from its namesake, the Ram Pickup, which jumped 47 percent to 17,909 sales. Surprising exactly no one, the Ram continues to be the Chrysler group's most popular model, by a long margin.
Jeep also did well, posting a 37-percent increase over January 2011. All five of the brand's SUVs were up double digits last month. That charge was led by the Liberty and Compass: the Liberty spiked 68 percent to 6825 units sold, while the Compass jumped 64 percent to 2340 sales. The Grand Cherokee, Jeep's most popular model, enjoyed a 40 percent bump to 10,683 sales, while the Wrangler sold 7896 units last month, up 23 percent from January 2010. The Patriot was the smallest winner of the Jeep brand, but it still increased 15 percent to 3966 units sold, a respectable bump.
The compact Tacoma performed well last month with 8898 units sold, up 24.6 percent compared to the same period last year. The Tundra, however, was down 9.4 percent, with 5512 sold. The Sequoia and Venza were the only ones that improved among Toyota's SUVs and crossovers with 1068 sold (up 10.8 percent) and 2460 sold (up 3.1 percent), respectively.
With January sales up 12.5 percent, Nissan continues its long streak of positive-sales months. Nissan sold 3782 Frontier compact trucks last month, up 35.3 percent. The mighty Titan didn't fare as well with just 1306 sold, down 8.7 percent. The Xterra and Pathfinder, however, did well with 1461 (up 23.9 percent) and 2081 (up 30.6 percent) sold respectively.
The QX56 SUV was a bright spot for Infiniti last month with 1020 sold, good for a 30.4 percent increase compared to January 2011. And with 942 units sold and a 0.2 percent improvement from last year, the FX was the only other Infiniti model to report positive sales. The diminutive EX had the sharpest decline with 318 sold, down 34 percent.
The Ridgeline sold surprisingly well last month as Honda managed to move 1245 units, up 45.6 percent compared to January 2011. The CR-V crossover also did well with 18,960 sold, which represents a 16-percent improvement over the same period last year. Overall, Honda sales are up 9.3 percent.
Acura's crossovers were down including the MDX at 2861 sold (down 8.5 percent), the ZDX at 54 sold (down 63.5 percent), and the RDX at 884 sold (down 11 percent).
Overall sales for Suzuki are down 46 percent. The Equator pickup truck was down 27 percent with 108 units sold, while the Grand Vitara SUV was down 21 percent with just 384 sold.
The Koreans started 2012 off much like they ended 2011 - with a bang. Both automakers saw record-setting January. Kia is up 27.8 percent compared to last January and Hyundai is up 15 percent overall and 19 percent for its retail sales. Kia sold 35,517 units last month; Hyundai sold 42,694. The Sorento SUV slipped from its spot as sales leader; selling 794 units less than it did last January, now at to 7322 units. Santa Fe sales increased from 4415 January 2011 to 4818 last month. Both the Tucson and Veracruz CUVs were up with 3116 and 736 sold, respectively.
Source: Ford, GM, Chrysler, Toyota, Nissan, Honda, Suzuki