(UPDATE) January 2015 U.S. LV Sales Thread: Trucks Spur Strong January Sales

Summary of U.S. automakers' January light-vehicle sales reports.

John Sousanis, Director, Information Content

February 3, 2015

5 Min Read
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January 2015 Light Vehicle Sales Volume: 
WardsAuto forecast LV Sales:            1.132 million units
Actual January LV Sales:                   1.146 million units
1.6% differential.

January Light Vehicle SAAR:
WardsAuto Forecast LV SAAR:                        16.36 million
January 2015 Actual LV SAAR:                      16.56 million

WardsAuto tracks light-vehicle (LV) deliveries throughout sales reporting day. Monthly year-over-year change represents the change in daily sales rate (DSR). January had 26 selling days this year and 25 in 2014, meaning DSR % change will be smaller than year-over-year comparisons of total sales volumes.

Led by strong gains in truck sales, U.S. automakers sold 1.149 million light vehicles in January, a 9.3% increase in daily sales (over 26 days) compared with year-ago (25 days). The resultant seasonally adjusted annual rate - roughly 16.55 million - was the industry's highest January SAAR since 2006. 

A 14.4% rise in daily sales of light trucks spurred the industry growth, as car sales rose just 3.7%.  Light trucks accounted for 55% of LV sales in January, compared with 52.7%  in January 2014.

General Motors led all automakers, accounting for 17.7% of the month's LV sales, followed by Ford (15.2%) and Toyota (14.8%).

Subaru recorded the largest year-over-year growth with a 28.3% increase in daily sales, while Volvo and Volkswagen registered industry-worst 3.8% DSR declines. 

See below for automaker synopses - and all related articles for more detailed reports. 

Related Content

U.S. Light Vehicle Sales Summary table

UPDATE 1:25 ET: 

Daimler met WardsAuto forecast expectations, selling 26,637 Mercedes-Benz, Smart, Sprinter and Mitsu-Fuso light vehicles, improving the automaker's DSR 4.8% from like-2014. German rival BMW Group, beat the forecast with 22,209 deliveries and a 2.7% DSR bump. 

Hyundai, meanwhile, was the only volume automakers, so far, to finish the month dramatically below WardsAuto's expectations for January - and below year-ago's DSR - with a 2.8% decline in daily sales on 44,505 deliveries. Fellow South Korean marque Kia beat the forecast, but still reported a 0.5% drop in DSR, delivering 38,299 cars and light trucks in January. 


Nissan delivered 104,107 LVs in January, a 10.6% improvement in daily sales from year-ago. Nissan division reported an 11.5% sales gain, while the automaker's Infiniti luxury division saw its DSR climb 3.6%. While Nissan truck sales were up nearly 7%, the automaker bucked the industry trend with even larger growth in its car sales, which were up almost 14% year-to-year.

Like Nissan, Subaru sales were directly in line with the WardsAuto forecast for the month. Subaru reported 40,812 deliveries in January, an 18.9% DSR bump reflecting improvement across almost its entire lineup.


Mazda delivered 20,271 LVs in January, in line with WardsAuto's forecast, for a 3.6% year-over-year gain, well below the industry average. 

Jaguar Land Rover daily sales were up 4.6% in January, owing to the strength of the automaker's Land Rover-brand light trucks, which outpaced declining deliveries of Jaguar sedans.

UPDATE 11:00 AM:

General Motors sold just under 203,000 LVs in January, directly in line with WardsAuto's forecast. The 13.7% gain in DSR vs. like-2014 was supported by strong year-over-year growth of Chevrolet and GMC full-size pickup and utility vehicles sales. The automaker's upscale brands suffered from a weak car market, with Buick DSR falling 9% and Cadillac trailing year-ago by 1.4%.

Audi sales also fell in line with forecast. The German automaker's 10% DSR gain and 11,541 deliveries were its best January results to date.

UPDATE 10:45 AM: 

Honda reported January LV sales of 102,184 units, a 7.2% improvement over its year-ago DSR, also directly in line with the WardsAuto forecast. The automaker's year-over-year improvement was the result of a 20.4% gain in truck deliveries, reflecting strong sales of the CR-V and new Pilot, as well as the Acura RDX. The boost in light-duty truck sales was offset somewhat by the automaker's 3.8% decline in car deliveries for the period. 

UPDATE 10:20 AM: 

(Revised LV total) FCA continues to outperform year-ago on a daily basis. With total vehicle sales (including medium-duty trucks) of 145,007 units, and estimated LV deliveries of just over 144,000, the automaker's LV DSR rose 9% from like-2014. The company's growth reflects particularly strong growth for its Jeep and Ram truck brands, where daily LV sales were up 18% and 13% respectively. The company's other brands had less impressive results. Chrysler brand was up 6.5% on strong sales of its 200 sedan, which outweighed DSR downturns of the 300 sedan and Town & Country minivan. Dodge and Fiat deliveries were also down. 

FORD, like FCA, outperformed WardsAuto expectations by a little over 2%, with daily LV sales rising 11.3% on just under 174,000 deliveries. The automaker's 6,689 LV DSR was its highest since 2006. F-Series pickup sales spurred Ford brand's 11.5% DSR climb over a tepid year-ago result, while sales of utility vehicles pushed Lincoln's DSR 6.5% over year-ago, despite a marked decline in the brand's car sales.

Toyota deliveries came in 3.5% ahead of the forecast, and 11.5% over year-ago DSR. Sales of Toyota and Scion brands were up 13.5% collectively, aided by strong year-over-year results for the Corolla and 4Runner. Lexus outperformed the market, with daily sales growth of 26%.  The Japanese luxury brand's sales were boosted by strong sales of its RX CUV (+20.1%).

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About the Author(s)

John Sousanis

Director, Information Content, WardsAuto

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