April 2016 U.S. LV Sales Thread: Strong Monthly Sales Pushing SAAR Past 17 Million Again

(FINAL) U.S. automakers sold 1.497 million light vehicle in April, a 0.5% decline in daily same from same-month year-ago. Sales equated to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 17.32 million units.

John Sousanis, Director, Information Content

May 3, 2016

4 Min Read
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WardsAuto Forecast LV Sales

1.52 million

Actual April LV Sales

 1.50 million

WardsAuto Forecast LV SAAR   

    17.58 million

Actual April LV SAAR

   17.32 million

WardsAuto tracks light-vehicle (LV) deliveries throughout sales reporting day. Monthly year-over-year change represents the change in daily sales rate (DSR).  April had 27 selling days this year compared with 26 days in 2015, meaning DSR % change will be smaller than straight volume %change for year-over-year comparisons this month.

Related Table 

U.S. Light Vehicle Sales Summary table

Overview:  U.S. automakers sold 1,497,232 light vehicles in April, equating to a 55,543 unit daily sales rate (DSR), a 0.5% decline from same-month year-ago's DSR, on a volume increase for the month of 48,580 units. Year-to-date, industry sales are up 3.2% compared with like-2015, to 5,559,401. 

April's 17.32 million LV SAAR was the highest for the month since 2002. 

On a strict volume basis, last month was the second-best April on record, after April 2005.

General Motors led all automakers with nearly 260,000 deliveries and a 17.3% share of the market, though slow fleet sales and poor car sales in general reduced GM's overall share from 18.6% last year.

Ford took a 15% share, as it did a year-ago, followed by Toyota (14.1% vs 14.0% year-ago). FCA grabbed the No.4 spot with a 13.2% share. Honda finished in the No. 5 spot ahead of Nissan for the first time this year, taking a 9.9% share.

UPDATE 3:35 PM ET: With all but one automakers reporting, the SAAR is tracking at 17.3 million-units.Today's sales report thread appears below. See related articles for additional details.

UPDATE 2:15 PM ET: South Korean sister companies, Kia and Hyundai, are moving in opposite directions. Kia's April DSR was up 2.1%, on 56,508 deliveries, putting the smaller of Hyundai Group brands 4.3% ahead of year-ago YTD. Hyundai, meanwhile, reported a disappointing 62,213 unit deliveries in April, for an 11.9% decline in daily sales, leaving the automakers YTD sales down 1.9% from like-2015. 

UPDATE 1:20 PM ET: Toyota's daily sales were flat with year-ago April on 211,125 LV deliveries. Toyota's sales for the first four months are also roughly even with year-ago, at 780,000. 

With the exception of Audi, German luxury maker sales are trailing the rest of the industry. BMW reported April sales of BMW- and MIni-brand vehicles were down 11.7% on a daily basis, leaving monthly sales at 29,747 units. BMW is trailing year-ago YTD by 10.1%. 

Chief rival Daimler, meanwhile, delivered 32,301 LVs, including Mercedes Benz, Smart and Sprinter-brand vehicles - a 4.2% DSR drop from year-ago, pulling Daimler YTD sales 1% below year-ago year-to-date.

UPDATE 12:30 PM ET: Subaru reports it sold 50,380 LVs in April, its best result for the month ever. The automaker's DSR was up 2.7% over year-ago, it's previous best for April. YTD sales are up 2.4%.

Volkswagen daily sales fell 13% from year-ago, to 27,112 - the company's lowest April sales volume since 2010. The result left VW's YTD sales trailing year-ago by 11.7%.

UPDATE 11:00 AM ET: Honda daily sales leapt 10.2% over year-ago on the strength of 148,829 LV sales. Honda's year-to-date deliveries are up 9.2%, to 506,532.

Nissan sales were up as well, with a DSR improvement of 8.6% resulting in totals sales of 123,861 LVs, bring YTD sales to 524,065 - 9.8% over like-2015.

Audi sold 17,801 vehicles, up 1.8% on a daily basis, somewhat below the German brand's 5% gain on year-ago YTD.

UPDATE 10:15 AM ET: General Motors sold  roughly 7,000 more LVs in April than it did in April 2015, but with one additional  sales day this year, the automaker's daily sales rate fell 7.1%, on total deliveries of 259,577. GM's four-month total of over 943,000 units is of year-ago's pace by 1%.

Ford daily sales were also down, 0.6% behind year-ago, on 224,308 LV deliveries. Ford's YTD sales, however, are up 6.7% on slightly more than 853,00 sales.

FCA sold 198,177 LVs in April, lifting its DSR a modest 1.6%. The company's January-though-April sales topped 745,000 units, up 7.9% over same-period year-ago.

About the Author(s)

John Sousanis

Director, Information Content, WardsAuto

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