The 5 top selling cars in the USA saw their combined sales drop massively in April 2019 versus April 2018

Toyota, Lexus, Mercedes, Acura, Audi, & Infiniti Sales Drop In USA In April

May 5th, 2019 by 

It’s time for another monthly checkup on US auto sales. Surprisingly, more than a million people are still buying the 21st century equivalent of horses every month. I think the most interesting takeaway, though, comes from quickly running through the companies and car divisions and noting which ones saw their sales drop (compared to the same month in 2018).

I give particular attention to car divisions because of the Tesla Model 3. It’s the only truly mass market electric vehicle currently for sale and it is surely taking away a lot of customers from Tesla’s gasmobile competitors. I’m often curious which competitors are getting hurt the most — and what they’ll do about it. That said, broader context is always important, and it’s well known that people are also moving from cars to SUVs & crossovers, so keep that in mind when comparing the numbers.

Unfortunately, there are a handful of companies that don’t share monthly numbers — Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Ford, GM, and Tesla. Hmm, interesting — it just hit me that those are the 4 major US automakers. (Ford and GM used to share monthly sales numbers, but they stopped doing so last year.) We have to wait for the beginning of the next quarter before we can examine those companies’ sales again, but you can check out first-quarter sales reports hereherehere, and here.

These are the companies and car divisions that saw their sales drop in April 2019 versus April 2018:

Acura −2%
Acura Cars −17%
Audi −21%
Audi Cars −27%
BMW Cars −18%
Honda Cars −2%
Infiniti −5%
Kia Cars −11%
Lexus −1%
Lexus Cars −15%
Mercedes −16%
Mercedes Cars −16%
Toyota −4%
Toyota Cars −14%
Volvo Cars −26%

These are the companies and car divisions that saw their sales rise in April 2019 versus April 2018:

BMW 1%
Hyundai 1%
Hyundai Cars 6%
Infiniti Cars 5%
Kia 2%
Nissan 10%
Nissan Cars 7%
Subaru 8%
Volkswagen 9%
Volkswagen Cars 1%

Yet again, Tesla’s premium-class competitors were mostly crushed. Additionally, top sellers Toyota and Honda got hit. On the flip side, Hyundai, Nissan, and Volkswagen did particularly well, and BMW was up 1% overall.

Overall, the 5 top selling cars in the USA saw their combined sales drop massively in April 2019 versus April 2018. As far as year-to-date sales, 6 of the top 7 cars have seen their sales drop, while the other one (the Honda Accord) is at a 0% change.

Rank Car January February March April YTD
1 Toyota Camry 23,802 24,267 33,615 29,227 110,911
2 Honda Civic 21,553 22,979 33,653 28,436 106,621
3 Toyota Corolla 25,113 29,016 24,479 19,679 98,287
4 Honda Accord 18,786 20,254 25,371 19,239 83,650
5 Nissan Sentra 14,088 17,072 25,633 13,051 69,844
6 Nissan Altima 12,189 16,216 23,075 16,531 68,011
7 Hyundai Elantra 9,942 10,304 15,866 16,586 52,698
Car January February March April YTD
Toyota Camry -3% -21% -5% -2% -8%
Honda Civic -9% -11% 3% 0% -4%
Toyota Corolla 17% 16% -22% -24% -5%
Honda Accord 6% 3% 5% -12% 0%
Nissan Sentra -21% 0% 2% -23% -9%
Nissan Altima -40% -18% -2% 59% -8%
Hyundai Elantra -29% -34% -8% 18% -14%

The thing that shocks me, to be honest, is that people are mostly continuing to buy shitty cars, crossovers, and SUVs and are asleep to the superiority of Teslas. For the most part, there’s one simple reason for this — people know very little about Tesla vehicles, and often have actually digested misinformation. People are unaware of the fact that Tesla vehicles are much safer, much quicker, have much better infotainment, and have much better driving-assistance features.

People are unaware that a Tesla Model 3 is even cheaper than a Honda Accord or Toyota Camry despite being ~1000× more fun. People are unaware that a Tesla Model 3 costs about half as much as a BMW 320i over 5 years, but is still ~733× more fun.

Will consumers learn? In time. It will be interesting to watch and document as the public wakes up to the superiority of well designed electric vehicles. In the meantime, you have to feel a bit bad for all those people still buying Camrys, Accords, Civics, Corollas, Sentras, Altimas, Elantras, BMWs, Audis, Acuras, and other crapmobiles.

Interested in buying a Tesla Model 3, Model S, or Model X? Need a referral code to get 1,000 miles of free Supercharging? Use ours: (or use someone else’s if they helped you more).


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