Sales Figures: April, 2010

The numbers are in, and it was an interesting month.  Hyundai, which has seen great improvement in its products in the past couple of years, has been enjoying a meteoric rise, as bigger companies are downsizing (I’m looking at you GM) or getting their reputations hammered in the press (ahem, Toyota).  In April, however, Hyundai saw a decline in the number of sales over the previous month.  This is most likely due to other manufacturers’ incentives and special financing deals, most of which are being carried over from April into May.  Read on for the rest of my analysis.

With Toyota’s 0% financing and incentives, it’s breaking a several-decade-long streak of not having to combine the two.  With a lot of Americans still believing Toyota is tops in quality and reliability, it’s not surprising to see many of them taking advantage of this buyer’s market.  Between this and the domestic automakers continuing incentives in order to move metal, it’s no wonder Hyundai’s sales were down month-to-month.  While this is hopefully just a hiccup for the Korean wonder, the company is still holding onto almost 7.5% of sales, year-to-date.  With overall sales actually being less in April than in March, Hyundai had its best month yet, percentage-wise.

In other news, Toyota is holding onto its #3 spot for YTD, with a solid #3 performance in April, again due to the heavy incentives and financing being made available.  If you’ve ever wanted to buy a Toyota, this is the year to do it.  If they continue on their incentivized roll, it could mean good deals for buyers throughout 2010, and if not, into June at the least, with a renewal of deals occurring later in the year, perhaps October.

With overall sales down in the month of April, versus March, I was surprised.  We’ve seen such a healthy resurgence in new car sales this year, only to be down over 82,000 vehicles month to month.  It’s disconcerting, especially given the aforementioned discounts and financing being pushed by automakers.  Audi, Chevy, Chrysler, Dodge, Honda and Mini were all up, which isn’t much, and they weren’t up by a whole lot over March, either.  The shockers here are Chrysler and Dodge, but with stable gas prices (until the Gulf oil spill, at least), it makes a little bit of sense, as bigger vehicles are selling better these days.

So who was down in April?  Lots of companies, the biggest ones being Ford (down 13,000 units), Nissan (down 28,900 units), RAM (down 4,000 units) and Toyota (down 27,500 units).  From these numbers, it looks like a blip on the radar for Ford, a bigger blip for Toyota, and good chunks for Nissan and RAM.  Nissan went from around 85,000 units to under 56,000, a huge drop-off that I can’t really explain, except to say that its rivals began offering good deals in April, which could’ve led to this.  As for RAM, supplying trucks to the public is going to be a rocky road for a good while, and perhaps their products aren’t living up to the hype?  I can’t say for sure, but the buying consumer is speaking.  Toyota may finally be seeing a drop in sales due to its tarnished reputation, which would account for its lack of sales in April.

So, there was a lot going on in April, and I’m hoping May looks better for all the automakers, as the new car market is one indicator of the overall health of the economy, and rising sales means a rising economy.  While blue-collar car sales were up, the more white collar sales were down, with most luxury automakers seeing a drop in sales between March and April.  I expect this trend to continue, especially as makers like GM and Hyundai roll out cars which compete well with their upmarket rivals.  Until next month, take care!

by John Suit

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2 Responses to “Sales Figures: April, 2010”


  • Toyota is trying to keep to it’s bloody nose up, inspite of so many people killed in major flaws.
    And hiding the info, bribing the lawyers, law makers.
    What a shit company

  • For sure,Have seen drunk employees in their plants. Tsk-Tsk.
    Japanese may be good, not their North American managers.

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