April showers put a damper on General Motors and Ford sales, which saw an eight and five percent drop respectively. Actually, GM says its retail business was essentially flat for its various brands, while fleet sales dropped by 25 percent. Chrysler, though, continued its upward climb, posting another 20-percent increase in sales compared to April 2011. Jeep, again, lead the Chrysler brands.
April 2012 was also the 11th consecutive month for the automaker where sales gains were at least 20-percent. Says Reid Bigland, president and CEO of Chrysler/Dodge, “This business is all about product and the quality and fuel efficiency of our current vehicle lineup has never been better which is evident in our results.”
General Motors’ Winners:
- The Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck saw sales increase a modest near five-percent in April, showing that yes, Americans still love their trucks despite fuel prices. Americans also love luxury as well, as sales of the Silverado’s twin GMC Sierra saw near 20-percent increase compared to April 2011.
- Speaking of GMC, the GMC Terrain continues to attract buyers who want a fuel efficient crossover but with the GMC badge.
- The Chevrolet Volt saw a near 200 percent increase in sales compared to last year despite all the negative press. Maybe Americans are smarter than some anti-Volt pundits think they are.
General Motors’ Losers:
- Cadillac’s sales are still in the doldrums after the brand shed the DTS and STS sedans in anticipation of the upcoming ATS and XTS.
- The entry level Buick Regal sedan is still not finding traction among premium and luxury car buyers. Sales dropped more than 30-percent since April 2011.
- The Ford Flex saw a surprising jump of over 41 percent compared to last April. And, honestly, no surprise, since the Flex combines both utility and fuel economy in one great looking package.
- Lincoln’s full-sized MKT saw sales rise over 43 percent as people finally accept the demise of the Lincoln Town Car.
- The Ford Expedition‘s near 4-percent rise in sales for the month of April show that fuel economy is not the number one consideration on all car owner’s checklist.
- Ford Fiesta sales continue to fall, plummeting nearly 44-percent since last April. Again, we wonder if the slightly larger Ford Focus is cannibalizing sales from its sibling.
- Ford still managed to sell more than 300 of the discontinued Crown Victoria last month, most likely to fleet sales. Or nostalgic car enthusiasts.
- Sales of the Ford Ranger continue to plummet as fans await the official word for a replacement. Oh, Ford!
- The Chrysler 300‘s move from gangsta mobile to Rolls-Royce wannabe paid off for the brand, seeing a massive 138-percent increase in sales for the month of April and more than 221-percent jump since the same time last year.
- The Chrysler Town & Country‘s 20-percent sales bump for April show that minivans are still alive and well in a world dominated by crossovers and SUVs. There are some things a mobile box is best for.
- The entire Jeep brand again contributed heavily to Chrysler’s sales increase, led by the Wrangler, Grand Cherokee, and Liberty.
- The Jeep Compass‘ 11-percent drop in sales for April was the brand’s only dip in rising sales. And it’s a small one.
- The soon-to-be discontinued Dodge Caliber is still around. Chrysler, please offer more discounts on this relic. And quickly.
- Same with the Dodge Nitro, which dealerships ordered over 200 units in April. Why?
Sources: Chrysler, Ford, General Motors