March madness definitely swept domestic automakers General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler as Americans entered the dealerships with cash—or at least good credit—in hand and a willingness to buy, well, American. Brands with the newest products such as Chevrolet and GMC got a lot of attention. But revitalized models like the Chrysler 200, 300, and the entire Jeep lineup got looks—and sales—as well. Overall, the Detroit Three saw plenty of green for most of their lineup—dollars, that is.
General Motors’ Winners:
- News of an all-new Chevrolet Colorado will soon be hitting the dealership didn’t stop truck buyers from purchasing the current model.
- Sales of the Chevrolet Savana full-size van nearly hit a 60-percent year-over-year increase last month. Usually businesses order the full-size van. Another sign that America’s coming out of the recession?
- What’s that old saying again? There’s no such thing as bad publicity? Well, the so-called “Chevy Volt battery fires” garnered the plug-in hybrid lots of attention and, more importantly, greenbacks in the order of over 276-percent in sales for the month of March. Access to the carpool lanes over in California probably didn’t hurt, either.
General Motors’ Losers:
- There were nine orders for the discontinued Chevrolet Aveo? Really? Couldn’t those folks wait for the infinitely superior Chevrolet Spark which is due to arrive later this year or get a Sonic? It’s just a few months away.
- What’s going on with Cadillac? While the Cadillac CTS and Cadillac Escalade ESV posted gains, the rest of the lineup saw a drop last month in year-to-year sales. We can understand models like soon-to-be axed Cadillac DTS and Cadillac XLR, but even the Cadillac SRX is not doing so hot.
- Buick, just like Caddy, didn’t do so well. We can understand Buick Lucerne sales plummeting over 95-percent last month and nearly 90-percent overall, but negative sales for the Buick Enclave? Buick Regal?
- The all-new Ford Focus is bigger and better than its predecessor, which may explain the overall 78-percent sales increase since March 2011.
- Lincoln’s full-size MKS sedan got a lot of interest last month as sales rose nearly 60 percent.
- The Lincoln Town Car is gone. Folks may finally get the reality as Town Car replacement Lincoln MKT saw sales jump over 72-percent in March.
- What’s happening with the Ford Fiesta? Sales have dropped over 23-percent since its debut last year. Is the larger—but still compact—Ford Focus cannibalizing sales?
- Sales of the discontinued Ford Ranger continue to drop as America braces for its end here in the states.
- Gas prices were rising last month. Sales for the full-size Ford Expedition SUV fell 17 percent. Is there a correlation?
- Is Charlie Sheen more attractive than J-Lo? No? Well, something happened last month which saw Fiat 500 sales surge over 121 percent from February and 220 percent from the same time period in 2011.
- Late last year, the Chrysler 300 full-sized sedan went from gangsta, looks-wise, to Rolls-Royce-esque. The result is a 169-percent surge in sales. Americans prefer looking like established money over looking like nouveau rich, blinged-out rappers, apparently.
- The entire Jeep brand saw positive sales. Again.
- Dealerships sold over 2,200 of the outgoing Dodge Caliber last month. Why?
- While Ram, like Ford and Chevrolet, dominate the full-size pickup truck market, their smaller trucks are simply outclassed by the foreign competition. The former Dodge Dakota—now Ram Dakota—saw sales plummet 95 percent last month.
- 575 of the discontinued Dodge Nitro SUV-with-no-capabilities were sold in March, a drop of over 55 percent from the same period last year.
Sources: Chrysler, Ford, and General Motors