April 2012 Sales Summary: Chrysler, Toyota and VW Gain While Ford and GM Drop

April 2012 Sales Summary: Chrysler, Toyota and VW Gain While Ford and GM Drop

The April 2012 sales numbers were released today, and Chrysler and Toyota have the most to rejoice over, while Ford and General Motors need to do a little bit of catching up. 

Before you read the numbers, you must know that the sales numbers from this April are a little misleading, as last April there were three more recorded selling days than this April. That means when a manufacturer reports an increase or decrease, they are comparing two sales numbers that had different amounts of time to build up.

Chrysler recorded a 20 percent increase in sales this April over last, and had the best April to date since 2008, but the growth this month is actually slightly smaller than the growth seen last month. The company, as well as the whole industry, saw demand for light vehicles and cars increase as well, much more than the need for SUVs and trucks.

The Volkswagen Group saw a 27 percent increase in sales over last April, and had the largest gains out of any other major volume selling automaker.

Toyota was the most successful Japanese company this April compared to last, with an increase of 12 percent, while Korean rivals Hyundai and Kia only clocked a sales growth of one percent, the first time in 20 months that the sales gain for these two companies wasn’t in the double digits. That being said, April 2012 was a record month in volume for both Kia and Hyundai, but though they are growing, the companies sales might be slowly plateauing. Nissan saw a zero percent increase, with sales staying flat in the market this April over last.

Luxury cars did well last month, with Jaguar-Land Rover up three percent, Porsche up eight percent, Mercedes up 27 percent, and BMW up 12 percent compared to April, 2011.

General Motors saw a decline of eight percent, while Ford sales dropped five percent. This was the largest decline for both automakers since 2010.

In summary, Chrysler is doing the best out of the big three American companies,  Toyota is coming out ahead of its Japanese rivals and Korean counterparts, and the Volkswagen Group is making big gains in the American market, all at the expense of Ford, GM and Hyundai-Kia.

Overall, light vehicle sales rose two percent last month, as consumers are moving away from trucks and SUVs, and focusing on buying small fuel efficient cars that make sense in today’s economic climate.