January 2015 Auto Sales: Winners and Losers

Craig Cole
by Craig Cole

Another month is in the books! January is done and gone just like childhood memories of Space Camp. How well did automakers do? Let’s break it down.

Ruinously frigid weather across vast swaths of the United States did little to prevent new-vehicle buyers from venturing out. We in the Midwest are of particularly hearty stock. All told dealers sold nearly 1.2 million cars and trucks. Compared to January 2014 that’s a 13.7 percent increase, good news for just about everyone.

Starting with the winners, MINI posted a near 27 percent year-over-year sales increase. The purveyor of premium small cars delivered more than 3,200 vehicles last month. On a percentage basis it destroyed parent company BMW. The German automaker’s sales only increased by 4 percent, though to be fair Bimmer deliveries were much greater falling just shy of 19,000.

Next up, Porsche. The iconic German sports-car builder saw its sales rise by more than 27 percent compared to January 2014. Total deliveries topped 3,900, which is curiously a bit more than MINI sold and they’re a much more mass-market brand. The Volkswagen Group’s overall sales were up just 5.9 percent.

That’s not a Buick! You’re right; it’s a professional-grade truck or crossover. The Chevrolet brand’s largely redundant, pickup-focused sibling had a pretty stellar January with deliveries totaling nearly 36,000. That performance was enough to goose GMC’s sales by nearly 29 percent.

How about a little luxury in your life? Well, that’s exactly what about 23,000 folks thought last month when they bought a Lexus. Toyota’s gilded division is off to a terrific start in 2015. Sales are up more than 31 percent compared to the same month in last year. To date Lexus is trouncing high-end rivals including Infiniti, Acura and even BMW, though to be fair the sales race has just begun.

Well how about that! On a percentage basis Mitsubishi topped all challengers, posting a 33.4 percent sales increase compared to January of last year. The Japanese automaker delivered just shy of 6,500 vehicles in the preceding month. That’s a pretty paltry showing but it’s strong enough to propel the triple-diamond brand ahead of other makes including Scion, Fiat and Land Rover.

Like you need us to tell you smart is a loser. Sales of this brand’s curiously diminutive cars were off nearly 6 percent last month with deliveries totaling just 492 units. An all-new model is in the works and it should launch in North America later this year, though it cannot arrive on this side of the Atlantic soon enough.

Meow? No, more like me-ouch. The leaping-cat brand saw its sales drop by 6.0 percent last month. Apparently Jaguar drivers are much like the animal this automaker is named after; they like warm weather and accordingly they stayed indoors last month. Total deliveries hit 1,266 units.

The youth-focused Scion brand had a tough January. Dealers moved fewer than 3,700 cars last month; that’s approximately the same number of Camrys Toyota sells every 0.02 seconds. This lackluster showing resulted in a year-over-year sales decline of 8.0 percent.

This is kind of a surprise. For many months Maserati has been racking up impressive sales increases. The trident division has been on quite a roll but things may have finally reached their zenith. Dealers sold 452 units last month, which compares unfavorably to the 568 they moved the January before. This change resulted in a 20.4 percent decline in overall deliveries. Sad trombone.

And finally we come to Bentley. This prestigious British automaker’s year-over-year sales dropped by 50 percent, which is a pretty devastating amount. Could you imagine if your income was suddenly cut in half? Back in January of 2014 they sold 192 vehicles but last month deliveries tallied just 96 units. It’s pretty sad they couldn’t even hit triple digits, but at least they have good company. Lamborghini, Alfa Romeo and Rolls-Royce each sold fewer than 100 vehicles last month.

[Source: Automotive News]

Craig Cole
Craig Cole

Born and raised in metro Detroit, Craig was steeped in mechanics from childhood. He feels as much at home with a wrench or welding gun in his hand as he does behind the wheel or in front of a camera. Putting his Bachelor's Degree in Journalism to good use, he's always pumping out videos, reviews, and features for AutoGuide.com. When the workday is over, he can be found out driving his fully restored 1936 Ford V8 sedan. Craig has covered the automotive industry full time for more than 10 years and is a member of the Automotive Press Association (APA) and Midwest Automotive Media Association (MAMA).

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