May 2015 Auto Sales: Winners and Losers

Craig Cole
by Craig Cole

Chrysler sales surged in the month of May, but niche brands like Fiat and Scion weren’t so lucky.

May 2015 Auto Sales

All told, dealerships across this fine land moved more than 1.6 million vehicles in May. That’s a modest but appreciated 1.6 percent gain over the same month in 2014. So far this year, said stores have shipped in excess of 7 million vehicles, which represents a 4.5 percent increase over the same five-month period last year.

SEE ALSO: Chrysler Calls Out Dealers for Shady Hellcat Sales Practices

This strong performance was fueled by heavy demand for trucks and crossovers, vehicles that often carry high profit margins. It’s possible automakers will be going green in more ways than one; rather than just offering fuel-saving hybrids many of them could be rolling around in giant piles of cash.

Last month’s steady growth pushed the seasonally adjusted annualized sales rate, or SAAR for short, to nearly 17.8 million. That’s the highest it’s been since July of 2005 when employee pricing at the Detroit Three helped boost sales.

Winner: Maserati +17.2 Percent

Maserati’s sales were up more than 17 percent last month. Dealers pushed out in excess of 1,300 vehicles. This is good news for the ultra-luxury brand, though it has to be tempered with a touch of reality. For the year their deliveries are off 3.3 percent compared to the same period in 2014. So far they’ve sold slightly more than 4,300 units.

Winner: Land Rover +18.7 Percent

Americans love utility vehicles and apparently they also adore Land Rover. Last month this rock-crawling British brand’s sales were up nearly 19 percent year-over-year. Sales eclipsed 5,300 in May and the good news continues when you look at all of 2015. So far their deliveries have soared nearly 25 percent!

Winner: smart +21.5 Percent

Smart’s been in the dumper for the last few months but in May their deliveries rose nearly 22 points. Dealers pushed out 837 of these little buggers, which is good for the brand, though sales are off more than 28 percent for the year.

Winner: Mitsubishi +31.7 Percent

Mitsubishi is on fire! The triple-diamond brand has been on death’s door for, like, decades but their sales just keep growing. Last month they were up nearly 32 percent. Of course their volume is quite low; deliveries totaled 9,575 last month. For the year they’re up nearly 24 percent at a whisker more than 41,581 units.

Winner: Chrysler +31.9 Percent

But topping all rivals is Chrysler. The Pentastar company’s namesake division posted a 31.9 percent sales bloom in May. Deliveries were just shy of 30,000 units. This performance was strong enough to offset trouble at some other FCA divisions. For the year, Chrysler has sold nearly 140,000 vehicles, 19.1 percent more than during the same time period in 2014.

Loser: Jaguar -7.7 Percent

Its sister division Land Rover may have had a profitable May but Jaguar didn’t fare as well. The leaping kitty brand’s sales dropped nearly 8 percent. Deliveries totaled 1,204 for the month. So far this year their sales are down 6.2 percent.

Loser: Hyundai -10.3 Percent

Hyundai like Sunday, or in this case sadness because the South Korean brand’s sales slipped more than 10 percent last month, totaling 63,000 and change. Luckily they’ve fared better in previous months because for all of 2015 deliveries are up 2.2 percent at more than 303,000.

Loser: Fiat -18.9 Percent

Fiat is relatively new to the American market (again) and unfortunately for this Italian upstart they’re sliding down a slippery slope. In May the brand’s dealers studios sold 3,867 cars, down almost 19 percent compared to the same month last year. Deliveries for the year are off nearly 9 percent compared to the same time period in 2014.

Loser: Dodge -21.8 Percent

Dodge’s sales dropped nearly 22 percent in May compared to the same month in 2014; for the year they’re off nearly 17 percent. The lack of a midsize sedan is probably hurting this century-old FCA division more than anything else. Last month its sales totaled about 45,000 units.

Loser: Scion -22.2 Percent

And the worst loser of all? Drum roll please … Scion! Toyota’s youth division needs a map and directions because they seem totally lost. Deliveries dropped more than 22 percent last month to just 4,806 vehicles. For the year sales are off nearly 19 percent. Apparently a riotously fun rear-wheel-drive coupe isn’t enough to get butts in drivers’ seats.

[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 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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Join the conversation
  • Smartacus Smartacus on Jun 03, 2015

    i may have an explanation for Daimler's smart brand. People are buying up the old fortwos because they have been summarily turned off from the new fortwo coming out.

    • See 1 previous
    • Smartacus Smartacus on Jun 04, 2015

      Nope. -they just had an article, hybrid and electric vehicle loyalty is going down. -and Yaris sales are up: 1,442 in Jan 15 vs 1.005 in Jan14; but Jan13 sales were at 2,897 and Jan12 were 3,010

  • Eric Cameron Eric Cameron on Jun 03, 2015

    Scion needs to take the beer goggles off and understand that an uglier rebadge of a Mazda2 will not bring in sales. Dodge needs a new mid-size sedan. But dat Charger...OH SO SWEET! Fiat is a crappy FCA vehicle and needs an overhaul. Hyundai needs to fix their quality control and get their reputation back up. Same with Ford.