April 2016 Auto Sales: Winners and Losers

Craig Cole
by Craig Cole

Another April is in the books and we have the final U.S. sales figures in our greedy little mitts. Curiously, both Alfa Romeo and Scion had a blockbuster month, but despite a range world-class products, Cadillac’s deliveries faltered in a major way.

For the month, dealers pushed out more than 1.5 million new cars and trucks, an increase of about 3.5 percent compared to April 2015. That’s small but important growth; you can’t argue with improving figures.

SEE ALSO: How Much has the Diesel Scandal Affected VW Sales?

Likewise, sales for the first four months of the year have increased by a healthy 3.3 percent. Overall deliveries are just shy of 5.6 million units. But which automakers did the best last month and which ones failed in a major way? Let’s dive into the sales data …

Winner: Tesla +18.4 Percent

Tesla’s April deliveries rose an estimated 18.4 percent. Why is it “estimated”? Well, that’s because the company really doesn’t publish its sales; these numbers are just an educated guess. Accordingly, this purveyor of all-electric cars and crossovers moved around 2,250 vehicles last month, enough for a year-over-year increase of more than 18 percent.

Winner: Lincoln +20.2 Percent

Wait, what? Lincoln’s sales increased by more than 20 percent last month? How is that possible? Are they even in business? Yes, as a matter of fact, Ford’s much-maligned luxury division still sells cars. In fact, they moved 9,776 vehicles in April, a figure that was buoyed by strong MKX crossover deliveries. Nearly twice as many copies of this stylish hauler were pushed out in April compared to the same month in 2015. It looks like at long last this troubled brand is back from the dead.

Winner: Volvo +33.1 Percent

Beating Lincoln’s strong performance is Volvo. This Swedish purveyor of premium products saw its sales grow in excess of 33 percent last month, a performance that was undoubtedly aided in a big way by their brand-new (and award-winning) XC90 crossover. Overall, Volvo sold 6,169 vehicles in April.

Winner: Scion +54.1 Percent

Scion is set to fade into the history books, occupying a space alongside brands like DeLorean, Plymouth and Willys-Knight. But despite its impending doom, sales are up, and A LOT. Are dealerships giving these things away? They must be, because Scion sales increased by more than 54 percent last month, with 6,640 cars delivered.

Winner: Alfa Romeo +57.9 Percent

That’s undoubtedly a strong performance, but Alfa Romeo beat them with a year-over-year increase of nearly 58 percent. The exotic FCA division sold just 60 cars in April, but that’s a huge increase over the 38 it delivered during the same month last year. Way to go, guys!

Loser: MINI -12.4 Percent

But now for our sales losers. MINI’s deliveries fell by more than 12 percent in April, a disappointing performance to be certain. Dealerships pushed just 4,796 vehicles out the door. Perhaps cheap gas is discouraging people from thinking small.

Loser: Chrysler -17.5 Percent

Chrysler, one of FCA’s namesake divisions, had a tough April. Year-over-year sales of pentastar-branded vehicles fell by 17.5 percent. Total deliveries of the 200 and 300 sedan plus the Town & Country minivan totaled a relatively paltry 22,843 units. Is the all-new Pacifica minivan on sale yet? It can’t arrive soon enough.

Loser: Fiat -18.9 Percent

Likewise, Fiat had a rough month. Its deliveries fell by nearly 19 percent in April. Total sales were a likely unsustainable 3,045. Oh well, at least FCA still has Ram and Jeep, which, per usual, did quite well last month.

Loser: Cadillac -28.9 Percent

Next up, Cadillac. GM’s flagship brand saw its year-over-year April deliveries fall by nearly 29 percent, which is borderline disastrous. Despite offering some truly class-leading vehicles, the brand’s sales totaled just 11,236. Apparently rear-wheel-drive platforms and edgy styling aren’t attracting customers like they should. Curiously, fewer than 1,500 units separated Cadillac and Lincoln last month.

Loser: Bentley -54.5 Percent

Finally, we come to Bentley, the automaker that did the least best in April. This ultra-luxury brand’s sales fell by nearly 55 percent last month, with just 110 vehicles delivered. For the year, its performance is off nearly 53 percent, with just 372 units sold.

[Source: Automotive News]

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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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  • Smartacus Smartacus on May 06, 2016

    MINI and FIAT are still racing to zero. those are two brands that will not survive past 2025.