When it comes to automotive news headlines, you really can’t pay too much attention to them. The big headlines just last weekend stated: “March 2017 will be the biggest March since 2000.” On the air Saturday, I made the comment “I don’t think so.” Hey, I get plenty wrong, but when I do get something right, you’ll read it here first!
Sales were down just 2% overall last month versus a year ago, which was actually the best March in history, so given 2016 was the best year for sales in auto history, you certainly can’t say it was a bad month. However, incentive spending was up, which signals 2017 will be hard to keep pace with 2016.
There were winners in the last March versus this March battle. In mainstream vehicles, Audi was up slightly, as were BMW, Buick, Dodge, GMC, Honda, Mazda, Mercedes, Mini, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Porsche, Ram, Subaru, VW.
The losers for this March included: Acura, Cadillac, Chevy, Chrysler, Fiat, Ford, Hyundai, Jeep, Kia, Land Rover, Lincoln, Smart, Toyota, and Volvo.
BMW outsold Mercedes for the top brand in the luxury category; Chrysler vehicles took a major hit, down 33%.
Top-selling brand went to Ford with 225,341 sales, followed by Toyota with 187,289, then Chevy with 172.458. Nissan continues its roll with 150,566 which was up from March 2016.
Dragging up the bottom sales volume numbers were Bentley with 249 lucky buyers, Smart with just 389 unlucky people, and Alfa Romeo with 555 sales.
In the pickup truck wars, Ford easily dominated with 81,330 sales, up 10% from a year ago. It wasn’t really a race, but Ram outsold Chevy, something that doesn’t happen often. Ram sold 46,384 trucks, while Chevy sold 42,410, down 11.6% from a year ago. The Nissan Titan was up 335%, but only notched 5539 sales.