May National Auto Sales: More Winners, Than Losers

Top-Selling Pickups Auto Industry Sales National Auto Sales

We are into June now, and the May sales have all been counted.  Well, not all because General Motors has ceased to report sales monthly.  I hope if I keep harping on this, they’ll reconsider this really ridiculous policy, but I digress.

In the auto industry, when the numbers come out each month, they are compared to the same month a year earlier.  Here are your winners and losers for May 2018, versus May 2017.


  • Alfa Romeo was up 158% to 2,377 sales
  • Dodge was up 3.7%
  • Jeep was up a whopping 29%.
  • Ram rose 1.6%.
  • Ford was up almost 1%.
  • Honda was up 4.3%.
  • Hyundai was up 11.5%.
  • Kia gained 1.6%.
  • Land Rover was up 42.3%.
  • Mazda was up 15.1%.
  • McLaren jumped up 105% to 119 sales.
  • Mitsubishi was up 31.7%.
  • Subaru continued their streak, up 7.1%
  • Volvo was up a big 50%.
  • Audi was up slightly, 0.6%
  • Lamborghini was up 2.3% to 90 vehicles.
  • Porsche was up 4.2%.
  • VW was up 4%.
2018 Jeep Wrangler

Total sales of the Jeep Wrangler rose 26 percent to 25,102 vehicles for the best May ever. Credit: Jeep


  • Chrysler fell 18.1%.
  • Fiat declined 46% to 1,441 total sales.
  • Maserati was off 25%.
  • Lincoln fell 5.2%.
  • Acura was off 8%.
  • Genesis fell 38.6%.
  • Jaguar was off by 24%.
  • Smart dropped 67% to 110 vehicles.
  • Mercedes fell slightly by 0.3%.
  • Infiniti was down 7%.
  • Nissan fell 3.8%.
  • Lexus was flat, down only 0.1%
  • Toyota was off 1.5%.
  • Bentley dropped 21% to 165 sales.

As you can see, there were more winners than losers for the month.  May had one more selling day this year than last year, but if you look at year-to-date sales, the industry is up 1.2%, assuming that General Motors will come in about flat when it finally reports in July.

Of note: 

The continued momentum at Jeep, this brand is just on fire.  Hyundai and Kia were up for the first time in almost a year and a half, but Genesis had a very disappointing performance.  Subaru turned in a strong performance again, and the new large Ascent is just now going on sale, so expect that trend to continue, especially after reading my review next week.

2018 Subaru Crosstrek

Sales of the all-new 2018 Crosstrek were up an 74.4 percent in May and it enjoyed its best month ever, helping Subaru of America achieve its 78th consecutive month of sales gains. Credit: Subaru

In other interesting tidbits:

The average vehicle sold in America last month was over $35,600 according to Kelly Blue Book estimates.  That is up over $1,100 from April.  Rising prices are being fueled by the continued strength in pickup and SUV sales.  Average incentive for every vehicle sold in May was over $3600 as estimated by J.D. Power and Automotive Lease Guide.

General Motors led the way in incentive spending at over $5500 per vehicle, followed closely by BMW and Mercedes-Benz.  Subaru spent the least per vehicle, at just $1300.

Something to watch: says the average interest rate in May 2018 was 5.75% APR, the highest it has been since 2009.  I’ve been warning listeners for a while that interest rates were rising due to the strength of the economy, and I expect this trend to continue.  If this does indeed continue, you will see fewer and fewer offers of 0% APR from the car companies.

Photo Credit: Andy Dean Photography/Shutterstock


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