September 2011 auto sales data has made its way through the interwebs. And if we can base anything on the final month of the third quarter, America’s auto industry could be in for a decent final finish to the year. We’re four weeks from receiving sales data for October, however, so concentrate on September’s impressive showings for now.
Chrysler, as a brand, has struggled this year. That fact isn’t hidden in the table below where year-to-date sales through the first three quarters of 2011 are down slightly. But Chrysler’s U.S. sales in September were up 35.8% as the 200 was up 87% over the Sebring’s performance from September 2010. Town & Country minivan sales rose 16% and the 300 sedan was up 50%. Only Maserati’s year-over-year percentage gain was greater than Chrysler’s last month, although Volkswagen was close, thanks to the new Passat and still-strong Jetta sales.
Ford, of course, was the best-selling auto brand in America in September 2011. With a 14.5% boost, Ford sales topped 1.5 million through the first nine months of this year. Chevrolet had a terrific month, topping Toyota by nearly 45,000 sales. Elsewhere in Detroit, the Ram division accounted for 38.8%, or 25,364 units, of the Dodge/Ram collaboration. Jeep sales remain ridiculously strong; GMC was up 28%; Buick and Cadillac both reported small improvements. For the first time this year Fiat sales failed to grow from the prior month.
Rival Mini topped Fiat by 1226 sales and beat Scion, as well, despite plunging sales. Mini’s parent company, BMW, also lost out to Mercedes-Benz for the title of most popular luxury brand. BMW sales were up 19%, nonetheless, enough to stay 42,122 sales ahead of third-ranked Lexus. Speaking of Toyota’s luxury brand, Lexus was ahead of Buick by the end of September but trails GM’s aspirational brand by more than 4000 sales year-to-date.
Excluding Saab (down 62%), no automaker competing for sales in the United States suffered more than Toyota last month. Sales fell 19%. Fortunately, there was a measure of good news as Scion sales climbed 13% through nine months.
America’s auto market grew by about 10% in August. Discussing that percentage figure is a valid exercise, but don’t ignore the numerical gains. Hyundai and Kia combined for 11,000 extra sales. By itself, Ford was up by more than 14,000 sales. General Motors found 34,000 more buyers this September than last.
The table ranking America’s auto manufacturers in order of sales volume from September 2011 is below. Continue checking GoodCarBadCar.net for best-seller lists and segment-by-segment tracking over the next few days.