April Auto Sales: Small is Big

By: Lauren Woods

Oil prices are rising and sales of small sport utility vehicles, compact cars and fuel-efficient crossovers rise are increasing as well. The strong sales of small cars, crossovers, minivans and at least one pickup truck were attributed to vivacious promotions and redesigned product lines.

Toyota Motor Corp. reported a 3.7 percent gain in sales for its Lexus, Toyota and Scion vehicles versus April last year. The Japanese automaker's divisional sales rose 2.3 percent, and Lexus was up 14.1 percent in April. Toyota Prius, the hybrid gas/electric car of the automaker benefited from incentives last month. As such, the car accounted for 71.8 percent sales increase, making April its best-ever month. Toyota's smallest car, Yaris, a subcompact launched in 2006, accounted for 7,232 units sold last month.

Honda Fit, a subcompact car, accounted for sales of 3,958 units in April. The car, which went on sale last April, has had a remarkable five months of sales gains. The redesigned CR-V compact SUV of the Japanese automakers sold 17,379 units, up 39.4 percent compared to April last year. The Civic increased a percentage as well. Honda Division year-to-date sales were up 3.4 percent, with 421,773 units sold.

Toyota light truck sales were pushed a little further by the RAV4 compact SUV, whose 14,495 sales mirrored a 13.3 percent increase compared to same period last year. Meanwhile, the redesigned Tundra pickup is trumping its predecessor with April sales of 14,200, a gain of 74.1 percent.

Among Detroit automakers, Ford saw sales down 13 percent for the month, although the new Edge crossover and Ford's trio of mid-sized cars--Ford Fusion, Mercury Milan and Lincoln MKZ--are selling strongly. Ford sold 9,134 Edge's and 2,901 of its sibling Lincoln MKX. Sales of Ford's Fusion car rose 22 percent year-to-date, although sales dipped in April.

DaimlerChrysler AG's Chrysler Group sales increased two percent compared to April 2006 with 190,095 vehicles sold and sales driven by Jeep Wrangler, the new Jeep Patriot, which accounted for 10,776 and 2,904 units, respectively. The Wrangler posted a 75 percent gain versus April last year. Last month, Chrysler ran a promotion for its Town and Country and Caravan minivans, which increased sales of the vehicles by 24 percent, per the company.

April sales for Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. decreased 11.1 percent last month, with Nissan sales off fourteen percent, while Infiniti, its luxury division, saw sales increase twelve percent. Hyundai Motor America sales were down 4.6 percent from record sales last April.

Volkswagen of America, Inc., a subsidiary of Volkswagen AG, headquartered in Wolfsburg, Germany, announced 19,086 vehicle sales in April. The number represents a decline of seven percent from April 2006 sales of 20,528 vehicles. and other auto parts from the automaker may need a little enhancement to ensure that aficionados will grab them. VW Eos, a new hard-top convertible, posted its best month ever with April sales of 1,142 units. The convertible is the world's first four-seat, hard-top with an integrated glass sunroof.

Among luxury brands, both Audi of America and Mercedes-Benz reported strong sales for the month, giving the automakers record years so far. Audi sold 8,106 units last month, quite a record for April. The figure created a 9.4 percent increase for this year. Sales of Audi are up 15.2 percent over last year's sales volume.

Mercedes-Benz posted sales of 20,895, which the company said is its second-best April and best-ever year-to-date, with 76,880 new vehicles for 2007, up six percent versus the period last year. Mercedes' sales were driven by the new C-Class, up over 27 percent compared to last year.

Top Searches on
Car Focus
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 

» More on Car Focus
 



Share this article :
Click to see more related articles