GM starts year off strong, industry as a whole sees lower sales

Analysts and automakers alike have been warning us that 2008 is going to be another tough year, and January only served to prove them right.

General Motors, up 2.1%, managed to turn out a remarkably good sales month with every single one of its brands posting positive sales except for Pontiac (UPDATE: and Saab, down 25%, though its total sales are small enough not to affect GM's overall numbers by much). GMC even got a big push from strong Acadia sales (up 335.1% to 7,318) to grab the honor of being our Biggest Winner.

Every other automaker, however, saw lower sales last month compared to January 2006, though double-digit drops were avoided by all except Chrysler. Ford Motor Company fell 4.1% in January, a figure that could have been worse were it not for very strong CUV sales and a 44.4% increase in Focus sales to 11,600. Both Toyota Motor Co. and Honda America fell 2.3%, as well. Nissan North America took the second biggest hit with a 7.3% drop in sales. Chrysler, meanwhile, fared that worst with a 12% decline, though it claims this was a result of reduced fleet sales and was expected.

Check out sales figures for each individual brand below (the BMW Group and Subaru have not yet reported). Since there 25 selling days in both January 2006 and 2007, the numbers below represent both the percentage change in total number of vehicles sold and daily average sales rate.

Biggest Winner
GMC 13.3% at 32,270 (1/07: 28,488)

Biggest Loser
Jaguar –52.2% at 664 (1/07: 1,390)

BRANDS

Acura –14.2% at 11,168 (1/07: 13,017)
Audi 0.3% at 6,418 (1/07: 6,399)
Buick 6.1% at 12,749 (1/07: 12,013)
Cadillac 7.7% at 14,792 (1/07: 13,740)
Chevrolet 0.7% at 149,548 (1/07: 148,449)
Chrysler –17% at 34,372 (1/07: 41,486)
Dodge –12% at 69,884 (1/07: 79,461)
Ford –0.7% at 131,074 (1/07: 132,006)
GMC 13.3% at 32,270 (1/07: 28,488)
Honda –0.5% at 87,343 (1/07: 87,773)
HUMMER –23.4% at 3,050 (1/07: 3,980)
Hyundai –22.6% at 21,452 (1/07: 27,721)
Infiniti –3.6% at 8,644 (1/07: 8,964)
Jaguar –52.2% at 664 (1/07: 1,390)
Jeep –6.0% at 33,136 (1/07: 35,361)
Kia –5.2% at 21,355 (1/07: 22,524)
Land Rover –16.7% at 2,859 (1/07: 3,433)
Lexus –8.2% at 20,299 (1/07: 22,118)
Lincoln –16.8% at 7,985 (1/07: 9,594)
Mazda 10.2% at 21,212 (1/07: 19,265)
Mercedes 7.1% at 18,275 (1/07: 17,069)
Mercury –26.2% at 9,296 (1/07: 12,604)
Mitsubishi –23% at 7,226 (1/07: 9,383)
Nissan –7.8% at 67,961 (1/07: 73,680)
Pontiac –4.3% at 23,025 (1/07: 24,060)
Porsche –13% at 2,595 (1/07: 2,984)
Saab –25% at 1,772 (1/07: 2,362)
Saturn 12.1% at 15,359 (1/07: 13,705)
Suzuki –13% at 7,120 (1/07: 8,179)
Toyota –1.4% at 151,550 (1/07: 153,732)
Volkswagen –13.2% at 14,411 (1/07: 16,610)
Volvo 2.9% at 8,036 (1/07: 7,808)

NA: BMW, MINI, Subaru

COMPANIES

Chrysler Group –12% at 137,392 (1/07: 156,308)
Ford Motor Co –4.1% at 159,914 (1/07: 166,835)
General Motors 2.1% at 252,565 (1/07: 247,464)
Honda America –2.3% at 98,511 (1/07: 100,790)
Nissan North America –7.3% at 76,605 (1/07: 82,644)
Toyota Motor Co. –2.3% at 171,849 (1/07: 175,850)