Remember when I said February 2008 was the worst month ever in the history of our reporting monthly sales figures? Well, April 2008 was just as bad. Though we had five brands this month that posted an increase in their daily sales rate (DSR) compared to four back in February, automakers had two extra days last month to sell compared to April 2007. Not even that helped as most brands went down flaming with double-digit dips in their DSR*.
The domestics were hit the hardest in April, with Ford Motor Company (-19%), General Motors (-22.7%) and Chrysler LLC (-29%) all down. You'll hear from analysts that two things are responsible for the Big 3's poor performance: too many trucks and SUVs that nobody wants combined with a decrease in fleet sales. Nissan North American and Toyota Motor Co. were down as well, but both by less than 5%. Honda informed us it's having technical difficulties reporting its numbers, so they're forthcoming.

The significant thing that happened last month is the big jump in small car sales. On a make/model basis, the Ford Focus was up 32%, the Chevy Cobalt and Aveo were up 15.5% and 14%, the Toyota Yaris and Prius rose 45.9% and 53.8%. While virtually all truck and SUV sales were down, as well as those of many larger CUVs, small and mid-size cars were definitely popular with the people.

Biggest Winner

MINI 28.6% at 4,713 (4/07: 3,382)

Biggest Loser
HUMMER –49.8% at 2,380 (4/07: 4,375)

BRANDS
Audi –12% at 7,730 (4/07: 8,106)
BMW –2.5% at 26,735 (4/07: 25,310)
Buick –11.7% at 12,665 (4/07: 13,234)
Cadillac –21.3% at 14,359 (4/07: 16,839)
Chevrolet –21.9% at 157,187 (4/07: 185,759)
Chrysler –45% at 30,670 (4/07: 51,441)
Dodge –23% at 83,348 (4/07: 100,463)
Ford –17.4% at 165,997 (4/07: 185,553)
GMC –29.6% at 31,854 (4/07: 41,748)
HUMMER –49.8% at 2,380 (4/07: 4,375)
Hyundai –7.4% at 39,280 (4/07: 39,137)
Infiniti –11.5% at 9,537 (4/07: 9,945)
Jaguar 15.7% at 1,785 (4/07: 1,424)
Jeep –24.4% at 33,733 (4/07: 41,200)
Land Rover –43.9% at 2,557 (4/07: 4,211)
Lexus –17.1% at 23,350 (4/07: 25,995)
Lincoln –19.3% at 10,340 (4/07: 11,832)
Mazda 4.1% at 23,760 (4/07: 23,760)
Mercedes-Benz –10.4% at 20,271 (4/07: 20,895)
Mercury –31.8% at 12,910 (4/07: 17,481)
MINI 28.6% at 4,713 (4/07: 3,382)
Mitsubishi –32% at 8,878 (4/07: 12,047)
Nissan 0.1% at 66,318 (4/07: 61,179)
Pontiac –15.9% at 24,009 (4/07: 26,346)
Porsche –11.9% at 3,099 (4/07: 3,248)
Saab –37.9% at 1,580 (4/07: 2,350)
Saturn –22% at 16,888 (4/07: 19,977)
Subaru 12% at 16,771 (4/07: 13,786)
Suzuki –2.8% at 9,669 (4/07: 9,179)
Toyota –2.7% at 194,350 (4/07: 184,462)
Volkswagen –6.1% at 19,415 (4/07: 19,086)
Volvo –18.9% at 7,138 (4/07: 8,122)

N/A: Kia, Honda and Acura (Delayed)

COMPANIES
BMW Group 1.2% at 31,448 (4/07: 28,692)
Chrysler LLC –29% at 147,751 (4/07: 193,104)
Ford Motor Co –19% at 200,727 (4/07: 228,623)
General Motors –22.7% at 260,922 (4/07: 311,687)
Honda America (Delayed)
Nissan North America –1.6% at 75,855 (4/07: 71,124)
Toyota Motor Co. –4.5% at 217,700 (4/07: 210,457)

*All percentages are reported as the change in Daily Sales Rate because there were 26 selling days in April 2008 versus 24 in April 2007. Comparing the raw number of vehicles sold both months would not be accurate because of this discrepancy in selling days, so we report the change in the average number of vehicles sold per day.

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