Hyundai, Kia and Subaru all report +40% increase in sales

If you've been paying attention to recent editions of By the Numbers, you'll have noticed that the amount of green on our chart below is growing. Month after month, more and more brands and manufacturers are managing to produce sales numbers that exceed the same month last year.

For October 2009, the list is topped by three familiar players: Hyundai (+49%), Kia (+45%) and Subaru (+41%). The South Koreans and this lone Japanese brand have bucked the trend all year, and now that other brands are beginning to sell relatively well, they are distancing themselves from the pack even further.

Their success shouldn't overshadow the rest of the industry, though, which includes many players surprisingly high on our chart. All four "Core" brands of General Motors (Chevrolet, Buick, Cadillac and GMC) posted positive numbers, and GM as a whole, which still counts sales from "non-Core" brands like Hummer, Pontiac, Saab and Saturn, managed to post a 4.1% gain in sales. Likewise, the Ford brand (+3.6%) and Ford Motor Company (+3%) both reported sales gains versus October of last year. The rest of the big Japanese manufacturers, meanwhile, were close behind but didn't quite manage to earn a green cell this month, while the Chrysler Group LLC landed farthest off the mark with a drop of 30.4%.

Have industry sales turned the corner? Are we headed into a bright future of 14+ million sales per year and green cells for every automaker? Hardly, though it's increasingly clear that new product, being competitive in key segments, and creative marketing and incentives are the best recipe for climbing out of the red.


Brand Volume % 10/09 10/08 DSR*% DSR 10/09 DSR 10/08
Hyundai 48.92 31,005 20,820 43.60 1,107 771
Kia 45.26 22,490 15,483 40.07 803 573
Subaru 40.66 18,169 12,917 35.64 649 478
Cadillac 21.60 11,602 9,541 17.26 414 353
Mercedes-Benz 21.32 18,193 14,996 16.99 650 555
GMC 20.44 25,423 21,109 16.14 908 782
Lexus 19.77 19,502 16,283 15.49 697 603
Volvo 19.37 4,437 3,717 15.11 158 138
Buick 18.46 9,053 7,642 14.23 323 283
Porsche 15.07 1,642 1,427 10.96 59 53
Chevrolet 8.50 116,436 107,313 4.63 4,158 3,975
Nissan 7.69 53,664 49,833 3.84 1,917 1,846
Volkswagen 7.23 17,037 15,889 3.40 608 588
Ford 3.57 119,072 114,969 -0.13 4,253 4,258
Honda -0.01 75,751 75,756 -3.58 2,705 2,806
Mercury -1.14 6,676 6,753 -4.67 238 250
Audi -1.14 7,358 7,443 -4.67 263 276
Toyota -2.32 132,663 135,818 -5.81 4,738 5,030
Acura -3.53 9,751 10,108 -6.98 348 374
Lincoln -8.97 6,735 7,399 -12.23 241 274
Infiniti -9.29 6,451 7,112 -12.53 230 263
Pontiac -18.45 10,646 13,054 -21.36 380 483
BMW -18.61 16,443 20,203 -21.52 587 748
Mini -20.79 4,176 5,272 -23.62 149 195
Dodge -22.21 26,265 33,763 -24.99 938 1250
Chrysler -35.61 12,815 19,903 -37.91 458 737
Jeep -36.80 13,500 21,360 -39.05 482 791
Mitsubishi -48.34 3,867 7,486 -50.19 138 277
Suzuki -49.89 1,745 3,482 -51.67 62 129
Saturn -57.79 3,623 8,583 -59.30 129 318
Smart -70.44 661 2,236 -71.49 24 83
Saab -74.03 513 1,975 -74.95 18 73
Hummer -77.56 307 1,368 -78.36 11 51
Mazda N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
COMPANIES
General Motors 4.11 177,603 170,585 0.40 6,343 6,318
Ford Motor Company 3.07 136,920 132,838 -0.61 4,890 4,920
Nissan NA 0.28 60,115 59,945 -3.30 2,147 2,220
Toyota Mo Co 0.04 152,165 152,101 -3.53 5,434 5,633
American Honda -0.42 85,502 85,864 -3.98 3,054 3,180
BMW Group -19.06 20,619 25,475 -21.95 736 944
Chrysler Group LLC -30.39 65,803 94,530 -32.88 2,350 3,501
*Brands and companies are both displayed in descending order according to their percentage change in volume sales. There were 28 selling days in October 2009 and 27 selling days in October 2008, so the change in monthly sales volume will be different than the change in the average daily sales rate (DSR) for each brand/company.