Incentives push Toyota up 41%, Buick sales skyrocket up 76%

Why "Get Off My Back"? Because over the past few months as automakers like General Motors and Ford have begun the process of selling off or shutting down their under-performing brands, it's become increasingly difficult to determine how well the healthy parts of these companies are doing. These doomed or waiting-to-be-sold brands have weighed each automaker down like a backpack full of lead, so it's time to get them off their backs.

In this month's edition of By the Numbers, we've included results for General Motors as a whole as well as just its four core brands of Chevrolet, Cadillac, Buick and GMC, and for Ford we've included a separate result that doesn't include Volvo. This is how these two major American automakers will be viewed going forward, and as you can see, their healthy parts took a shot of steroids in the right cheek during the month of March 2010.

GM's core brands saw sales collectively rise by 43.3 percent versus March 2009. Likewise, without the weight of Volvo and its 17.6-percent drop in sales last month, Ford Motor Company sales were up 42.7 percent. Chrysler Group, which is essentially the same company selling the same vehicles it was before bankruptcy despite now being run by Fiat, managed to only fall 8.3 percent in sales versus 2009, which for them is practically a win.

Of course, Toyota is the hottest topic amongst last month's sales results. After watching sales fall in February by 10.1 percent due to all the negative PR surrounding its sudden acceleration recalls, the beleaguered Japanese automaker fought back in March with its most aggressive sales incentives ever. The result: Customers came back and sales for the brand were up 40.5 percent versus the same month last year.

Brand/Company Vol % March 2010 March 2009 DSR %* DSR 3/10 DSR 3/09
Buick 75.79 12,954 7,369 69.03 498 295
Subaru 46.38 23,785 16,249 40.75 915 650
Ford 45.55 159,367 109,490 39.96 6,130 4,380
GMC 44.86 27,648 19,086 39.29 1,063 763
Nissan 44.00 85,526 59,392 38.46 3,289 2,376
Lexus 42.00 20,219 14,239 36.54 778 570
Cadillac 41.78 11,639 8,209 36.33 448 328
Volkswagen 40.89 22,148 15,720 35.47 852 629
Chevrolet 40.61 133,165 94,704 35.20 5,122 3,788
Toyota 40.55 166,644 118,563 35.15 6,409 4,743
Infiniti 37.28 9,942 7,242 32.00 382 290
Audi 33.51 8,589 6,433 28.38 330 257
Acura 30.17 11,722 9,005 25.17 451 360
Mercedes-Benz 28.34 20,023 15,602 23.40 770 624
Mercury 26.23 10,486 8,307 21.38 403 332
Kia 23.45 30,522 24,724 18.70 1,174 989
Honda 21.63 96,540 79,374 16.95 3,713 3,175
Land Rover 21.26 2,726 2,248 16.60 105 90
Lincoln 18.92 8,693 7,310 14.35 334 292
Mitsubishi 17.62 5,434 4,620 13.10 209 185
Hyundai 15.42 47,002 40,721 10.99 1,808 1,629
Porsche 8.92 1,905 1,749 4.73 73 70
Mazda 5.55 23,193 21,974 1.49 892 879
BMW 3.08 18,060 17,520 -0.88 695 701
Jeep 2.62 24,393 23,771 -1.33 938 951
Chrysler 1.43 19,780 19,502 -2.48 761 780
Mini 0.14 3,610 3,605 -3.71 139 144
Ram -11.17 18,944 21,327 -14.59 729 853
Jaguar -16.27 983 1,174 -19.49 38 47
Volvo -17.63 5,237 6,358 -20.80 201 254
Dodge -18.94 29,506 36,401 -22.06 1,135 1,456
Smart -61.23 677 1,746 -62.72 26 70
(Saturn) -62.68 2,737 7,333 -64.11 105 293
(Hummer) -64.62 294 831 -65.98 11 33
(Saab) -89.49 133 1,265 -89.89 5 51
(Pontiac) -99.38 109 17,583 -99.40 4 703
Suzuki N/A

COMPANIES
Nissan NA 43.27 95,468 66,634 37.76 3,672 2,665
GM (Core Brands) 43.32 185,406 129,368 37.80 7,131 5,175
Ford (w/out Volvo) 42.71 178,546 125,107 37.23 6,867 5,004
Toyota Mo Co 40.71 186,863 132,802 35.30 7,187 5,312
Ford Mo Co 39.80 183,783 131,465 34.42 7,069 5,259
American Honda 22.50 108,262 88,379 17.79 4,164 3,535
General Motors 20.57 188,546 156,380 15.93 7,252 6,255
Jaguar LR NA 8.39 3,709 3,422 4.22 143 137
BMW Group 2.58 21,670 21,125 -1.37 833 845
Chrysler Group -8.29 92,623 101,001 -11.82 3,562 4,040
*Brands and companies are displayed in descending order according to their percentage change in volume sales. There were 26 selling days in March 2010 versus 25 selling days in March 2009, so the change in monthly sales volume will be different than the change in the average daily sales rate (DSR) for each brand/company.

UPDATE: Audi added to chart and Saab sales, which are no longer reported by General Motors, corrected.