• Apr 1st 2010 at 3:58PM
  • 109
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

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.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      Suzuki didn't report to Autoblog at all, but a look over at autonews showed they dropped 75% compared to last years dismal numbers. I think it won't be long now.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Hey, be fair to Suzuki:

        2246 cars March 2010 is *only* a 72% drop from 7981 in March 2009.

        There's no need to overstate things by saying they dropped 75%.

        Still, one has to wonder when they'll be out of the US.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Damn, the Smart fad is definitely gone. Which I cannot say is unfortunate, that car wasn't worth its price. Toyota back on top wasn't a surprise, of the new cars in our employee lot two were Toyotas, one new Hyundai Sonata, and Mazda 3. I know a few others looking at either Honda , Toyota, or Ford.

      Seen a few new "used" Chevy Equinox, guess the prices on 09 and below dropped a lot. We had a new Saturn last month show up.

      The problem facing many buyers is, late this year and early next are going to be very good with many great cars showing it only makes sense to wait
      • 5 Years Ago
      For Audi they are up 33.5%

      March 2010: 8589 versus March 2009: 6433
      YTD is 21315 versus 15808 respectively for +34.8%
        • 5 Years Ago
        Thanks. I noticed Audi was missing from the table.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Love Love Love my 2008 Prius.
      • 5 Years Ago
      People can be bought-off. If the price is right, consumers will buy anything. Remember the people who were bought-off from filing lawsuits in the 80's for the "exploding Pinto ??? and the roll-over explorer ??? I find it odd that in a day of huge credit card debt, unemployment, increasing taxes, home forclosures and big costs in health care on the way----people are still falling all over themselves to purchase frivilous items such as cell phones, ipods and ipads. Being a former telephone employee, I was required to carry a cell phone and pager. I find it a relief to no longer be "tethered" to my company, or my supervisor or to "check in" frequently. I choose not to have a cell phone, pager, ipad, or ipod. With the $500 price tag of the new ipad, apparently the economy must not be as bad as I have been lead to believe !!!
      • 5 Years Ago
      Look at Hyundai, fanboys! Eatin' Toyota dust! Honda dust too! People have a bit more cash now that the economy isn't fully in the crapper and they are beginning to realize they can afford a more top-notch brand that doesn't scream "cheap".

      Ok, I just had to. reality says the new Sonatas are just rolling out. So they're in a lull. Maybe.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Funny how Luis is now singing the praises of Toyota., esp. considering for March 2010 - Toyota had the HIGHEST % of fleet sales w/ 16.27% of the market.

        Also, Hyundai and Kia sales are HIGHER than the sales for March of 2008; Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Chevy and Ford still have yet to match their 2008 figures.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Only a yahoo like Luis would praise Toyota for doing EXACTLY the same thing that he had criticized Hyundai for doing in order to faciliatate sales - heavy incentives and fleet sales.

        Hyundai drastically cut back on incentives and fleet sales for both the new Sonata and Tuscon; and despite that (along w/ limited supply and the turbo and hybrid variants not yet being available), the Sonata was the 3rd best selling mid-size sedan in the RETAIL market.

        As for "cheap" - how do you explain the RISE in Genesis sales you yutz?
      • 5 Years Ago
      YEEEAHAA ... GO TOYOTA - you little beauty.

      No matter what, you just can not hold down a good company.

      Incentives will stay for a while but then they will slowly start reducing them.

      Personally, i believe Toyota will stem to become an even greater car company because of the negative focus lately.

      Mark my words ... !!
        • 5 Years Ago
        Haha, Mike, I thought you were talking about GM and then I scrolled up to the OP. Toyota would have to be a crap company in decline for 20 solid years to be where GM is right now.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Agreeed, not sure why your post was voted down..
        • 5 Years Ago
        Let's see, recent track record of lying to the public, buying off officials and trading lives for cost save "wins".

        I'm gonna guess that it'll be easy for Toyota to become a greater company as they don't have much further to have fallen.

        We'll also see what happens when they stop lumping incentives on their biggest selling vehicles.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I just saw the ES350 versus Lacrosse ad. That's a pretty convincing ad, to at least go give the car a try. And that's saying a lot for GM.

      Still not thrilled with the nose of the Lacrosse, but otherwise it's very impressive. Buick finally found their 2nd vehicle to match the excellence of the Enclave.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I just think that it's awesome that GM can go after the segment leaders and not have people snicker.

        GM has some very legitimate contenders out there, which is encouraging from the standpoint of actually getting my tax dollars back.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I'm probably the only one who doesn't take the LaCrosse as serious as I did before they dropped the 3.0L V-6 and added a four banger. Until that thing get's a turbo, it's a joke in my mind.
        • 5 Years Ago
        "I just saw the ES350 versus Lacrosse ad. "

        You must not watch much television. That ad has been running in high rotation for a few months.

        I agree, good ad.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I missed the /sarcasm before I hit the (-) button.

      Too soon. Too soon. :-)
      • 5 Years Ago
      Wow..Toyota "accelerates" back up in sales. ;p
        • 5 Years Ago
        Wow! I wonder where those sales numbers came from? Toyota maybe? If they lied about their cars safety then they would most likely lie about their sales.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I don't know if you were paying attention, but that could be said for EVERYONE!
        • 5 Years Ago
        The question is will Toyota have to continue with generous incentives (and thereby hurt resales) to keep sales rolling or will it only have to be a short-term thing?

        • 5 Years Ago
        I meant generous (even record breaking) by Toyota standards. Toyota's 50% increase in incentive expenditures over last year when the industry average was actually down is definitely noteworthy.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Man it's weird that Toyota, GM, and Ford are basically neck and neck in sales...I mean those numbers are so close it's almost a 3 way split.
        I do wonder how the numbers are going to look once everyone stops dumping incentives on every car though.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Toyotas generous incentives? Ford GM Fiatsler 3-4k average incentives are significantly higher than toyotas paltry 2k!
      • 5 Years Ago
      Too good to be kept down. GM #1. See the USA in a Chevrolet!!

        • 5 Years Ago
        @ Jeez

        They did this with basically two (good) products total, Lucerne is a lame duck. That IS amazing.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Even though Buick's numbers jumped up ~75%, that's only a 6k unit change because their numbers were so low to begin with. It's nothing amazing to be honest, and I doubt any changes in the number of Enclaves you noticed on the road was due to the past year. That said, I hope Buick does well because I do love the new Lacrosse.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Buick deserves full credit. Growth is always based on a percentage. You can't take away from an amazing turn around for what everyone considered to be a dead brand in the North America. The new LaCrosse is an amazing car and the Regal looks like it will be on the same level. The Enclave is the best of the GM CUV twins. The product turnaround at Buick is just remarkable. Only a couple of years ago they were selling Terribleaza Vans and Reworked SPAzteks. Even the old men didn't want to drive Buicks anymore. Now they are building vehicles that are worthy of being cross shopped by luxury buyers.

        Toyota rebounds on the back of some steep incentives. Proof that money talks. All the sudden buyers don't care about ABC news investigations because the smug Toyota dealer who never wanted to give them a discount is throwing money at them.

        The free fall at Chrysler continues. The Italians are dreaming if they actually believe Chrysler is going to break even this year. The auto sector is obviously back on track because everyone else is up. Even if they manage to get the 500 here by the fall it will be too late for this year. The entire Mini brand manages 3,600 a month and the Fiesta will hit this fall as well offering a pretty premium small car experience for a lower price tag.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Sell 1 car in 09, sell 4 in 2010.. 400% increase in sales. WOWOWOWOW!!
        • 5 Years Ago
        Holy crap, Buick!!!

        I guess this explains all the Enclaves I'm seeing on the road lately. GM has finally hit their stride in the modern 3-row hauler segment, and it's a real knockout.

        Bravo, Buick - well deserved!
        • 5 Years Ago
        Guys, Buick hitting 12k cars and +100% is something a big deal - none of their upmarket competition did nearly as well:
        Acura +30%
        Infinti +37%
        Lincoln +19%
        Mercury +26%
        It means that Buick is catching Lexus on the sales floor & street as well as the spec sheet.

        The other key point is that GM's uplevel brands (Buick, Cadillac, & GMC) all outperformed Chevy, whereas FoMoCo's "uplevel" brands all underperformed Ford, and Infinity underperformed Nissan. That means that GM had a more profitable sales mix (like Honda Motor).
        • 5 Years Ago
        The only brand to sell more than Ford was Toyota and not by much. Chevrolet was third over all, so clam down.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @ Jeez: Interestingly enough, look ad the numbers a year ago: Infiniti, Lincoln, and Mercury all moved moved nearly the same 7+k cars as Buick did. So when you benchmark against comparable brands, Buick leapfrogging Acura's numbers (from a 9k base) is clearly an accomplishment.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Ok, calm down buddy. Buick went from 7,000 to 12,000. Big whoop. When the new Regal comes out they'll probably hit 20-25k for a few months, so sales will be up 100%. Big deal.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Wow, Mitsubishi finally managed to post some green. If this keeps up they'll most likely be around in a few years to sell me my next Evo. Awesome.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Aside from Chrysler, most companies reach a floor of sales. Mitsu appears to have (finally) reached theirs.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Yes, I'm glad they're finally posting green. Hopefully with the Outlander Sport they pass the 7,000 units a month, and start getting better from there on. They'll need to improve their dealer network and advertisement efforts...

        I want my new Ralliart to improve it's value overtime and I want to see an Evo-like Galant with a new design from the ground up, and a reboot on the Eclipse... and perhaps a future 3000GT will all the technology the latest Evo has, something I'd be glad to put a deposit on
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