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Automakers Start New Year Off With Big Gains

Who can argue with a January sales performance like that? Even Smart posted a sales gain! And Saab! Way to go, guys. You'd have to feel pretty bad about yourself right now if you're one of the five brands that failed to post positive sales numbers last month (really four brands, since Mercury is a dead brand selling).

We'll let the numbers do most of the talking this month, though we will point out the stellar performance of General Motors and its brands. GM, up 23 percent in January, used more incentives during the month than its competition, which helped gives brands like Cadillac, up an astonishing 49%, healthy bumps.

Check out the table below to see how the rest of the industry performed and draw your own conclusions in the comments.

Brand/Company Vol. % January 2011 January 2010 DSR%* January 2011 January 2010
Cadillac 49.05 12,580 8,440 49.05 524 352
Jaguar 48.18 935 631 48.18 39 26
Jeep 46.86 23,079 15,715 46.86 962 655
Mitsubishi 37.03 5,714 4,170 37.03 238 174
Buick 31.89 13,269 10,061 31.89 553 419
GMC 29.83 27,658 21,303 29.83 1,152 888
Smart 28.78 358 278 28.78 15 12
Saab 28.77 658 511 28.77 27 21
Kia 25.61 27,789 22,123 25.61 1,158 922
Suzuki 25.59 2,562 2,040 25.59 107 85
Toyota 23.68 102,996 83,279 23.68 4,292 3,470
Mini 22.43 2,751 2,247 22.43 115 94
Hyundai 22.00 37,214 30,503 22.00 1,551 1,271
Dodge 21.86 24,314 19,953 21.86 1,013 831
Ford 21.65 121,511 99,888 21.65 5,063 4,162
BMW 20.83 15,905 13,163 20.83 663 548
Subaru 20.80 18,858 15,611 20.80 786 650
Porsche 20.38 2,150 1,786 20.38 90 74
Audi 20.00 7,812 6,510 20.00 326 271
Chevrolet 19.08 125,389 105,294 19.08 5,225 4,387
Ram 18.02 13,020 11,032 18.02 543 460
Land Rover 15.99 2,271 1,958 15.99 95 82
Nissan 15.36 64,442 55,861 15.36 2,685 2,328
Mercedes-Benz 13.95 17,273 15,158 13.95 720 632
Honda 13.19 68,308 60,347 13.19 2,846 2,514
Acura 11.62 7,961 7,132 11.62 332 297
Infiniti 10.34 7,405 6,711 10.34 309 280
Volvo 3.59 4,276 4,128 3.59 178 172
Volkswagen 2.12 18,401 18,019 2.12 767 751
Chrysler -7.07 9,705 10,443 -7.07 404 435
Mazda -9.09 14,267 15,694 -9.09 594 654
Lexus -17.12 12,860 15,517 -17.12 536 647
Lincoln -21.01 5,558 7,036 -21.01 232 293
Mercury -95.48 248 5,482 -95.48 10 228
Jaguar Land Rover 23.83 3,206 2,589 23.83 134 108
GM 23.29 178,896 145,098 23.29 7,454 6,046
Chrysler Group 22.71 70,118 57,143 22.71 2,922 2,381
BMW Group 21.06 18,656 15,410 21.06 777 642
Toyota Mo Co 17.27 115,856 98,796 17.27 4,827 4,117
Nissan N America 14.82 71,847 62,572 14.82 2,994 2,607
Ford Motor Company 13.27 127,317 112,406 13.27 5,305 4,684
American Honda 13.03 76,269 67,479 13.03 3,178 2,812
*Brands and companies are displayed in descending order according to their percentage change in volume sales. There were 24 selling days in January 2011 versus 24 selling days in January 2010, so the change in monthly sales volume will be the same as the change in average daily sales rate (DSR) for each brand/company. Also, brands are combined and reported as companies only if their sales figures are released jointly.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 2 Years Ago
      • 2 Years Ago
      • 4 Years Ago
      If I'm not mistaken in January of last year Toyota had stopped the sale of vehicles....so the uptick in sales isn't surprising.
        • 4 Years Ago
        You're not mistaken. Toyota issued a recall on the 21st and a stop-sale on the 25th.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Buick outsells lexus, acura, infiniti, Volvo and Audi.

      Buick is and will be the semi-luxury brand to watch over the next few years.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Buick outsold Lincoln and Chrysler, too.

        Buick's got some real momentum going.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Mitsubishi has to go. I still wander why they are in the business. Since they've killed the Montero(Pajero) they have nothing. That SUV was a worldwide superstar and some genius decided to shut it downThe Evo is a joke and the Eclipse is pathetic. Please move over.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Hmm... Mitsu pipped Lincoln.
        • 4 Years Ago
        In what world do you live in where investors and executives would not be happy about a 37% increase?
      • 4 Years Ago
      That drop off for Lincoln must be distressing some Dearborn folks especially now that even Mercury's 5,000 sales can't be counted. Chrysler's dip is understandable because their 2011 200s and T & Cs are just arriving to the showrooms and the 2011 300s aren't shipping yet. But as far as I know, Lincoln lots should have had their 2011s available in January. I think they are loosing most sales to a stronger Cadillac and Buick lineup. Things will only get worse when the new RWD 300c arrives and they have no Town Car to counter.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Lincoln dropped well below Acura / Infiniti levels. It's not good.

        I think Caddy & Buick are getting the Lincoln / Mercury sales.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Oooppps I guess they did decide to run a 2011 Town Car. Still, it's looking mighty long in the tooth against the redesigned 300. I imagine most sales with be to livery businesses, Funeral Homes and as Taxis in major cities.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Congrats to Caddy. That's pretty remarkable.
        • 4 Years Ago

        Once Lexus replaces its aging lineup... Two can play the game.
        • 4 Years Ago
        GM also has the highest transaction prices of any manufacturer.

        • 4 Years Ago

        The STS and DTS have large incentives which skew the averages, followed by the Escalade. The best selling SRX and CTS have very small incentives - they represent the largest portion of Cadillac sales.

        Once Cadillac replaces its aging cars and has a full lineup, Lexus' time in the #1 spot is over.
        • 4 Years Ago
        That CTS coupe must be a darling.
        • 4 Years Ago
        GM also has the highest transaction prices.

        When you look at incentives as a percentage of transaction price, GM is about average (9%), whereas Chrysler leads the pack at 12%.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Cadillac had extremely large incentives:

        "At the other end of the spectrum, Saab spent the most – $8,124 – followed by Cadillac at $5,641 per vehicle sold."

        GM of course had the highest of any manufacturer (back to their old tricks):

        • 4 Years Ago
        @ Mbuku Kanyau Mbithuka

        Not saying you're wrong, but where did you find that information? Your link said nothing about that. The closest thing in your link to relevance was this:

        "GM's average incentive per vehicle grew 29 percent in January to $3,762"
      • 4 Years Ago
      Are there Brand/Model breakdown's anywhere? I can see Porsche sold X but are they all Panamara's & Cayenne's or 911's & Cayman's?

      • 4 Years Ago
      What about Lexus? Are you including them in the celebration? They got waxed by the Germans last month.
      • 4 Years Ago

      “GM spent more on incentives in January than any of their Big 6 rivals, even as they sold more 2011 model year vehicles. This suggests that their new model year vehicles are more heavily discounted than one might expect.”
        • 4 Years Ago
        Lexus incentives are roughly $2K average (Posted on Automotive news). MB and BMW where higher than Lexus (around $4K) but lower than Cadillac.

        • 4 Years Ago
        If we look at Average Discount as Incentive as a percentage of Transaction Price, we get:

        Chrysler 12.3%
        Nissan 10.1%
        Kia 9.2%
        GM 9.1%
        Toyota 8.6%
        Hyundai 8.4%
        Ford 8.3%
        Honda 8.3%

        GM's incentives are about average relative to their tranasction prices.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @sethj: Excellent post. Perhaps if Edmunds were to look at TCI as a % of transaction price, it would be a useful number.

        But even then, some OEMs have a strategy of having a higher MSRP with the expectation of having higher incentives.

        If Chrysler were to drop their MSRPs by $2k across the board, would they be able to slash their incentive average by $2k? Probably not.
        • 4 Years Ago
        You can't look at incentives without taking at look at average transaction prices (Source - truecar.com:

        Average Transaction Price - Jan 2011:
        GM: $34,067
        Ford: $31,839
        Chrysler: $28,894
        Nissan: $27,366
        Toyota: $25,221
        Honda: $24,912
        Hyundai: $20,680
        Kia: $18,677

        Average Incentive - Jan 2011:
        Chrysler: $3,557
        GM: $3,089
        Nissan: $2,763
        Ford: $2,641
        Toyota: $2,179
        Honda: $2,074
        Hyundai/Kia: $1,727

        • 4 Years Ago
        Luxury brands always have the highest incentives- they have the highest prices and thus the dollar value of their incentives is the highest. You can rest assured MB, Lexus and the rest were way up there in incentives as well. Use common sense and stop trying to discredit Cadillac's success. You cannot sell luxury cars in this economy without incentives. TCI doesnt factor in msrps so its a nearly worthless figure. Brands with lower transaction prices have lower TCI numbers- edmunds tries to avoid mentioning that.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Caddy almost had Lexus! Next month for sure!
        • 4 Years Ago
        So? Most Lexus sold are ES or IS which start cheap, too.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @Invisible, based on recent recalls, I sorely doubt Toyota or Lexus builds a car as good as a Buick.

        Toyota's cranking out mediocre cheapo stuff, coasting on reputation and CR shilling. Now that they're being examined with less bias, it'll be increasingly clear that GM and Ford are just as good.

        Also, starting price is pretty misleading. Unless those cars are actually transacting at that price (and they aren't), it's not a good comparison.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Sure, Lexus had some recalls, GM has recalls too.

        But that does NOT make up for the horrific milkjug plastics used inside the Buicks. Has Buick finally stopped selling base models with snap on plastic wheel covers?
        • 4 Years Ago
        Once Caddy and Buick add some additional cars and update their older ones (DTS-CTS) they are really going to look good. Lexus really needs to look at their models, two of them account for the majority of their sales and a couple of them are worthless. Lexus must be loosing their butts with all the models they are supporting. GM has been offering some big incentives but they have the highest transaction price and many believe the lowest costs going right now so as long as they are showing a profit WAY TO GO GM!
        • 4 Years Ago
        If you were to check out a current, volume-designed, volume-build Camry, you'd conclude that this isn't your father's Camry. Toyota pulled a lot of content and cheapened the design compared to the cars they built their reputation on.

        Dollar for dollar, I'd buy a Buick over a Toyota.
        • 4 Years Ago
        John H., so you consider a 37K starting price for the ES to be cheap. With a starting price 7K more than any Buick sedan, again, Buick is priced more like Hyundai and Toyota, comparisons to Lexus are a joke. Buick is just a Chevy with more chrome. Nothing luxurious about a Buick.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Interesting you mention the Camry. A Camry offers just as much luxury, better material, better build quality...than Buick. Get real people, cheap 20K Buicks are fine for rental lots, but they are not comparable to luxury cars.
        • 4 Years Ago
        ninja said "maroon"
        • 4 Years Ago
        Toyota has lost a lot of Mojo. They can only blame themselves.
        • 4 Years Ago
        John H,

        No, most Lexus' sold are RX
        • 4 Years Ago
        Buick pipped Lexus by about 500 cars. Not bad!

        I wonder if they can do it again next month...
      • 4 Years Ago
      Where is Ford Going with Lincoln? It does not appear to have a clear agenda and the brand keeps on losing dales. Like Mercury it would be better to drop it an concentrate on the brands and products bringing in the sales.
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