April 2014 car sales

If you're in the Northern Hemisphere, you're probably enjoying the good fortunes of springtime. With the rains of April come the beautiful greening of lawns and trees as they blossom, with the sun staying out longer and longer. All that goodwill must be bringing increased foot traffic into car dealerships, because the chart below is full of a heck of a lot of green, too.

As has been the case all year, Maserati is holding its Trident high in celebration – the Italian brand has posted an impressive 373-percent sales gain in April. Jeep, led by the strong-selling Cherokee, also continues rolling uphill in April, with an increase of 52 percent, though there's a newcomer sitting in second place: Smart. The beleaguered brand has lately been hanging out at the bottom of the sales charts, but its mighty 57-percent improvement over April of 2013 lands the little German brand in second place this month.

Mitsubishi, like the aforementioned Smart, is a surprising addition to the leaderboard, its 47-percent sales boom landing the Japanese company just below Jeep and into fourth spot. But perhaps the most impressive performances come from much larger players like Nissan, Toyota and the Chrysler Group, the last of which is riding its 49th consecutive month of sales increases. These three massive conglomerates all posted double-digit gains this month, with Nissan reporting its best-ever results for April. Subaru also deserves credit for managing to increase sales 16th months in a row.

General Motors, mired in recalls as it's been so far this year, still managed to increase sales by nearly seven percent over last April, due in part to rising demand for its redesigned fullsize pickup trucks and SUVs.

Lincoln didn't fare so well in April, with sales down almost 11 percent year-over-year after seeing big gains in the first three months of 2014. Ford's luxury division joins Mini, which has been in the doldrums all year, as has Volkswagen, which continues to see rather disastrous results in the US market.

As always, all of the month's sales figures can be seen below, and you're urged to compare them with past months in our By the Numbers archive.