Automakers See Strong Sales in September, Q3

new-vehicle-sales-Q3-September-2023

Trucks, SUVs and EVs continue to drive sales increases for several brands. 

Automakers on Oct. 3 began reporting September and third quarter sales results, which were up across the board.

GM

Trucks and new SUVs drove sales and share gains for General Motors in the third quarter.

GM said in the quarter ending Sept. 30, it sold 674,336 vehicles, a 21% total sales increase and 16% retail sales increase year-over-year. 

All brands saw growth: Chevrolet sales were up 21%, Cadillac up 6%, Buick up 54% and GMC up 19%.

GM said its full-size and midsize pickups have seen their best sales through the first nine months of the year since 2018. Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra sales are up 29%.

GM’s small SUVs also sold well, selling 103,479 Chevrolet Trax and Trailblazer and Buick Envista and Encore units in the third quarter---combining for 44% of the segment retail share.

The company’s EV sales were up 28% compared to the second quarter due to strong demand and increasing production, GM said. Among the brand’s offerings are the Chevrolet Bolt EV and EUV, Blazer EV and Silverado EV WT, which made its first deliveries to fleet customers in September; Cadillac LYRIQ; and GMC Hummer EV pickup and SUV, which sold 1,167 units in the third quarter.

Ford

Ford posted gains across its portfolio of gas, electric and hybrid vehicle lines in the third quarter with F-Series expanding its lead as America’s No. 1 selling truck, followed by record electric and hybrid vehicle sales and strong commercial Transit van sales.

Year-to-date, Ford has been America’s best-selling brand.

Ford F-Series sales rose 13.4% over last year on sales of 190,477 trucks. Year-to-date, F-Series sales totaled 573,370 trucks, outselling the second place Silverado by 169,949 trucks.

Ford overall Q3 truck sales, including pickups and vans, are up 15.3% over last year on sales of 275,554 vehicles. Big gains came from the all-new Super Duty pickups (up 17.6%), Maverick (up 83.4%) and Transit (up 28.3%).

Ford was the No. 1 selling truck manufacturer again in Q3 and year-to-date. With 825,179 pickups and vans sold through September of this year, Ford has outsold GM’s pickups and vans by approximately 64,000 vehicles.

Ford’s Q3 EV sales were up 14.8% on best ever sales of 20,962 vehicles. Much of this gain came on strong Mustang Mach-E sales, up 42.5% for the quarter and best since its debut in 2021. In the month of September, Mach-E sales achieved sales of 5,872, a new record and a year-over-year gain of 153% for the month. 

E-Transit was the No. 1 selling electric van with its best ever quarterly sales results of 2,617, an 89.8% increase. F-150 Lightning is expected to produce sales increases in Q4, as capacity actions at the Rouge Electric Vehicle Center are realized. In September, Ford’s overall electric vehicle sales were up 65%.

Ford hybrid sales, led by F-150 and Maverick hybrid trucks, posted Q3 sales of 34,861 vehicles---up 41.4% over last year. F-150 Hybrid sales expanded 46.9% on sales of 12,311 trucks. Maverick Hybrid now represents 56.5% of all Maverick trucks sold. Q3 Maverick sales totaled 23,931 trucks, an increase of 83.4% over last year. Escape Hybrid and plug-in hybrid sales are overwhelmingly selling on pre-sold customer orders.

Lincoln closed the quarter up on the strength of Corsair, Nautilus and Navigator. While Aviator sales were impacted due to the 360-degree camera recall, parts are starting to arrive at retail stores for new customer vehicles. Navigator Q3 sales expanded 46% on sales of 4,527 SUVs, while sales of the new Lincoln Corsair produced an increase of 25.9% for the quarter. Nautilus also realized strong gains with a 32.4% increase over Q3 last year.

Stellantis

FCA US LLC reported sales of 380,563 vehicles in the third quarter for 2023. Overall, total U.S. sales for the third quarter decreased 1% versus the same period last year.  

Chrysler brand was up 96% versus the same quarter last year, with the Chrysler Pacifica up 120% in total U.S. sales in that period. Chrysler Pacifica Plug-in Hybrid was up 329% in total U.S. sales over the same period last year. The Chrysler Pacifica Plug-in Hybrid accounted for 23% (8,949 units) of total Pacifica sales in the third quarter and ranks No. 3 in the U.S. among the best-selling plug-in hybrids. 

Total U.S. sales of the Jeep Wrangler 4xe and the Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe, which went on sale in Q3 2022, are up 31% and 2,198%, respectively, versus the same period last year. Jeep Wrangler 4xe accounted for 42% (17,662 units) of total Wrangler sales in the second quarter. Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe accounted for 17% (9,722 units) of total Grand Cherokee sales in the second quarter.  

Jeep Grand Cherokee posted total U.S. sales gains over the same quarter last year, up 52%. The Grand Wagoneer increased 22% in total U.S sales versus the same quarter last year.

Total U.S. sales of the Ram ProMaster van were up 34% versus the same period last year. Additionally, the Ram brand's commercial fleet channel's total U.S. sales increased 19% versus the same period last year.

Toyota

Toyota Motor North America (TMNA) reported U.S. September sales of 203,904 vehicles, up 13.9% on a volume basis and up 9.5% on a daily selling rate (DSR) basis versus the same month a year ago. September sales of EVs totaled 64,298, representing 31.5% of total monthly sales.

For the third quarter of 2023, TMNA reported U.S. sales of 590,296 vehicles, up 12.2% on a volume basis and up 10.8% on a DSR basis. Third quarter electrified vehicle sales totaled 184,666, representing 31.3% of total year-to-date sales.


Toyota division posted September sales of 177,654 vehicles, up 12.9% on a volume basis and up 8.6% on a DSR basis. For the third quarter of 2023, Toyota division reported sales of 515,400 vehicles, up 12.4% on a volume basis and up 11% on a DSR basis.

Lexus division posted September sales of 26,250 vehicles, up 20.9% on a volume basis and up 16.2% on a DSR basis. For the third quarter of 2023, Lexus division reported sales of 74,896 vehicles, up 10.9% on a volume basis and up 9.5% on a DSR basis.

Kia

Kia America announced its best-ever third quarter sales total of 210,341 units---the third time in company history in which Kia's quarterly sales passed the 210,000 unit mark. These record-breaking sales performances contributed to Kia's best-ever total through nine months of 604,674 units.

In September, Kia posted its best-ever September sales total of 67,264 units, marking the brand's 14th consecutive month of year-over-year sales increases. Sales of Kia's lineup of utility vehicles increased 19% year-over-year, while the brand's battery-electric vehicles were up 127% over the previous record set in September 2022. Kia's retail-only performance of 62,661 units represents 14% growth over the same period last year.

Ten Kia models posted year-over-year sales increases including: Niro (+1,341%); Carnival (+187%); EV6 (+45%); Rio (+45%); Forte (+28%); Seltos (+18%); K5 (+11%); Sorento (+10%); Telluride (+8%); and Soul (+3%). In addition, three Kia models set best-ever September sales records, including: Carnival, EV6 and K5, with sales of Kia's utility vehicles accounting for 72% of the brand's overall September sales total.

Hyundai

Hyundai Motor America reported total September sales of 68,961 units, a 16% increase compared with September 2022. Hyundai set total sales records in September for Elantra HEV (+2%), IONIQ 5 (+203%), Santa Fe (+26%), Santa Fe PHEV (+1125%), Santa Fe HEV (+97%), Tucson (+33%), Tucson PHEV (+950%), Tucson HEV (+95%) and Santa Cruz (+5%).

Hyundai sold 60,425 retail units in September, a 2% year-over-year increase from September 2022. September retail sales were led by IONIQ 5, Santa Fe PHEV, Santa Fe HEV, Tucson PHEV, Tucson HEV and Santa Cruz. Hyundai eco-friendly vehicle sales of 13,508 represented 22% of retail and a 95% year-over-year increase. SUVs represented 78% of the retail sales mix, a 10% increase year-over-year.

In the third quarter, Hyundai total sales were 200,534 units, a 9% increase over Q3 2022 sales. Hyundai also set new Q3 total and retail sales records for IONIQ 5, Santa Fe PHEV, Santa Fe HEV, Tucson PHEV, Tucson HEV and Santa Cruz. For the quarter, Hyundai fleet sales remained at 10%.

Mitsubishi

Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc. (MMNA) reported 22,196 sales for the third quarter of 2023, an increase of 32.3% over the same period the year before. On a year-to-date basis, sales of 67,736 represent an increase of 4.1%.

The brand's flagship Outlander Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle led in record-setting style, with 1,887 sales in the quarter representing the best-ever sales quarter for the vehicle. Although quarterly year-over-year comparisons are skewed by the sell-down of the previous-generation model during Q3 2022 (the 2023 model launched in December 2022), August 2023 was the best-ever single month of sales for the nameplate. On a year-to-date basis, sales of 5,104 are up more than 350% over the previous year, and with one sales quarter remaining, have already surpassed 2018's previous full-year record.

Across the rest of the lineup, sales performance was also strong, a function of improving supply and the brand's award-winning customer experience. The gasoline-powered version of the Outlander SUV remains Mitsubishi Motors' volume leader, with 9,340 Q3 sales, up 30.1% over the same period last year. Supporting that performance, Mirage was up 24.8% for the quarter, with 4,028 sales, and Eclipse Cross was up 25% for the quarter, logging 3,311 sales.

Mazda

Mazda North American Operations (MNAO) reported total September sales of 28,031 vehicles, an increase of 17.9% compared to September 2022. Year-to-date sales totaled 272,617 vehicles, an increase of 26.6% compared to the same time last year. With 26 selling days in September, compared to 25 the year prior, the company posted an increase of 13.4% on a Daily Selling Rate basis.

CPO sales totaled 5,558 vehicles in September, an increase of 34% compared to September 2022.

Subaru

Subaru of America, Inc. (SOA) reported 14 consecutive months of increased sales with 56,335 vehicles sold for September, a 23.4% increase compared with the same month in 2022 (45,658). SOA also reported year-to-date sales of 467,223, a 16.5% increase compared with the same period in 2022.

In September, Forester was the top performer by volume for the third month in a row with 15,237 vehicle sales and an increase of 49% over the same month in 2022. Outback and Crosstrek sales remained strong with 14,545 and 13,341 vehicle sales respectively. Legacy sales posted an impressive 107% increase compared to the same period in 2022, and WRX posted a 62% year to date increase.

Mercedes-Benz

Mercedes-Benz USA reported Q3 2023 sales of 71,098 Mercedes-Benz models. Additionally, Mercedes-Benz Vans reported Q3 2023 sales of 18,913 units, bringing MBUSA to a total of 90,011 vehicles for the quarter. 

As part of its electric product offensive, MBUSA introduced five electric vehicles (EQ) to the Mercedes-Benz electric line-up, including EQS Sedan, EQS SUV, EQB, EQE Sedan and the EQE SUV. Strong, sustained demand for EQ and top-end vehicles propelled Q3 top-end growth of 11% for a total of 21,020 vehicles.

Sales in the top-end segment rose to 21,020 units an increase of 11% in Q3 2023 compared to Q3 2022. Sales for Mercedes-AMG high-performance models totalled 8,698 units, a slight decrease of -4% versus Q3 2022. The S-Class saw a significant increase of 48% versus the same quarter last year, with 3,890 units in Q3 2023. Demand for the GLS increased 2% this quarter with 5,300 units. The fully electric EQS SUV posted 1,596 units in Q3 2023.

Sales in the core segment reached 37,270 units. The E-Class also saw an increase of 25% with 4,827 units sold in Q3 2023. The fully electric EQE Sedan attracted 969 new customers and the EQE SUV reached 3,488 units in Q3 2023.

Sales in the entry segment reached 12,808 units up 11% compared to Q3 2022. The CLA saw an increase of 21% compared to Q3 2022 with 2,785 units sold. The fully electric EQB recorded 3,270 unit sales, an increase of 343% from Q3 2022. The GLA held strong in Q3 2023 with 2,529 units sold.

Sales for vans rose to 18,913 units in Q3 2023 an increase of 24% compared to the same quarter last year. Additionally, year-to-date sales are up 6% compared to the same time in 2022 with a total of 51,815 units sold. Mercedes-Benaz is getting ready for the all-new eSprinter, its first fully electric van in North America.

Separately, Mercedes-Benz Certified Pre-Owned (MBCPO) models recorded sales of 34,957 vehicles during the third quarter of 2023, an increase of 6% versus Q3 2022.

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