US car sales in 2015 were up by by 5.7% compared to 2014, and while it was the slowest growth since 2011, it was enough to set a new record of annual sales. The total number of cars sold, 17.5 million, surpassed the record set in 2000, just before the dot-com bubble burst. The drivers in this record year were low gas prices, an ever-stronger economy and intense competition between carmakers that led them to offer ever-better products at good prices. Consumers in the US have never had it this good, and 2016 looks only to build on this further.
Please note: for those of you interested in US auto sales statistics, Bart & Kriss have been working very hard these last couple of months to add US brand- and model specific pages to the already existing European and Chinese car sales data pages. Use the drop-down menu on the top right-hand corner of this site to browse for car sales data of every brand and model sold in the US since 2003.
Winners in 2015:
Jeep, Subaru and GMC – with gas prices at record lows in 2015, the brands specializing in 4×4 cars that burn more of the stuff, all had a great year; special mention goes out to Jeep, whose sales grew by an astonishing 25% on the back of the success of the new Renegade and the Cherokee, meaning in 2015 it sold more cars than Dodge and Chrysler combined!
Lexus, Audi and Infiniti – these luxury brands all recorded growth of over 10% in 2015 on the back of their successful crossover models – as a result, Lexus came to within 2,000 units of reclaiming the luxury brand crown from BMW
Mitsubishi – the recovery continues for the Japanese carmaker, as it reinvents itself as the value-leader in the US, selling OK cars at low prices
Land Rover and Volvo – an example of how a single model can change the fortunes of a whole brand, with the Discovery Sport and XC90 lifting their brands to sales growth of over 25%
Tesla – another great year for the upstart luxury brand, and that’s even before the Model X has really hit its stride; expect the good times to continue in 2016
Losers in 2015:
Honda – 2016 was a bit of a transition year for Honda, with the new Fit, Civic, HR-V, Pilot models, as well as a facelifted Accord, but it seems these did not arrive early enough in the year to lift growth up beyond 2.6%, the slowest growth from the top 10 in 2015; unless things pick up in 2016, it may yet be passed by Nissan for the first time ever
Dodge – a patchy line-up, lacking smaller crossovers and a mid-sized saloon, and only a mildly-successful Dart compact model, contributed to Dodge’s sales being almost 10% down compared to 2015, resulting in the brand falling two places in the ranking.
VW – a horrible year for the German brand, with an emissions scandal that may yet sink the brand, but it’s the lackluster range that really hurts the brand and contributed to a fall of almost 5% compared to 2014; the new range of crossovers can’t come soon enough!
Jaguar and Maserati – both luxury carmakers struggled in 2015 with a line-up that’s missing a crossover, but all that should change in 2016 as the F-pace and Levante arrive; that, and Jaguar should finally bring the XE and new XF to the US
Mini,Fiat and Smart – the flip-side of 2015 being a year of cheap gas is that carmakers which rely on small cars, such as these ones, struggled in the market, despite all three having new models on sale.
Bentley – the exotic brands all did surprisingly badly in 2015, but none worse than Bentley, with sales down by over 10% compared to 2014; all will change in 2015 when the Bentayga arrives
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