Car Sales, April 2011: Everybody's Up, Almost

May 3, 2011

New-car sales continued to nudge back into a more healthy range in April, as most of the major automakers reported big double-digit increases.

With some automakers left to report April sales, the big stories are coming from Ford, with a 16-percent increase across its two brands; from General Motors, with increases at all its brands, but particularly strong at Buick; and at MINI and Porsche, which turned up the heat by 68 percent and 82 percent, respectively, with new models added to their lineups.

The sales numbers, as reported by the companies, with some yet to come:


  • Toyota sales were down 5.1 percent on the month, though the Camry was up 5 percent, and the Sienna, 7 percent. 
  • Lexus sales dropped by 17.8 percent, though its big SUVs, the GX and LX, rose on the month.
  • Scion's sales blasted off by 53.7 percent, largely behind the 119.9-percent gain in tC sales.

General Motors
  • Buick says its sales shot up by 51 percent over April 2010. The brand reported total sales of 18,413 units, behind a strong model-year debut for the new Regal sedan.
  • Cadillac watched its numbers rise by 16 percent year over year, with the 2011 CTS Coupe leading the way.
  • Chevrolet posted a 25-percent sales increase, with the Cruze besting the old Chevy Cobalt's April 2010 performance by 180 percent. The Chevy Volt continued to outpace the Nissan Leaf, even outselling the Saab 9-5.
  • GMC saw its sales up by 29 percent; the Terrain crossover is up 61 percent over April 2010.


  • Ford posted an overall gain of 25 percent during April, after a stronger 2010 monthly number than most brands. The Fiesta is now on a monthly annualized pace of 85,000 units a year; cars are leading the way with sales gains, though the Explorer is up 138 percent and the F-Series is up 11 percent.
  • Lincoln sales were down 0.6 percent, and down 8.2 percent on the year, but the MKZ sedan's sales rose 40 percent and the new MKX crossover posted a 16-percent gain over 2010.


  • Chrysler brand sales were off 9 percent, a number brought about in part by the loss of the PT Cruiser and Aspen
  • Jeep sales were up 65 percent over poor April 2010 numbers; the Grand Cherokee's numbers blew up by 189 percent.
  • Dodge sold 14 percent more vehicles than it did in the same month last year.
  • Ram truck sales rose 29 percent, for a full year of month-over-month sales gains.
  • Fiat sold 882 copies of the 500 hatchback in April, up from its launch month of March.


  • Honda sales rose by 5.7 percent on the month, while the company is up 14.6 percent on the year. The CR-V, Fit and Insight hit new monthly records.
  • Acura saw its sales increase by 4.2 percent, with the MDX up 1.4 percent.

  • Infiniti reports sales are down 6.2 percent over last year on a month-to-month bases, though it's up 11.9 percent for the year; the QX56 bested last year by nearly 74 percent.
  • Nissan sales rose by 14.5 percent on the month, and are up 23.4 percent on the year. The Rogue hit an all-time high, while the Sentra is doing well in its last model year of the current generation--while the Leaf electric car hit a new high of 573 sales.

said it sold more cars in April than it ever has sold in a month in the U.S. With the numbers up by 40 percent in April, Hyundai is up 31 percent on the year. Some 34 percent of Hyundai's sales from April went to cars with 40-mpg highway fuel economy ratings, the company says.


  • Volkswagen watched sales grow 23 percent in April; it's up 17 percent on the year. Jetta sales have grown 74 percent year over year, and the Touareg and Tiguan SUVs are up 62 and 47 percent, respectively. Even more striking: almost one in four vehicles sold by VW in the U.S. is now a diesel.
  • Audi sold 10,018 vehicles in April, up 7.5 percent on the month, and 15.6 percent on the year.
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