May Car Sales Show Clear Winners, Losers

June 9, 2011
2011 Hyundai Elantra

2011 Hyundai Elantra

Last month was the first time in eight months that new car sales declined, thanks to a mixture of product shortages, high gas prices and reduced discounts or incentives from manufacturers. The sales slowdown means that new cars, on average, are taking longer to leave dealer lots. In April, the average new car stuck around for 48 days before being sold, but in May it took 54 days to move the same inventory.

Some cars beat the odds, moving through dealer inventory almost as soon as they’re off-loaded from car haulers. Others can only hope to achieve a 54 day turnaround, since they often languish on dealer lots for several times the duration of the average car. Below are the ten winners for the month of May, followed by the ten losers. If you’re in the market for a new car, don’t expect a particularly good deal on any of the “winners,” but on the other hand, I’m sure dealers will entertain reasonable offers on any cars on the “losers” list.

May 2011 Winners

  1. 2012 Hyundai Elantra, 3 days on lot
  2. 2011 Hyundai Elantra, 7 days on lot
  3. 2012 BMW X5, 8 days on lot
  4. 2011 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid, 8 days on lot
  5. 2012 Ford Focus Hatchback, 10 days on lot
  6. 2011 BMW X3, 10 days on lot
  7. 2011 Ford Explorer, 11 days on lot
  8. 2012 Ford Focus Sedan, 12 days on lot
  9. 2011 Audi Q5, 12 days on lot
  10. 2012 Honda Civic Sedan, 14 days on lot


May 2011 Losers

  1. 2011 Jaguar XKR Convertible, 212 days on lot
  2. 2011 Infiniti M56, 173 days on lot
  3. 2011 Hyundai Azera, 165 days on lot
  4. 2011 Jaguar XKR Coupe, 158 days on lot
  5. 2011 Jaguar XF Supercharged, 151 days on lot
  6. 2011 Jaguar XJL Supersport, 148 days on lot
  7. 2011 BMW Z4, 145 days on lot
  8. 2011 Volvo S80, 127 days on lot
  9. 2011 Saab 9-5, 126 days on lot
  10. 2011 Nissan Versa, 123 days on lot

Also worth noting is the performance of the Ford Mustang and Chevrolet Camaro, which took 18 and 19 days to flip, respectively.  The 2011 Chrysler 200 deserves a nod as well, taking just 19 days to move through dealer inventory. “Above average sell-through” is certainly not something we would have associated with the Chrysler 200’s predecessor, the Sebring.

[Kicking Tires]

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