April 2019’s Winners & Losers: These Were The Most Surprising Car Sales Trends

Jeep Wrangler outsold Honda Accord, Civic and Toyota Corolla in April 2018

Most manufacturers officially released their sales numbers for the month of April 2019. Now that we have had a chance to look at all the data, it’s time to see who the winners and losers were last month.

Specifically, these are the vehicles that have improved (or suffered) the most in their sales this year compared to last year. This list was formed based off of our own opinions about the industry and its trends. We feel these are some of the more significant vehicles in the industry. Notably, we did not focus on supercars, cars that sell in extremely low volume, or cars that are no longer in production.

Also, keep in mind that Ford and GM report car sales quarterly, so their numbers are not reflected in this month’s list.

A new Jeep Grand Cherokee will enter production by 2021. [Photo: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles]


RankCarApril 2019April 2018MoM % Change
5Toyota RAV434,13931,00710.1%
4Jeep Grand Cherokee20,46916,64722.96%
3Hyundai Kona5,1543,31555.48%
2Nissan Altima16,53110,40058.95%
1Tesla Model 310,0503,875159.35%

The Toyota RAV4 made the list of winners primarily because it was the most popular car sold in April 2019. Not to mention, the new model contributed to a 10 percent increase in sales compared to last year. We attribute this growth to the fact that the new model is now finally in dealerships.

Next up is the Jeep Grand Cherokee, now on a 9-year old platform, which makes its sales performance even more impressive. Yet, Jeep continues to sell them in bunches. Perhaps this is due to the Grand Cherokee’s diverse model lineup. There is a V6 engine, multiple V8s, off-road trims, luxury trims, street muscle trims. Essentially, there is a Grand Cherokee for every buyer.

Hyundai’s funky-looking Kona emerged onto the market last year. We’re sure that this vehicle has succeeded due to its inexpensive price point and feature loaded nature. Plus, the unique styling and AWD make it a unique choice for buyers in this price-range.

Nissan’s Altima saw a major re-design for this year. The new design is much more attractive. Plus, Nissan gave it a very interesting variable-compression turbocharged engine and available AWD (though, the two can’t be had together). Regardless, we were impressed by Nissan’s ability to improve sales in a class that is rapidly losing buyers to the much more popular crossover segment.

Finally, there’s the Tesla Model 3, which is one of the hottest new cars on sale in the US right now. Now, you can actually buy one for less than $40,000 and the combination of value with exciting performance, AWD and usable range make it an easy choice for electric car shoppers.


RankCarApril 2019April 2018MoM % Change
5Toyota Corolla19,67925,896-24.01%
4Jeep Wrangler22,42229,775-24.7%
3Kia Stinger9391,378-31.86%
2Hyundai Tuscon8,68212,903-32.71%
1Toyota Prius4,7997,420-35.32%

The Toyota Corolla is a bit of a head-scratcher for us. Toyota just re-designed the car for 2020, and it is really good to drive. Perhaps this is a case of dealers not quite having a full stock of the new model, but it could also be that sedans really are just tanking in sales that much. We are curious to see if this number picks up in the coming months.

As for the Jeep Wrangler, its sales drop-off is likely a simple explanation. Last year, Jeep was selling the brand new Jeep Wrangler JL alongside the previous generation JK. So, the number was inflated slightly due to both generations being on sale at the same time. Now, sales have wholly shifted to JL Wranglers. This latest figure provides a more accurate picture of how the JL is doing, and we’ll keep an eye on its figures moving forward.

The Kia Stinger was red-hot when it first came out. Kia designed a very aggressive looking car with performance to back it up. Journalists in particular loved it, but unfortunately, the hype has died down some. So, sales slumped compared to last year.

Hyundai’s Tucson is surprising to us because this vehicle was very recently refreshed. Usually a refresh helps increase sales some. However, when you compete in the same class as the Toyota RAV4, Nissan Rogue and Honda CR-V, increasing sales can be tough business.

The Toyota Prius was the first mainstream hybrid model to see commercial success. However, now the market is becoming much more saturated with both electric hybrids and full-on electric vehicles. Even Toyota themselves are now offering a less expensive hybrid in the 2020 Corolla sedan.