Fleet sales are still in the tank as companies slowly recover during the coronavirus pandemic. However, retail figures show a more promising rebound as automakers release their quarterly U.S. auto sales reports. September 30 has been a day to watch for months, as it illustrates how well the market is doing after many states eased restrictions on dealers and customers came back into the marketplace.
That recovery hasn’t gone off without a hitch, mind you. Supply constraints and constantly changing health guidelines still kept most automakers’ year-to-date sales figures in the red. However, some signs from this quarterly sales report are encouraging.
As a note, this post focuses on sales by brand — giving more of a big picture view of how the industry looks this quarter. More detailed articles with breakdowns by segment and the best and worst-selling vehicles from each automaker will be available soon, so check back to TFLcar.com for more updates!
Figures are still coming in, so some data will show “TBA” until official sales reports have been published.
While several automakers pulled even with their Q3 2019 sales figures, others are still down significantly from this point last years. Brands that bucked the negative outlook are Alfa Romeo and Volvo, which were up 17% and 11% respectively. While FCA was down 10% as a whole (Dodge’s figures were substantially down thanks to poor fleet sales), Alfa Romeo and Chrysler pulled out slight gains in the past quarter, even if they are still down on the year so far.
Hyundai sales were up 7 percent this past quarter, largely thanks to its SUV models (Palisade, Santa Fe, Tucson and Kona). However, its luxury arm Genesis was down 24% over Q3 2019. Nissan fared even more poorly, with its sales and that of luxury brand Infiniti down by one-third.
GM reported a 10% sales drop, though some specific models did help stem the flow. The Chevrolet Blazer, for example, was up a staggering 45%. The Corvette rose by 33%, while the all-electric Bolt was up by 18% (the Chevrolet brand still fell 11% in the third quarter).
BMW dropped a substantial 16%, while its somewhat more affordable Mini brand fell by 11%. German rival Audi also dropped 16%, though both its entry-level models — the A3 sedan and Q3 crossover — rose 22% and 30% respectively.
Tesla is the star
Despite logistics and economic setbacks caused by coronavirus, Tesla charged forward throughout 2020. Including this third quarter, where the EV automaker pulled out 139,300 according to their recent press release. That’s 43% above where the company was in 2019, thanks to continued demand for the Tesla Model 3 and Model Y, among its other models.
Q3 2020 sales by brand
|Brand||Q3 2020 sales||Q3 2019 sales||Change (by %)|
10/1/20 @ 2:45 PM PDT: Added BMW and Mini sales figures.
10/1/20 @4:15 PM PDT: Added Audi sales figures.
10/2/20@7:30 AM PDT: Added Tesla, Ford, Lincoln, Kia sales figures.