April 2011 – Double-Digit Edition

April Showers Bring Double-Digit Sales Increases

Lincoln, Lexus, Infiniti and Chrysler are the only nameplates that failed to boast improved sales in April of 2011 when compared to the same period one year ago. Besides those Debbie Downers, things are looking pretty darn good for automakers in the United States.

We’re awfully curious to see what the impending summer selling seasons will have in store for Japanese automakers as they continue to claw back production lost due to the devastating earthquake and tsunami that ravaged the country just weeks ago, but for now, it seems no shortages have yet to significantly impact any sales figures.

Breaking individual model sales out a bit yields some interesting results. For instance, the Chevrolet Cruze, with 25,160 sales, outsold the Toyota Corolla (24,215) but fell about a thousand units shy of the class-leading Honda Civic (26,777).

The Ford brand also outsold Chevrolet, for those interested in that age-old American bragging right, but perhaps more interesting is the stunning success at Buick. With 18,413 total sales, Buick managed to outsell Lexus (again) and is knocking hard on the doors of such luxury stalwarts as BMW and Mercedes-Benz.

There were a number of heavily redesigned models that boasted huge gains over their predecessors, such as the Volkswagen Jetta (16,955 total sales, a 74-percent increase) and the Jeep Compass (4,050) and Grand Cherokee (9,802), which each outsold their 2010 counterparts by over 180 percent.

In all, the top 19 performers each posted double-digit sales gains in April of 2011. Impressive performances, to be sure. Check out all the numbers in our handy-dandy chart below.

*UPDATE: Added Mazda and Mitsubishi to chart.

Brand/Company Vol. % Apr-11 Apr-10 DSR %* Apr-11 Apr-10
Saab 223.72 696 215 211.73 26 8
Mitsubishi 105.52 8,081 3,932 97.91 299 151
Porsche 81.57 3,172 1,747 74.84 117 67
Mini 67.73 6,446 3,843 61.52 239 148
Jeep 64.85 32,384 19,645 58.74 1,199 756
Scion 59.63 5,710 3,577 53.72 211 138
Kia 56.73 47,074 30,036 50.92 1,743 1,155
Buick 51.16 18,413 12,181 45.56 682 469
Volvo 40.87 6,404 4,546 35.65 237 175
Hyundai 40.28 61,754 44,023 35.08 2,287 1,693
Jaguar 39.40 1,249 896 34.23 46 34
Ram 29.46 19,260 14,877 24.67 713 572
GMC 28.81 31,204 24,224 24.04 1,156 932
Chevrolet 25.43 169,794 135,369 20.78 6,289 5,207
Ford 24.53 182,542 146,589 19.91 6,761 5,638
Volkswagen 23.37 28,542 23,135 18.80 1,057 890
Cadillac 15.99 13,127 11,317 11.70 486 435
Nissan 14.51 64,765 56,558 10.27 2,399 2,175
Dodge 14.24 44,320 38,795 10.01 1,641 1,492
Honda 9.92 113,195 102,978 5.85 4,192 3,961
Suzuki 9.33 2,132 1,950 5.28 79 75
Mazda 8.99 20,638 18,935 4.96 764 728
BMW 8.88 18,801 17,268 4.85 696 664
Mercedes-Benz 8.67 19,157 17,628 4.65 710 678
Land Rover 8.48 2,982 2,749 4.46 110 106
Acura 8.26 11,604 10,719 4.25 430 412
Audi 7.50 10,018 9,319 3.52 371 358
Subaru 6.74 24,762 23,198 2.79 917 892
Toyota 2.07 141,964 139,080 -1.71 5,258 5,349
Lincoln -0.59 7,236 7,279 -4.27 268 280
Lexus -4.26 17,576 18,359 -7.81 651 706
Infiniti -6.24 6,761 7,211 -9.71 250 277
Chrysler -8.97 20,379 22,386 -12.34 755 861
Fiat NA 882 0 NA 33 0
COMPANIES
GM 27.01 232,538 183,091 22.30 8,613 7,042
Chrysler Group 22.49 117,225 95,703 17.95 4,342 3,681
BMW Group 19.59 25,247 21,111 15.16 935 812
Ford Mo Co 16.43 189,778 162,996 12.12 7,029 6,269
Jaguar Land Rover NA 16.08 4,231 3,645 11.78 157 140
Nissan NA 12.16 71,526 63,769 8.01 2,649 2,453
American Honda 9.76 124,799 113,697 5.70 4,622 4,373
Toyota Mo Co 1.33 159,540 157,439 -2.42 5,909 6,055

*Brands and companies are displayed in descending order according to their percentage change in volume sales. There were 27 selling days in March 2011 versus 26 selling days in March 2010, so the change in monthly sales volume will be different than the change in average daily sales rate (DSR) for each brand/company. Also, brands are combined and reported as companies only if their sales figures are released jointly.

April 2011 – Double-Digit Edition originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 03 May 2011 17:59:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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V6 offerings make up 50% of retail Ford F-150 sales in April

Filed under: Truck, Ford

ford f-150 ecoboost

2011 Ford F-150 EcoBoost – Click above for high-res image gallery

Ford sold 45,435 F-150s in April, up 11 percent versus the top-selling truck’s April 2010 totals. That’s a solid month for truck sales with soaring fuel prices, but the finer sales details show that truck buyers are very mindful of prices at the pump.

Ford announced in its monthly sales totals release that V6-equipped F-150s accounted for 50 percent of retail sales, up considerably from the 40 percent mix in March. The 3.7-liter V6 offers truck buyers 305 horsepower and 23 miles per gallon on the highway, so it’s not surprising that some owners are opting for the smaller mill.

But the more popular V6 offering is the 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6, which boasts 365 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque. Ford says 75 percent of those V6 sales are of the EcoBoost variety, which makes sense, given the fact that the boosted mill accounted for 36 percent of all F-150 sales in April. The EcoBoost F-150 gets up to 22 mpg on the highway, which is still as good as or better than the other pickup trucks on the market.

Gallery: 2011 Ford F-150: First Drive

2011 Ford F-1502011 Ford F-1502011 Ford F-1502011 Ford F-1502011 Ford F-150

V6 offerings make up 50% of retail Ford F-150 sales in April originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 03 May 2011 17:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Sales update: Nissan Leaf hits 573, Chevy Volt at 493 in April

Filed under: Car Buying, Hybrid, Plants/Manufacturing, Marketing/Advertising, Chevrolet, GM, Nissan, Electric

nissan leaf chevy volt mash up

Last month we tallied the cumulative North American sales of both the Chevrolet Volt and the Nissan Leaf, and it’s time to check those numbers again. While neither vehicle is selling like hotcakes, April’s numbers show that one of the two electric autos is inching up the sales chart, while the other has slipped a bit.

The Leaf sold 573 units in April versus the Volt’s 493. Compared to March’s results, which had Leaf sales at 298 and Volt sales at 608, Nissan’s electric hatch has gained some ground, while Chevy’s plug-in lost some traction.

The latest cumulative U.S. sales totals for the plug-in duo, since launching in late 2010, has the Volt leading the pack with 2,029 units sold, while the Leaf comes in at 1,044. Year-to-date, Volt sales stand at 1,703, while Nissan says Leaf production had, as of April 15th, hit nearly 8,000.

Nissan’s presser on Leaf sales is posted after the jump and a detailed look at GM’s numbers are available here (PDF warning).

[Source: Nissan, General Motors]

Continue reading Sales update: Nissan Leaf hits 573, Chevy Volt at 493 in April

Sales update: Nissan Leaf hits 573, Chevy Volt at 493 in April originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 03 May 2011 13:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Long-Term Logbook: 2011 Hyundai Equus Ultimate, April 2011

Filed under: Sedan, Hyundai, Long-Term Garage

2011 Hyundai Equus Ultimate

2011 Hyundai Equus Ultimate – Click above for high-res image gallery

Between myself and Editor-in-Chief John Neff, Autoblog has racked up 3,500 miles on our long-term 2011 Hyundai Equus Ultimate since its arrival in March. Now that the initial honeymoon phase is over, we’re getting a very good feel for how the Big Korean handles day-to-day tasks.

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First and foremost, I continue to be impressed with the sheer number of compliments the Equus receives, most of which are from women. This car really turns heads, possibly due to the fact they’re scarce on the road – I have yet to see another one in metro Detroit. I wasn’t too keen on the Hyundai’s design when it first arrived, but am now finding the Equus to be a very regal beast, especially in white. Even the guys at my local car wash, who don’t usually say much about the test cars I bring through, could not hold back their positive praise. Neff even took the Equus on a high-end house hunting trip and found its presence was enough to convince real estate agents he could afford the top-dollar listings.

I’ve had the chance to take the Equus on a couple of longer road trips, and while it’s comfortable and quiet for the most part, these long-distance drives also brought out some complaints with our long-term tester.

Continue reading Long-Term Logbook: 2011 Hyundai Equus Ultimate, April 2011…

Gallery: 2011 Hyundai Equus Ultimate: Long-Term

2011 Hyundai Equus Ultimate2011 Hyundai Equus Ultimate2011 Hyundai Equus Ultimate2011 Hyundai Equus Ultimate2011 Hyundai Equus Ultimate

Photos copyright (C)2011 Steven J. Ewing / AOL

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Long-Term Logbook: 2011 Hyundai Equus Ultimate, April 2011 originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 25 Apr 2011 15:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Belated April Fools? Audi A5 leans into corners like a motorcycle [w/video]

Filed under: Etc., Videos, Audi

audi a5 prototype

This Audi A5 thinks it’s a motorcycle – Click above to watch video after the jump

We recently tried to find all the April Fools-related automotive items that the Internet served up for 2011. We thought we had ’em all… but we may have just found one more to add to the list, courtesy of Spanish-language site Cochesafondo.com.

It reports that Audi is working on a suspension system that allows a car to lean into a turn. It’s installed the setup into an A5, prompting a pair of engineers to bring a very stable cup of coffee along for a test ride. Of course, one bump and your lap would be pain soup regardless of the suspension being tested.

Click past the jump to watch the clip. Then sound off in the Comments and let us know if you think this is real or not.

[Source: Youtube via Cocheafondo.com]

Continue reading Belated April Fools? Audi A5 leans into corners like a motorcycle [w/video]

Belated April Fools? Audi A5 leans into corners like a motorcycle [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 14 Apr 2011 20:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: Toyota to resume production at half-speed across Japan on April 18

Filed under: Japan, Plants/Manufacturing, Toyota

Toyota Prius production line in Japan

With the exception of the facility that makes the Prius, Toyota plants in Japan have been closed following the earthquake disaster in Japan, but that is scheduled to change by April 18. The Associated Press is reporting that Toyota will resume production that day, though assembly lines will only work at half speed. The plants will run through April 27, when they will close again until May 9 to honor Japan’s Golden Week holiday. That’s a fairly short production window, but the move is likely welcome news to Toyota’s rank and file. The automaker has already lost 260,000 units since the March 11 earthquake and tsunami.

Toyota’s plan to restart production comes as the automaker continues to struggle to procure parts needed for production. Toyota’s parts situation has improved, however, as the AP reports that problem part counts have gone from 500 to under 150.

Toyota president Akio Toyoda acknowledges that parts supply issues are still hurting the automaker, but adds “we are doing our utmost to improve the conditions so that we can deliver cars to many customers.”

[Source: Associated Press via Daily Tribune | Image: Toshifumi Kitamura/AFP/Getty]

Report: Toyota to resume production at half-speed across Japan on April 18 originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 08 Apr 2011 18:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Autoblog’s 2011 April Fools’ Round-up

Filed under: Etc., Humor

honda accord crosstour cabriolet 250No, the Honda Accord Crosstour Cabriolet is not real. Today is April 1st (aka April Fools’ Day), and on the Internet, that means faux news. Thus we present the 2011 Autoblog April Fools’ Round-up:

Cadillac is prepping a dual-rear-wheel heavy-duty Platinum-edition pickup truck. (PickupTrucks)

A convertible Volt is under the works at Chevrolet. (Road & Track)

Fab-Veloce supercar is being tested in Albania. (Jason Harper)

EPA wants automakers to “round-down” the number of letters in their names. (Motor Authority)

Charlie Sheen develops Sheen’s Ravines app for your smartphone. (All Car Tech)

Ford and Microsoft are bring Kinect technology to the Focus. (Hooniverse)

Chevrolet packs Volt technology into pickup truck to bring us the ET Electric Truck. (GM Inside News)

BP has developed a liquid electrolyte transfer system that allows electric cars to fill up like traditional ones. (All Cars Electric)

NuTankX pioneers on-the-go tank swapping tech. (Green Car Reports)

Ray Wert steps down as Gawker’s automotive arm becomes Autoblognik (Jalopnik)

Ferrari plans to bring hybrid technology to entire lineup. (0-60)

Group B will return in 2012. (0-60)

Subaru decides bigger is better and reveals the Grand Outback. (The Detroit Bureau)

Gawker decides to return Jalopnik to its original blog design. (CarScoop)

BMW develops M3 pickup truck (Autoblog)

Will and Kate will get married in style with the BMW M3 Royal Edition. (In Auto News)

Autoglass has developed self-repairing glass. (Youtube)

Goodwood to cover hill-climb road with one million red bricks. (Skid Marks)

Kia works with pigeon expert to forecast “bird strikes”. (Snows Group Kia)

Autoblog’s 2011 April Fools’ Round-up originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 01 Apr 2011 19:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Confirmed: BMW M3 pickup on Nürburgring is an April Fool’s gift

Filed under: Concept Cars, Performance, Truck, Europe, BMW

BMW M3 pickup prototype on Norsdschliefe

BMW M3 pickup spy shots – Click above for high-res image gallery

We’ve gotten right to the core of the situation regarding the fly-in-the-ointment BMW M3 pickup spotted doing what M3s do around the Nürburgring last week.

In a chat with BMW’s Munich head of product communications, Dirk Arnold, he offered up this quote: “Ah, yes, everyone’s been talking about that pickup. But, no, this is… how you call it, an April Fool’s Joke” [in German “Aprilscherz” – ed.]. There will be no M3 pickup in our futures, kids. But then Arnold sort of overcommunicated to us by dangling one of those “…in this generation” qualifiers. He then also managed to immediately clarify, “It is hugely doubtful that BMW will ever during our lives produce such a vehicle, in any segment.” Oh, pooh.

What about a publicity stunt entering the one-off in the Australian V8 Ute racing series? (Honestly one of the most entertaining racing series on the planet based on our one trip to witness it.) “Well,” chortled Arnold, “we have the one unit available if they’d be interested, don’t we?”

On April 1, a press function has been organized near Munich to show off the future M5 “concept,” plus the current M3 and a whole series of unproduced M3-based prototypes, including, says Arnold, one folding hardtop variant that is not the one we all think it is. There will also be the mischievous pickup in attendance.

We then asked for a drive exclusive in Munich on April 1 with the pickup and Arnold returned our serve with “If I did that, then I’d have every journalist in the world calling me to do the same.”

Must be nice to have the largesse to build and race one-off 414-horsepower M3 variants (444-hp with the 4.4-liter V8 used in the GTS version) that will never see public roads.

Gallery: Spy Shots: BMW M3 Pickup

[Images: KGP Photography]

Confirmed: BMW M3 pickup on Nürburgring is an April Fool’s gift originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 22 Mar 2011 19:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Norton 961 Commando SE to land in the U.S. by April [w/video]

Filed under: Motorcycle, UK

Norton 961 Commando SE

Norton 961 Commando SE – Click above to watch video after the jump

Norton fiends can now officially rejoice – the resurrected bike maker’s wares will finally be available here in the U.S. starting in either April or May. The final date depends on whether or not the 961 Commando can swim through EPA testing, though the company is confident that there shouldn’t be any issues. A whopping total of 200 limited edition 961 Commando SE models have been built, and of the 50 allotted for U.S. sale, only a handful were still available as of yesterday. Every last one of the UK’s batch were spoken for. Buyers can opt between a wire-wheeled version for around $17,999 or a carbon-fiber wheeled iteration for $19,499.

The best part? Those are the discount models.

Norton plans to introduce a Sport model at $19,500, but prices top out at $22,000 for the company’s Café Racer. Like the Commando SE, those bikes are slated to land in our neck of the woods as early as April.

According to Motorcycle Classics, Norton is currently working to establish a dealer network in the land of the free. Former Ducati North America CEO Dan Van Epps was recently hired to helm Norton Motorcycles USA, and there’s word that Norton wants to have a presence in 50 of America’s top population centers. Here’s hoping they plan on introducing a more sanely-priced model for the rest of us plebes, too. Hit the jump to check out the 961 Commando SE introduction video.

Gallery: 2011 Norton 961 Commando

2011 Norton 961 Commando2011 Norton 961 Commando2011 Norton 961 Commando2011 Norton 961 Commando2011 Norton 961 Commando

[Source: Motorcycle Classics]

Continue reading Norton 961 Commando SE to land in the U.S. by April [w/video]

Norton 961 Commando SE to land in the U.S. by April [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 16 Feb 2011 19:24:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: 2012 Honda Civic coming in April, all variants to launch in quick succession

Filed under: Coupe, Hybrid, Sedan, Honda

Honda Civic Si coupe concept

Honda Civic Si coupe concept – Click above for high-res image gallery

A Civic for everyone. That was Soichiro Honda’s motto when rolling out the original Civic, and it’s one to which his company intends to stick with the launch of the next-generation model. When the all-new 2012 Civic is launched in April, Honda will roll out a whole variety of body and propulsion configurations within mere weeks of each other, instead of letting months pass between the debut of one model to the next.

Among those variants, we can expect both a sedan and a coupe, with several conventional gasoline engines on offer – including natural gas and hybrid versions – as well as the sporty Civic Si.

The new Civic, previewed recently at the Detroit Auto Show, was slated to debut in 2009. But when the global economy started going south, Honda sent the design back to the drawing board for a nearly complete overhaul before it ever saw the light of day. The result is expected to be much roomier than the current model, though the exterior design hasn’t changed all that much.

Gallery: 2012 Honda Civic Coupe

2012 Honda Civic Coupe2012 Honda Civic Coupe2012 Honda Civic Coupe2012 Honda Civic Coupe2012 Honda Civic Coupe

Gallery: 2012 Honda Civic Sedan

2012 Honda Civic Sedan2012 Honda Civic Sedan2012 Honda Civic Sedan2012 Honda Civic Sedan2012 Honda Civic Sedan

[Source: AutoWeek]

Report: 2012 Honda Civic coming in April, all variants to launch in quick succession originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 19 Jan 2011 13:32:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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