It’s safe to say that spring has really sprung at this point, and the country is shaking off the last few chilly days in preparation of the gorgeous summer weather around the corner. Most brands showed promising growth in April, and among the top sellers there were few surprises, as most models stuck to their traditional places in the ranking.
Positive signs in April’s employment metrics bode well for the auto industry moving forward, as the economy continues its slow, plodding growth. Small and midsize cars led the non-truck segments, and Asian manufacturers especially showed significant strength in this area.
“Dealer and factory incentives increased by nearly $500 per car between April 2013 and early April 2014,” Cars.com reports, citing data from CNW Marketing Research. “That left the average transaction price per car at $32,257 in early April – down 0.8 percent versus April 2013, a rarity,” the site said.
All told, new car sales grew by 8 percent during the month. Here are the 10 that led the way.
10. Nissan Altima
After a few strong months, sales of Nissan’s (NSANY.PK) leading Altima sedan tapered slightly to 25,004 units in April, leaving the popular sedan in 10th place — down from its fifth-place finish in March, though that figure is still an impressive 13.7 percent above Altima sales from the year-ago period. So far this year, Nissan has sold 114,289 Altimas overall, leaving the model a respectable 4.9 percent up on the year.
9. Ford Fusion
Sales of Ford’s (NYSE:F) Fusion remained strong at 26,435, though that’s actually a decrease in volume to the tune of 1.1 percent versus April a year ago, and well less than the 32,963 Ford sold in March. This brings the Fusion’s year-to-date total to 104,013 units sold, a 3 percent decline versus the same first four months of last year. The Fusion has been an integral part of Ford’s strong sales performance, and coming up in the next few months, it will be facing some pretty tough comparable sales periods.
8. Honda Civic
Honda’s (NYSE:HMC) perennial best-selling compact sedan saw sales rise by a respectable 4.4 percent, logging 27,611 deliveries for the month. That helped bring the Civic into the number-eight spot for April after not even appearing in the top 10 in March. To date, the Civic has moved 98,707 units since January 1 – exactly flat with where levels were at this point last year.
7. Honda CR-V
Honda’s equally popular crossover, the CR-V, might be one of the most consistent vehicles outside of the top three or four spots, selling around 28,405 units for April — more or less flat with March, but 7.4 percent above deliveries recorded for April 2013. Year to date, the CR-V has sold 96,133 units, which leaves the SUV 4.6 percent above where it sat at the end of April last year.
6. Toyota Corolla
Toyota’s (NYSE:TM) Corolla seemed to get off on a slow start, but it’s been steadily picking up steam as more people are drawn to its bolder and more aggressive styling. Toyota sold 29,061 of the cars throughout last month, a staggering 19.7 percent gain over the year-ago April. That brings total deliveries of the car up to 106,798 for this year so far, a 2.2 percent gain over the same first four months of 2013.
5. Honda Accord
Honda Accord sales remained strong, moving 34,124 units last month to bring it’s year-to-date total to 113,312; that’s a gain of 1.7 percent on a monthly year-on-year basis, but year to date, the Accord is down 7.1 percent versus the year-ago period. That’s a decent improvement, as it was down more than 10 percent in March, but the sales success of the Ford Fusion and the enduring sales of the Toyota Camry have kept the Accord in check.
4. Ram 1500
Ram’s (FIATY.PK) 1500 pickup has been on fire this year, setting a pace that has put others on high alert. After overtaking the usual second-place finisher in March, Ram sales slowed somewhat in April, to 36,674 units — still 16.8 percent above April 2013. Ram’s year-to-date total of 133,580 is still a whopping 22.5 percent above sales through April of last year, despite being pushed back into fourth this past month.
3. Toyota Camry
Despite concerns about excessive use of incentives on the eve of the launch of the redesigned model, the Toyota Camry proved it’s worth its salt once again in April as sales reached 38,009, a 19.9 percent leap over April 2013. Its strong month wasn’t enough to bring its year-to-date growth into the black, however, as sales of 132,292 units since January remain 0.2 percent below levels seen last year.
2. Chevrolet Silverado
With 42,755 sold in April, the Chevrolet (NYSE:GM) Silverado comfortably outpaced the Ram. That number is 8.5 percent higher than where Silverado sales stood in April of last year, and to date (since January), Chevrolet has moved 150,512 units, a 3.5 percent slide over the same period from last year. Out of the 10 vehicles frequently on the top sellers list, the battle between the Ram and the Silverado will be the one to watch this year.
1. Ford F-150
Per its modus operandi, the Ford F-150 maintained its lead in first by a wide margin, selling 63,387 units in April for growth of 7.4 percent over the same month a year ago. This leaves the F-150 at 236,745 units for the year so far, a 3.4 percent increase over the same period of last year. What’s notable in this case is that with such a radically different and highly anticipated successor in the wings, sales for the F-150 haven’t faltered in the slightest.