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Data Point

10 Things to Know About April Sales


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Article Highlights

  1. The top-30, best-selling vehicles accounted for 50.3% of total sales in the U.S., which is typical of our market today.
  2. 10% of the models made up more than 50% of the sales.
  3. The two best-selling segments in April were the Compact SUV and Mid-Size SUV segment, accounting for 33% of the total vehicles sold last month.

The books on April automotive sales in the U.S. were closed by most automakers on Wednesday, May 1.  Since then, our team of analysts and experts have been combing through it all. They look at the mainstream makers, not the niche players such as Ferrari and Bentley, and sort as much data as they can. Here’s 10 random takeaways from last month, according to a Kelley Blue Book analysis of the data.

  1. The top-30, best-selling vehicles accounted for 50.3% of total sales in the U.S., which is typical of our market today. The Kelley Blue Book team notes 298 different models tallied at least 1 sale in April 2019. In other words, 10% of the models made up more than 50% of the sales.
  1. There were 12 models that tallied less than 10 sales last month, including a few that have been discontinued. The Dodge Viper, for example, logged 1 sale in April, as did the Nissan Juke.
  1. How many models had sales under 100 units? That would be 31, including the subcompact, two-seat, electric Smart car, which marked 85 units in April. Daimler has confirmed plans to kill the Smart car in the U.S. As a pundit we know once said, “You can’t kill what’s already dead.”
  1. The two best-selling segments last month were the Compact SUVand Mid-Size SUV Those two segments accounted for 33% of the total vehicles sold last month.
  1. According to Kelley Blue Book segmentation, more sports cars (e.g., VW GTI, Mazda MX-5, Porsche Cayman) were sold in April than full-size sedans (e.g., Toyota Avalon, Ford Taurus, GM Impala).
  1. The average transaction price (ATP) for a full-size pickup was $50,195 in April. For the past three months, the ATP has been over $50K. April was the highest ever.
  1. The Kelley Blue Book ATP puts the Porsche brand on top in April, at $91,951. Mitsubishi is the most affordable brand, with the average model selling for $23,160.
  1. Average Manufacturer Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) for a high-end luxury car in April? How about a cool $107,917. In April, 3,937 high-end luxury cars were sold, including 169 examples of the Porsche Panamera. Average MSRP for a Panamera: $124,363. And yes, for that money, you could buy 7 Nissan Versas at sticker price.
  1. To a given brand, some products matter more than others. The Ram full-size pickup, for example, accounts for 91% of Ram brand sales in April. Our team estimates that Tesla Model 3 accounted for 84% of the brand’s sales. That’s expected. What’s not? At Mazda, 49%of sales last month were the CX-5.And the Buick Encore accounted for 45% of Buick sales.
  1. Fiat sold only 931 vehicles in the U.S. market in April. The good news? It was the best month of the year for Fiat.


Sales: OEM Press Release data
ATP/MSRP: Dealer Retail Transaction data
Lease/retail/rental/fleet: Experian Automotive

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