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10 Things to Know About May Sales

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Article Highlights

  1. Among the hottest all-new vehicles in the market today are the Ford Ranger and Jeep Gladiator pickups.
  2. According to KBB data, 291 different models chalked up at least one sale in May 2019.
  3. In May, popular new product helped Hyundai outsell Subaru for the first time in 2019.

May 2019 auto sales were reported last week, and the numbers came in stronger than initial forecasts, but down slightly from year-ago levels. Big fleet sales helped the total, but the retail side of the market remains soft. Our data team at Kelley Blue Book has had a chance to comb through the numbers. Here are ten things we think you might have missed, based on our analysis.

  1. Among the hottest all-new vehicles in the market today are the Ford Ranger and Jeep Gladiator pickups. Sales have just started. Our team estimates that Ford sold 7,750 Rangers in May at an average transaction price of just over $37,000. Jeep sold 2,548 Gladiators. Average price paid: $56,403.
  2. According to KBB data, 291 different models chalked up at least one sale in May 2019. The 30 best-selling vehicles accounted for 51% of total sales. On the other end of the spectrum, the Toyota FJ Cruiser and Dodge Avenger each had exactly one sale in May. Both vehicles were discontinued in 2014.
  3. Each month, Kelley Blue Book measures the average time a vehicle spends on at a dealership lot before it is sold. In May, the average Fiat 500 had been at the lot for 201 days, a long time in this business. Of course, that’s not as long at the Fiat 124 Spider, which is averaging 306 days.
  4. Volvo and Mitsubishi, two companies at opposite ends of the automotive rainbow, sold a surprisingly similar number of vehicles in May. Volvo sold 9,761 and Mitsubishi 9,750, a difference of only 11 sales.
  5. Last month, General Motors began asking the White House for a waiver on the 25% import tariff levied on the China-built Buick Envision. And we know why: According to KBB estimates, the Envision accounted for nearly 20% of Buick’s sales last month, with sales of approximately 3,000 units.
  6. Subaru has enjoyed strong sales recently. In 2018, the Love company passed Hyundai in annual sales, becoming the 6th best-selling brand in the U.S. market. In May, however, popular new product helped Hyundai outsell Subaru for the first time in 2019. Year-to-date, Subaru leads Hyundai by approximately 9,000 sales.
  7. In May, there were new 2014 VW Jettas and Passats available in the U.S. In fact, VW was offering a $5,000 incentive to help move them, if anyone’s looking for a brand-new, 5-year-old diesel model with a bit of baggage.
  8. The Porsche 911 was the best-selling high-performance car in May, with sales of 603, outpacing the Mercedes AMG GT by 113 vehicles. Average priced paid for a Porsche 911: $155,079.
  9. In its second month, Audi’s first pure electric vehicle—the e-tron—chalked up 856 sales in the U.S. market. For comparison, Tesla sold 1,025 Model S sedans.
  10. In general, more incentives were being offered last month than earlier this year. How big do they get? Lexus was offering the most guaranteed customer cash in May: $10,000 on a 2018 LC 500 sports car.

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