July's Fastest- and Slowest-Selling Cars

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We'd like to think most auto executives drove to work this morning listening to The Cars' "Good Times Roll." June and July turned out the best seasonally adjusted auto sales since before the recession. In raw numbers, new-car sales saw the healthiest July since 2007.

The fastest sellers, unsurprisingly, were also some of the strongest. Recent redesigns of the 2014 Acura MDX (July sales up 29.5%), 2014 Lexus IS (sales up 58.6%) and 2014 Subaru Forester (sales up 52.5%) joined the updated 2014 Honda Odyssey (sales up 10.9%) among July's fastest-selling cars.

The 2014 Land Rover Range Rover topped the list, but the sybaritic SUV was redesigned a year ago. No matter: Each Rover stayed on dealer lots less than a week apiece, and July sales flew 111.3%.

Stranger still, the Audi Q5 has gone without a substantial redesign since it arrived in early 2009, yet it was the third fastest seller on the list — and it's been among the fastest-selling cars for nine of the past 10 months. Its Q7 sibling, meanwhile, has been on the roster for four straight months despite showing up in late 2006.

By Kelsey Mays | August 2, 2013 | Comments (1)

June's Fastest- and Slowest-Selling Cars

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June sales soared to the highest rate since 2007 as Detroit automakers piled on the deliveries, but foreign-based companies still had the balance of fastest-selling cars. Detroit automakers built just five of the 17 fastest sellers in June — a list long on SUVs and pickups, which accounted for more than two-thirds of its cars.

The redesigned Acura MDX, which hit dealerships June 20, rocketed to the top of the list. It took just five days to turn. So did the 2014 Ford Explorer and Escape, despite few changes for 2014 to the popular SUVs. Further down the list, perennial fast-sellers from Audi (the Q5 and Q7) ranked alongside new regulars like the Mercedes-Benz GL-Class and Hyundai Santa Fe.

BMW's gambit on an entry-level 3 Series appears to have paid off: The new 320i averaged just 14 days to sell. The sport sedan, which has similar equipment to last year's 328i but 60 fewer horsepower in exchange for a starting price that's $2,320 lower, including destination, accounts for 11% of all new 2013 3 Series inventory on Cars.com. It went on sale last spring — and each car stayed on dealer lots about as long as "Pacific Rim" appears likely to stay in theaters.

That's well below the month's overall average of 59 days to sell, which tracks near May 2013's 56 days. It's a bit slower than June 2012's 53 days.

Some slow-moving redesigns fall below that average. Hyundai's full-size Azera sedan, redesigned for 2013, averaged 82 days in June to sell. Ditto the redesigned Acura RDX and all-new Cadillac ATS, which sat on dealer lots an average of 87 days and 90 days, respectively. Sales results, however, were mixed: The ATS was Cadillac's second-best-selling model for the month, and RDX sales rose 30.2%. Only the Azera fell, with sales at a trickle — just 813 cars for the month, or one-eighth as many as the rival Toyota Avalon.

Here are June 2013's fastest- and slowest-selling cars:

By Kelsey Mays | July 3, 2013 | Comments (4)

May's Fastest- and Slowest-Selling Cars

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From Land Rover's posh Range Rover to the redesigned Toyota RAV4, SUVs took 10 of the top 16 spots on May’s fastest-sellers list. Expectedly, redesigns ranked high on the list. The 2014 Subaru Forester is selling so fast Subaru dealers can't keep up inventory, and the Range Rover, Hyundai Santa Fe and Mercedes-Benz GL-Class — all redesigned — have repeat appearances among the fastest sellers.

The updated Mercedes E-Class demonstrates shoppers also respond well to a refresh as they do to a full redesign. And the new Lincoln MKZ Hybrid continues to sell, adding steam to the redesign's slow start. It worked well for Ford's struggling luxury brand: The MKZ had its best-ever May in the nameplate's more than seven years, Ford said Monday.

Then you have the old-timers. The 2013 Toyota RAV4 had its fifth month among the fastest-selling cars. The 2013 Ford Fusion, in hybrid or regular form, has made its seventh appearance in eight months. So did Audi's Q5 SUV, despite being in its fifth model year.

Cars in May averaged 56 days to sell. That's a little slower than April 2013's 51 days and a few ticks slower than May 2012's 50 days. Here are May's fastest and slowest sellers:

By Kelsey Mays | June 4, 2013 | Comments (2)

April's Fastest- and Slowest-Selling Cars

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April's fastest-selling cars mixed luxury models with recent redesigns and, oddly enough, a few oldies. The Audi Q5 and Q7 — frequent speedy sellers despite their age — met the likes of the BMW X3, Land Rover Range Rover, Mercedes-Benz GL-Class and Lincoln MKZ. A couple 2014 redesigns also made the list: the Subaru Forester and Chevrolet Impala.

It's good news for Ford's Lincoln division, whose redesigned MKZ has been hampered by production setbacks during its launch. Both the MKZ and MKZ Hybrid were among April's fastest-selling cars, reprising the cars' March appearance — but with a key difference. As we reported on April 2, March's brisk sales pace didn't translate into higher sales, but that changed in April. Lincoln shoppers bought 4,012 MKZs and MKZ Hybrids, up 115.4% versus April 2012. It was the best month in the nameplate's seven-year history, Ford proclaimed.

A few oddball cars often land among the fastest sellers, and April was no exception. The current Scion xB hatchback hit dealerships in May 2007 while Nissan introduced the current Frontier pickup truck at the 2004 Detroit auto show. In car years, the elder Nissan is somewhere between actors Michael Caine and Christopher Plummer — and it hasn't aged as well. But the Frontier and xB spent little time on dealer lots in April, and both have minimal incentives. Go figure.

April's slowest sellers document the continuing sales trickle for two cars: the Acura ILX Hybrid and Chevrolet Malibu Eco. Both variants make up a good chunk of their respective nameplates in Cars.com new-car inventory, but they took 150 and 229 days, respectively, to move. Contrast that with April's 51-day monthly average, which stayed about even with March (48 days) but came in a bit slower than April 2012's 45 days.

Here are March's fastest and slowest sellers:

By Kelsey Mays | May 2, 2013 | Comments (1)

March's Fastest- and Slowest-Selling Cars

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We won't have March sales results until later today, but the month's fastest- and slowest-selling cars depict that a couple automakers are catching a break. With a faster-charging option, more cargo space and a lower starting price, the 2013 Nissan Leaf landed a spot among March's fastest-selling cars — this after meeting less than half of Nissan's sales expectations in 2011 and 2012. In March, the all-electric hatchback averaged just seven days to sell. Leaf sales increased 13% through February, so we'll see if Nissan's little EV pulled off an automotive Florida Gulf Coast University last month — or if the faster pace drove few actual sales.

Meanwhile, the redesigned Lincoln MKZ, which was beleaguered by a slow ramp-up in dealer supply, also hit its stride. Lincoln dealers needed just 14 days on average to sell an MKZ. That beat rivals like the Lexus ES 350 (35 days, on average) and Acura TL (50 days). Other movers include the usual slate of redesigns, from the redesigned Subaru Forester to Toyota's fourth-generation RAV4. Flagship luxury SUVs had their day, too: Mercedes-Benz's GL-Class marked its sixth month on the list, and Land Rover's Range Rover flagship had its third.

Despite a cooler March versus last year's record warmth, SUVs represented a similar share of the month's fastest-selling cars. Nine of March's 17 fastest-selling cars were SUVs; that's about even with March 2012, when eight of 17 fast sellers were SUVs.

By Kelsey Mays | April 2, 2013 | Comments (4)

January's Fastest- and Slowest-Selling Cars

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If Toyota's genie-granting Super Bowl XLVII ad got you thinking about the RAV4, you might have to wait for your local dealer to ramp up stock. The automaker's redesigned SUV was January's fastest-selling car, averaging just five days to move. It joins a number of 2013 redesigns: the Ford Fusion Hybrid, Land Rover Range Rover, Mercedes-Benz GL-Class, Toyota Avalon, Toyota Avalon Hybrid and Nissan Pathfinder. All seven cars saw substantial January sales improvements — beyond the industry's 14.2% overall gain, in fact.

Winter months had all-wheel drive in high demand; twelve of January's 18 fastest sellers offered it. Even luxury SUVs like the Mercedes GL-Class and Land Rover Range Rover, whose prices extend into the six-figure range, took little time to sell. January marks the GL's fourth month as a mover, and if that's any indication, the Range Rover, which went on sale in December, will likely stick around for a few months.

On the flip side, the Acura ILX had its fourth month among the losers (in ILX or ILX Hybrid form). Sales for the Civic-based premium sedan outpaced Acura's other sedans last month, but the car sold slower than it took for the Superdome's lights come back on. Buick's competing Verano took 49 days to sell — 44 days less than the Acura. Unsurprisingly, the Verano outsold the ILX by more than a 2-to-1 ratio in January.

By Kelsey Mays | February 4, 2013 | Comments (3)

December's Fastest- and Slowest-Selling Cars

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Automakers won't report December sales results until later today, but we have data on the month's fastest and slowest sellers. The redesigned Toyota Avalon hit dealerships in the first week of December, and it stormed the fastest-selling list, with regular and hybrid versions averaging just eight days apiece on dealer lots. Shoppers moved toward the Ford F-Series Super Duty pickup truck, too. That’s likely a result of an improved construction market; November housing starts hit their second highest rate since mid-2008.

The redesigned Mercedes-Benz GL-Class, which hit dealerships in September, spent its third month among the fastest sellers; the new-for-2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek also marked its third month on the list. Of the 18 fastest-selling cars, 10 were repeat performers, with such regulars as the redesigned Subaru Impreza and new Scion FR-S. The Kia Soul's severe mileage downgrade doesn't seem to have sapped demand, and neither has the popular hatchback's age. It debuted way back in early 2009, but in December it placed among the fastest sellers for the third month in a row.

By Kelsey Mays | January 3, 2013 | Comments (3)

Ford Fusion Hybrid, Nissan Pathfinder Fastest-Selling Cars in November

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Car sales continue to roll along as the industry continues to release redesigned new models with buyers eager to snap them up.

In November, two newly redesigned vehicles — the Ford Fusion Hybrid and Nissan Pathfinder — were the fastest-selling cars in the country. They stayed on dealer lots just six days versus a 28-day average for all 2013 models. Last November, 2012s moved even faster at 23 days.

The Fusion sedan went on sale as a standard model and a hybrid, but it seems the fuel-efficient version is the preferred one for now, or perhaps just harder to find, as the sedan moved in a still impressive 14 days and also made our monthly mover list.

The Pathfinder saw sales explode in November as shoppers seemed not to care that the once SUV is now a "soft" crossover.

By David Thomas | December 4, 2012 | Comments (2)

October's Fastest- and Slowest-Selling Cars

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It appears shoppers clamored more aggressively for incoming 2013s last month. Cars for the 2013 model year averaged just 23 days to sell from the day they hit lots while 2012s averaged 121 days. Combined, the group averaged 73 days to turn. That's a wider gap than October 2011 when 2011 and 2012 cars averaged 15 and 93 days to turn, respectively.
 
New or redesigned cars topped the month, with the seventh-generation Nissan Sentra and all-new Subaru XV Crosstrek taking just five days each to move. The redesigned Ford Fusion and Honda Accord plus the all-new Ford C-Max Hybrid made this month's movers, as well.
 
We focused on just 2013 models for October since automakers had a vast majority of 2013 models on sale. October did have one notable redesign in the Loser column: the Chevrolet Malibu Eco, which averaged 92 days on dealer lots. The regular Malibu, meanwhile, took 32 days to sell. That’s better but still below average for 2013s. Is the new Malibu getting lost in the slew of redesigned family cars? Sales fell 6% in October, putting the Malibu behind the Fusion and well in back of the redesigned Accord, Toyota Camry and Nissan Altima.

Here are October's fastest- and slowest-selling cars:

By Kelsey Mays | November 5, 2012 | Comments (3)

September's Fastest- and Slowest-Selling Cars

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Honda is off to the races with the redesigned Accord, which averaged just five days to move after the sedan hit dealer lots Sept. 19. The Accord coupe arrives on Oct. 15. The 2013 CR-V — virtually identical to the redesigned 2012 — arrived at Honda dealerships on Sept. 6, and it too averaged just five days to sell. It's no wonder both cars helped drive Honda's 57% sales gains for the month.

Subaru, Toyota/Lexus/Scion and BMW also posted fast-moving cars, but one model in particular stood out: the Toyota Tacoma, whose extended and crew cabs averaged less than 10 days to move. Toyota lightly updated the truck for 2013 and threw a smidge more cash on the hood, but there's little hiding the fact that this is the current generation's ninth model year. Still, sales boomed nearly 50% for the month. Go figure.

By Kelsey Mays | October 5, 2012 | Comments (0)

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