September's Fastest- and Slowest-Selling Cars

CLALineupFastest

Sex sells and Mercedes-Benz's curvaceous attempt at an entry-level car has people buying.

The 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA250 took the top spot on our Movers list for September, selling on average in just three days, a remarkable number. Mercedes reported on Tuesday that in a single week of sales in September the company sold 2,310 units of the CLA-Class. If the company keeps up that pace of sales, the CLA would be its best-selling model in October. You can read our review of the new sedan here.

Top 10 Best-Selling Cars: September 2013

Redesigned and all-new models are typical entries on the Movers list, and the redesigned Toyota Corolla and Mazda3 make appearances. But 2014 versions of tried-and-true nameplates such as the Honda Accord and Subaru Forester also appear on the list.

By David Thomas | October 4, 2013 | Comments (1)

August's Fastest- and Slowest-Selling Cars

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Land Rover's Range Rover Sport and flagship Range Rover are hot; the SUVs took just three and six days apiece, respectively, to sell. The Honda CR-V, Mercedes-Benz GL-Class and Jeep Wrangler spent little time at dealerships, too. In fact, 12 of August's 18 movers were SUVs or pickup trucks. That's a higher ratio than July, when nine of 17 movers were SUVs or pickups. It also smokes August 2012, when just five of the 16 movers were SUVs or pickups.

Top 10 Best-Selling Cars: August 2013

What gives? In a word, gas. Despite concerns of military action in Syria, fuel prices in August rode a slow decline, and shoppers headed for SUVs. Compare that to August 2012, when oil refinery issues and Hurricane Isaac drove a gallon of regular unleaded to an average of $3.75 nationally heading into Labor Day — 21 cents more expensive than August 2013's average.

Cars a year or more into their current generation — not new or redesigned — also topped the charts; just three of August's 18 movers were new or redesigned. That's what happens when the first 2014s hit showrooms. In August 2012, four of 16 cars were new or redesigned.

Cars in August averaged 62 days to turn. That's the same as July, and it's a bit slower than August 2012's 57-day pace.

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

By Kelsey Mays | September 4, 2013 | Comments (1)

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)

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