Sales of Foreign Autos Climb

In January sales rose 6.5% from last year, while Detroit Three sales as a group dropped 13.4%

Last month, dealers in the U.S. sold 1,091,003 vehicles. Of these, international nameplate auto dealers were responsible for 539,417 units, or 49.4 percent, thus, continuing to make significant inroads on American market share. Together, international nameplate sales rose 6.5 percent from last year, while Detroit Three sales as a group dropped 13.4 percent.

Asian automakers took a large percentage of international market share, as Toyota led the way with a sales increase of 9.5 percent to 175,850 vehicles. Honda followed closely behind with sales rising 2.4 percent to 100,790 vehicles.

Stellar months were had by Kia (up 24.4 percent), Suzuki (up 13.4 percent), finally Mitsubishi (up 25.6 percent), and Mercedes-Benz (up 36.8 percent).

Ultra luxury brands Bentley and Maserati had noteworthy January sales, up 15.8 percent and 20.1 percent, respectively.

Detroit Three automakers saw sales decline to their lowest levels ever in January with GM sales falling 16.7 percent to 242,252 vehicles; Ford falling 19.6 percent to 153,056 units; and, DaimlerChrysler rising only a slight 0.5 percent for a total of 173,407 vehicles, largely due to a strong month for Mercedes-Benz sales. Without Mercedes-Benz, DCX sales reached just 156,308 units.

Following is a breakdown of January 2007 monthly sales by international nameplate:

Toyota Breaks Another Record

Last month, Toyota Motor Sales (TMS), U.S.A., Inc., reported best-ever January sales of 175,850 vehicles, an increase of 9.5 percent over January 2006.

In January, TMS posted sales of 14,322 hybrid vehicles. The Prius hybrid sedan posted best-ever January sales of 8,299 units, an increase of 4.1 percent. The hybrid version of Camry registered sales of 2,801 units for the month. The RX 400h hybrid luxury utility vehicle reported sales of 1,245 units for the month. And the Highlander Hybrid mid-size SUV hit 1,810 units sold.

The Toyota Division posted best-ever January sales of 153,732, up 4.7 percent. Toyota passenger cars, led by Camry, had the best-ever January with 86,682 units sold, up 7.2 percent over last January. Camry's January sales hit 31,461 units, up 10.1 percent over January 2006. Corolla followed a close second with January sales of 25,519 units. Sales of the popular Yaris subcompact totaled 5,870 units for the month.

Sales for Toyota-badge light trucks rose 1.6 percent, with a best-ever January total of 67,050 units, led by the RAV4 compact SUV, with best-ever January sales of 11,925, up 22 percent. The Highlander and Highlander Hybrid posted combined January sales of 10,322, up 13.3 percent over the same period last year. FJ Cruiser sales reached 4,948 units.

Scion's tC Posts 4,413 for January

Scion's January sales reached 9,004 units in January. The tC sports coupe led the way with sales of 4,413 units. Scion xB posted sales of 2,833 units for the month.

Lexus Cars Lead the Way

Toyota's Lexus luxury Division, like Toyota, reported best-ever January sales of 22,118 units, an increase of 8 percent.

Lexus passenger cars showed a whopping increase last month, with 13,574 units sold, an increase of 18.7 percent over January 2006, making this January the best-ever for the brand. The Lexus ES 350 luxury sedan led the way with best-ever January sales of 5,320 units, up 53.2 percent. The all-new LS 460 reported sales of 3,006, an increase of 142.5 percent.

Lexus light truck sales reached 8,544 units for the month. The RX 350 and RX 400h had combined January sales of 6,544 units, an increase of 1.5 percent.

Honda CR-V Up 48.1 Percent

American Honda Motor Co., Inc., also posted a new January record for total vehicle sales, with 100,790 units sold, eclipsing the 2006 record of 98,394 units. Light truck sales for the company hit a record high last month of 47,378 units, up 11.0 percent compared to January 2006.

Honda Division posted record January sales of 87,773 units, up the last record set last year with 84,413 units. Honda-badge light trucks helped ignite the overall increase with sales of 41,427 units. The following Honda light truck models broke January sales records: CR-V, up 48.1 percent to 14,390 units; and the Odyssey, up 4.

5 percent to 11,165 units. Sales for Accord, the company's volume leader, increased 12.0 percent for the month to 25,714 units.

Acura Trucks Hit All-Time January Record

Honda's Acura luxury Division's sold 13,017 units last month, a decline of 10.6 percent from last January.

Propelled by sales of the all-new 2007 MDX luxury performance SUV and RDX, Acura sold a January record of 5,951 light trucks, up 48.7 percent versus last year in January. MDX led Acura sales for the month with 4,153 units sold, up 3.8 percent from January 2006, making it the model's second-best January ever. The turbocharged RDX crossover SUV continued its healthy sales pace with 1,798 units sold for the month. TSX sports sedan sales totaled 2,628 units.

Nissan Up 4.3 Percent

Nissan North America, Inc. (NNA) reported combined January sales of 82,644 units, up 4.5 percent from last year.

January sales for Nissan-brand vehicles of 73,680 units increased by 4.3 percent on a daily sales rate basis compared with 67,834 units sold the same month last year. Sales for Altima rose 39.7 percent on 24,394 units sold. The hybrid version of the flagship sedan will hit the market in February. The hip new Versa subcompact reached 4,497 units for the month.

Infiniti Up 6.8 Percent

January sales for Infiniti rose 6.8 percent in January, with 8,964 units sold.

Infiniti brand cars rose 12.8 percent in January for a total of 6,635 units sold. The all-new G35 sedan, with sales of 4,321 units, was up 71.1 percent over last year.

Truck sales for the luxury brand rose 7.1 percent to 2,329 units and were supported by 1,538 FX 35/45 units sold.

MAZDA3 Still Rolling

Mazda reported its best January in the U.S. since 1994, with record sales of 19,265 units for January 2007, up 6.0 percent over January 2006.

Mazda's January sales were led in volume again by the popular MAZDA3, with 7,653 units sold, an increase of 25.3 percent over last year. MAZDA5 posted sales of 1,326, an 8.7 percent increase.

The all-new 2007 CX-9 three-row, seven-passenger crossover SUV will be arriving in dealerships in late February and will MSRP for $29,035. The CX-9 hails a six-speed automatic transmission and a 3.5-liter V6 engine able to earn 263 horsepower and 249 lb-ft of torque.

Subaru Slightly Off

Subaru of America today reported January sales of 12,074 total units.

Subaru B9 Tribeca posted 1,125 units for the month. Subaru Legacy recorded a 10 percent gain with unit sales of 5,257, while the Outback accounted for 3,880 units of that line for the month. Subaru Forester recorded 2,739 units in January, while Baja posted 268 units for the month. Subaru Impreza was up five percent from the same period last year, posting a strong 2,685 units in January.

Suzuki Up 13.4 Percent, Expects 2007 Sales to Rise 8 Percent

Suzuki is a real story of success this year, up 13.4 percent in January to 8,179 units, and on a solid path for significant gains in the months ahead.

On average, light trucks for the brand performed exceptionally well, up 33.9 percent from last January for a total of 4,672 units. The XL7 was a big contributor at 2,202 units, up 45.7 percent from last year. Suzuki sold 923 units of the SX4.

Reno/Forenza sales reached 3,389 units for the month, up 22.9 percent.

Suzuki expects car sales to rise 8 percent to a record in 2007, and has, thus, set a goal of producing 3 million cars in the 2009/10 business year. It expects to produce 2.56 million cars and sell 2.35 million in 2007.

Mitsubishi Up 25.6 Percent

Mitsubishi Motors sold 9,383 units last month, up 25.6 percent from last January, marking the best January for the brand since 2004 and the largest single month percentage increase in four-and-half years (July 2002).

The Eclipse Spyder sold 306 units for the month, more than five times the sales in January of 2006. The Lancer closed at 1,684 units, up 15 percent from last January volume. Sales for the Galant rose more than 4 percent to 1,654 units. The all-new Outlander crossover SUV, along with the Eclipse coupe, continue to be popular among consumers. Eclipse coupe sales rose 37 percent last month to reach 2,129 units sold.

Outlander sales were 1,918 units, up 166 percent from last year in January.

Mitsubishi will begin selling its new Lancer sedan in Spring.

Isuzu Down 29.4 Percent

Isuzu sold just 500 units last month, a decrease of 29.4 percent as model offerings continue to wane.

The Isuzu I Series pickup saw an increase of 11.7 percent for a total of 229 units sold.

Kia Up 24.4 Percent

Kia had its best January sales ever with 22,524 units sold, a 24.4 percent increase over the same period in 2006.

The Sedona led the way with 6,947 units, up 26.7 percent over the same period last year. Spectra sales reached 4,273 units last month. The all-new Rondo reached sales of 478 units, up 16.9 percent.

Hyundai Drops 8 Percent, Sonata Has Sluggish Month

Hyundai's sales dropped 8 percent in January from its record high last January to 27,721 total units for the month.

The all-new 2007 Santa Fe and Accent showed strong gains over the previous year, posting 89 percent and 80 percent increases, respectively. The Sonata was down for the month for a total of 7,276 units sold.

Volkswagen GTI Surges 119.3 Percent

Volkswagen sales in January 2007 reached 16,610 units, a 2.3 percent increase over the January 2006 and the best January sales performance since 2003 for the brand.

The sporty and affordable Jetta sedan continues as the most popular Volkswagen carline, posting a 3.8 percent sales improvement over January 2006. The GTI, recently named 2007 "Automobile of the Year" by Automobile Magazine, posted a sales surge of 119.3 percent, finding 1,351 new owners in January.

Audi Continues to Roll, Up 5.2 Percent

Audi's January sales totaled 6,399 vehicles, a 5.2 percent increase over the previous year, and marking the best January in the company's history. January marked the 10th month of the past 12 when Audi sold more vehicles than the previous year.

The luxury brand's three significant launches, including the TT Coupe and Roadster, the R8 mid-engine sports car, and the A5 coupe, have helped catapult sales.

Sales were also fueled by an 11.8 percent increase for the A4 model line, as well as continued strong results for the Audi Q7, at 1,636 units sold.

BMW Brand Sales Up 2.5 Percent

The BMW Group (BMW and MINI brands combined) reported January vehicle sales of 21,811, down 1.8 percent from the 22,218 vehicles sold in the same month of 2006.

BMW brand sales were up 2.5 percent, to 19,761 vehicles compared to 19,274 vehicles sold during January 2006.

Monthly sales of BMW brand passenger cars increased 0.5 percent in January, for 15,529 units. BMW 3 Series sedan was the passenger car volume leader at 7,601 for the month, an increase of 4.2 percent from January 2006. The 3 Series coupe had a stellar month with 2,325 units sold, up a whopping 394.7 percent from the same month last year.

Sales of BMW SUVs were up 10.8 percent for the month, to 4,232 units. BMW 3 Series led the way for the light trucks with 10,197 units sold, an increase of 19.3 percent. The X5 continued to perform well, up a slight 0.6 percent to 2,445 units. X3 sales rose 28.7 percent for 1,787 total units.

MINI Way Down

MINI USA reported a 30.4 percent decrease in January sales, to 2,050 units. The all-new MINI Cooper and MINI Cooper S hardtops will go on sale February 17th, and the company insists sales reflect the lower inventory associated with the model changeover.

Mercedes-Benz Up 37 Percent

Coming off the heels of its thirteenth consecutive year of sales growth, Mercedes-Benz USA (MBUSA) reported its best January sales on record with 17,069 units sold, a 37 percent increase over last January.

Mercedes-Benz trucks were up a dramatic 82.8 percent last month thanks to significant sales increases from the brand's C Class (up 26.8 percent), E Class (up 36.9 percent), R Class (up 22.2 percent) and ML Class (up 19.8 percent).

Car sales also saw significant gains, up 23.9 percent as a group. Mercedes-Benz C Class sedan was the month's volume leader for passenger cars, up 27.1 percent to 3,928 total units sold. The E Class sedan followed closely behind at 3,283 units, an increase of 40.0 percent from last January. The S Class performed exceedingly well, up 125.1 percent for a total of 2,078 units sold. The CLS Class also had a noteworthy month, up 279.4 percent for a total of 258 units sold.

Porsche Up 13 Percent Off Cayenne Fever

January 2007 sales for Porsche Cars North America, Inc. (PCNA) rose 13 percent over the same month last year to 119 new.

Demand for Porsche's current Cayenne picked up speed following the premiere of the new 2008 Cayenne at last month's North American International Auto Show. Sales of the Cayenne in January were up 57 percent compared to last year. The 911 series recorded sales of 34 for the month, an increase of 48 percent. Boxster/Cayman sales totaled 30 for the month, compared to January 2006 with sales of 47,units.

Volvo Down 12 Percent

Volvo sales for January reached 7,819 units, down 12 percent compared to the same period last year.

Volvo XC90 SUV sales led the way for the brand with 2,382 units, a relatively flat month down just -0.3 percent. Volvo S40 sales dropped 33.3 percent for a total of 1,572 units sold. Volvo S80 Series sales reached 1,131 units last month, up 99.1 percent. C70 coupe/convertible sales were up 999.9 percent on 387 units sold.

Land Rover Down 7 Percent

Land Rover sales were down 7.0 percent last month for a total of 3,433 units sold.

The Range Rover was the only bright spot for the automaker, up 1.4 percent for a total of 930 units sold. Meanwhile, the Range Rover Sport and LR3 both dropped in sales to 1,263 units and 1,239 units, respectively.

Jaguar Down 12.9 Percent

Jaguar sales continued to struggle last month, dropping 12.9 percent in January for a total of 1,390 units sold.

The Jaguar XK Series was a positive model for the brand last month, with sales of 427 units. XJ Series sales were down 17.4 percent for a total of 384 units.

The chart at above right details sales for each brand.

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