Another year went by and demand for light trucks strengthened above that of sedan vehicles. Some automotive companies, such as GM, saw this trend and reacted in a timely manner to reconfigure the production of their Mexican plants to meet demand, which was reflected positively in their annual results.
This strategy gave GM a double-digit hike in each of the three SUVs and crossovers it produces in the country.
Other cases to highlight were those of Volkswagen and its subsidiary Audi, which used the popularity of their respective models, the new Tiguan and the Q5, respectively, to keep their sales afloat. There is also the case of FCA, whose sales of its Jeep Compass doubled during 2018.
However, there were also exceptional situations such as the Ford Fiesta, whose sales hiked at double digit in the year despite participating in a segment that currently does not enjoy popularity, although part of its success likely due to fleet sales.
The following report does not necessary reflects that each vehicle sold from certain model was built in Mexico, as marked in those particular cases. Automakers constantly mix domestic and overseas supplies from several countries to meet U.S. demand.
Last December, Audi of America sold 22,765 vehicles in the U.S. market, which represents a decrease of 16%. It was Audi’s third consecutive monthly decline after a streak of 107 months of sales increases in a row. Its total 2018 sales were 200,558 units, 1.4% down compared to those of 2017.
The made-in-Puebla Q5 SUV, Audi’s best-selling model in the United States during December and throughout the year, saw its sales increase 8% last month to 8,143 units, which means that 35% of vehicles sold by the German automaker in December was a Q5. Audi sold 69,978 Q5 SUVs in 2018, a skyrocketing 21% increase compared to 2017.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles US (FCA) reported U.S. sales of 196,520 vehicles in December, a 14% hike compared to same month of 2017. Its total 2018 sales were of 2,235,204 units, up 9%.
FCA sold 12,745 Jeep Compass last month, a 46% jump compared to December 2017. Total 2018 sales were 171,167 units, which represents a three-digit hike of 106% compared to 2017. Sales of the Fiat 500 were of just 418 units in December and 5,370 vehicles in 2018 overall, representing drops of 37% and 58% respectively.
Sales of the Dodge Journey also increased at a two-digit pace in December, this time of 27% on sales of 5,383 units. Total 2018 sales of the Dodge Journey increased 5% to 94,096 vehicles. All three vehicles are built at FCA’s plant in Toluca, state of Mexico.
Ford Motor Company U.S. sales declined 8.8% in December to 220,774 vehicles. The Dearborn, Michigan-based automaker sold 2,497,318 cars and light trucks in 2018, down 3.5%. Sales of the Ford Fiesta hiked 17.8% in December to 4,309 vehicles.
Total Fiesta sales in 2018 were 51,730 units, an 11.9% gain compared to 2017. Sales of the Ford Fusion dropped 8% to 16,052 vehicles in December and declined 17.2% to 173,600 units overall in 2018.
Sales of the Lincoln MKZ sank 18.3% to 1,874 units in December and declined 27.5% to 19,852 units year on year. Both the Fusion and the MKZ are built in Hermosillo, Sonora, while the Ford Fiesta for the U.S. market is sourced from the Cuautitlan assembly plant.
General Motors, which now posts its sales on a quarterly basis, sold 785,229 cars and light trucks in the last three months of 2018, representing a 2.7% decline compared to same period of 2017. Total 2018 deliveries were 2,954,037 units, a 1.6% drop compared to the previous year.
In 2018, GM sold 332,618 Chevrolet Equinox, up 14.5%. The SUV is sourced from plants in Mexico and Canada. Total 2018 sales of the Chevy Trax rose 13.4% to 89,916 units, while deliveries of the GMC Terrain hiked 33.8% to 114,314 SUVs. Both models are built in San Luis Potosi.
The Detroit automaker sold 219,554 GMC Sierra pickups, representing a marginal increase of 0.7% while its sibling the Chevy Silverado posted a flat result of 585,581 units. Well, the figure is actually 283 units lower compared to 2017 sales. Crew-cab versions of both the Sierra and the Silverado are built in Silao, Guanajuato.
Honda Motor Co. reported U.S. December sales of 155,115 Honda and Acura vehicles, a 3.9% gain versus same month of 2017. Total 2018 sales declined 2.2% to 1,604,828 units.
Despite the Celaya plant officially resumed operations in November after a 4-month shut due to a flood, inventories of the Honda Fit remain very lean, which reflects on its sales that were 77.6% lower in December to just 768 units. Total 2018 deliveries of the compact hatchback dropped 28.6% to 35,300 vehicles.
Sales of the HR-V crossover, which is in a similar situation, declined 16.3% to 6,313 units. Total HR-V deliveries in 2018 were 85,494 vehicles, which represents an 9.1% drop. The HR-V is manufactured in Celaya, Guanajuato but also in El Salto, Jalisco.
Kia Motors America announced December sales of 47,428 vehicles, a 10.2% gain over the last month of 2017. Total 2018 sales were 589,673 units, just five vehicles more than the previous year. Its sister brand Hyundai reported December sales of 65,721 units, which is a 3.3% increase. Total 2018 deliveries dropped 1.1% to 677,946 vehicles.
Overall 2018 sales of the Kia Rio hiked 37% to 22,975 vehicles. The Kia Forte sales dropped 13.3% to 101,890 units and deliveries of the Hyundai Accent totaled 29,090 units, down 50.6%. All three vehicles in this report are built in Pesqueria, Nuevo Leon.
Sales of Mazda North American Operations in the U.S. market dropped 3.8% in December to 25,870 vehicles. Total 2018 sales increased 3.7% versus 2017, with 300,325 vehicles sold.
Sales of the Mazda3 in sedan and hatchback versions totaled 5,277 units, representing a drop of 6.9%. Total Mazda3 deliveries in 2018 were of 64,638 vehicles, which represents an 13.8% decline. Both versions of the Mazda3 for the U.S. market are sourced from Salamanca, Guanajuato.
Nissan Group announced U.S. sales for December of 148,720 units, up 7.6% compared to same month of 2017. Total sales of 2018 were 1,493,877 vehicles, down 6.2%.
In 2018, sales of the Nissan Versa, including both sedan and hatchback versions, sank 29% to 75,809 units. Deliveries of the Nissan Sentra dropped 2.5% to 213,046 vehicles.
December marked the seventh month of sales for the Nissan Kicks in the U.S., 5,704 units were sold, totaling 23,312 vehicles over that period.
In its ninth full month of sales at Infiniti dealers, the all-new 2019 QX50 totaled 3,329 deliveries for an estimate of 25,389 vehicles sold in the year. All Nissan models cited in this report are built at different plants in Aguascalientes, central Mexico.
Toyota reported U.S. sales of 220,910 vehicles in December, a 0.9% decrease compared to same month of 2017. For the year, the Japanese automaker reported sales of 2,426,672 vehicles, a 0.3% decrease on a volume basis.
Sales of the Yaris iA, which is built by Mazda at its Guanajuato plant, decreased 39.5% to 1,154 vehicles. Total 2018 sales decrease 29.5% to 25,269 units.
Sales of the Toyota Tacoma midsize pickup, built in Tijuana and San Antonio, Texas, hiked 15.1% to 21,531 units in December, and 24% overall in 2018 to 245,659 vehicles.
Volkswagen reported sales of 32,047 units in December, up 5.8% over same month of 2017. With 354,064 units delivered in 2018, the German automaker reported an 4.2% increase in year-over-year sales.
Total 2018 sales of the Golf family declined 39% to 42,271 units. All variants of the Golf family are built in Puebla, except for the e-Golf and the R-Line, which are made in Germany.
Sales of the Jetta totaled 90,805 units in 2018, down 22%. The Jetta led as the brand’s best-selling vehicle in December with 10,261 vehicles. Sales of the Beetle totaled 14,411 units throughout the year, down 5%.
Sales of the all-new Tiguan totaled 89,476 units, a 326% hike compared to 2017. All Jetta, Beetle and 2018 Tiguan models for the U.S. are sourced from Puebla, Mexico.