Market movement toward small cars, coupled with shrinking inventories for Japanese auto makers, caused a shift in market share among the top seven auto companies in the U.S., as seasonally adjusted LV sales tracked above 13 million units for the third consecutive month.
grabbed 20.1% of U.S. LV sales in April, with daily sales (over 27 days) up 21.9% over year-ago (over 26 days), on volume sales of 232,538 units, some 12% over analyst expectations for the month.
GM cut incentives somewhat but a market shift toward smaller cars, and shrinking inventories of Japanese vehicles helped boost the well-positioned Chevy Cruze to best-ever sales, as it continues to ramp up sales after launch.
The Cruze easily outdistanced's segment-entry Focus in April. Ford Motor Co., which had outsold GM last month, finished below expectations, with sales up just 11.3% over year-ago on a daily basis, and total unit light vehicle sales of 186,572.
It's likely that payback for pull-ahead sales in March helped cap the company's market share at 16.2%
's DSR was up 17.7%, for a 10.1% share, which helped lift the Detroit 3 17.1% above year-ago.
Korean auto makers Kia andleveraged low prices and sufficient small stocks to make large strides as the market looks for fuel efficiency. Kia posted a 50.9% gain over year-ago DSR, while Hyundai brand sales were up 35.1%. Together the two companies accounted for 9.4% of April deliveries.
, already feeling a pinch on supply of its popular smaller cars, saw daily sales fall 2.4% from year-ago, on volume sales of 159,540 units.
sales were up 8% over year-ago, but this was slightly below expectations as unit sales fell dramatically from March to April as incentives and lease-sales fell off. The company, which rode high fleet sales and strong incentives to record sales in March, and finished that month in the No. 5 spot overall, fell behind both and /Kia to the No. 7 spot in April with unit sales of 71,526.
sales rose just 5.7% over year-ago.
Asia-based companies had a 45.1% market share in April.
European auto makers accounted for 8.5% of the market.brand sales were up 18.8%, Audi sales were 3.5% and was 15.2%. Jaguar Land Rover sales were up just below 12% for the month while Mercedes/Smart sales were down 0.1%.
Year-to-date sales in the U.S. topped 4.2 million cars and light trucks, up 19.4% over the first four month of 2010.