January Car Sales Off to a Fast Start


The year 2013 is off to a strong start with January car sales totaling 1,042,479 vehicles, the first January the industry has surpassed the 1-million-unit mark since 2008. The 14-percent increase in sales compared with a year ago pushed the Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate (SAAR) of sales of 15.3 million vehicles, precisely in line with Edmunds.com's forecast and on par with the past couple of months, but significant since January usually is slow sales month.

For some historical perspective and to show how far the auto industry has come, January car sales were nearly 60 percent better than in January 2009, the height of the recession when it appeared General Motors and Chrysler might go out of business, noted Edmunds.com Senior Analyst Jessica Caldwell.

The same old tune that played throughout 2012 repeated its refrain in January: pent-up demand due to an aged U.S. vehicle fleet continued to unleash and was supported by widely available credit and enhanced by compelling new product offerings. No end is in sight yet for pent-up demand unleashing. In January, the average age of vehicles traded in on a new model was 6.3 years old, the highest age since the government's Cash for Clunkers program was in effect in summer 2009. That suggests more pent-up demand remains. Plus new vehicles in high-volume segments and loud buzz from January's Detroit auto show lured consumers to showrooms.

Most promising was the fact that January rose above some possibly negative factors that could have held sales in check. The aftermath of last fall's Hurricane Sandy, which caused sales to be postponed, later made up and eventually added plus sales as Northeast residents needed to replace their damaged or destroyed cars, is history at least in terms of car sales. Also gone were December's year-end deals and their accompanying advertisements that could have caused consumers to return to winter hibernation. Consumers also got past the handwringing over the fiscal cliff talks in Washington that slowed end-of-December sales.

"We haven't seen a January this strong since 2008, and the tempo of sales was strong from start to finish of the month," said Kurt McNeil, GM's vice president of sales.

A new variation on the refrain that was in play in January that didn't exist last year was the long-anticipated pickup in full-size pickup truck sales. Edmunds.com has declared 2013 the year of the truck. The truck fleet is even older than the U.S. car fleet, and truck sales directly correlate with the housing market, which continues to strengthen. In January, truck sales captured a slightly bigger share of the overall The Detroit three — the biggest sellers of pickup trucks in America — posted significant double-digit gains in their trucks sales. Chrysler's Ram 1500, which was redesigned for this model year, showed a 14-percent rise. Ford's F-Series sales were up about 22 percent. General Motors' two trucks — the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra that will be replaced this year — had a 32-percent sales rise. That bodes well for the Detroit three in terms of volume and profits as trucks are profit generators for Detroit vehicle makers.

"We said the runway was cleared for a 15- to 15.5-million-unit year, and January's results bear that out. We're on track," McNeil said. "The economy continues to recover strongly despite the headwinds of higher taxes and lower government spending, all factored into our outlook."

Ford Senior Economist Jenny Lin declared: "We are on the road to a full recovery." Asked by a journalist if the U.S. auto industry is peaking in terms of sales, Lin insisted not. What is the peak? "Somewhere higher!" she said. "The industry declined so much during recession to 10 million vehicle sales a year that we are seeing strong recovery and that's just for replacement demand so far."

Cadillac

GM: GM posted sales of 194,699 vehicles, up 16 percent from a year ago, in line with Edmunds.com's forecast. GM noted that retail sales were even stronger than total sales, up 24 percent with what it claims was lower incentives spending, while fleet sales were down 2 percent. GM, which acknowledges it has one of the oldest product lineups in the industry, is on the eve of introducing a number of new vehicles for 2013. Many recently launched new models are off to a good start; at least one, not so much. Chevrolet's small cars, Cadillac's new models and freshened large crossovers are making inroads.

Indeed, three major factors contributed to GM's January performance, noted GM's McNeil: continuing release of pent-up demand; great products in key segments; and buzz generated at auto shows. "The Detroit show was truly magical for General Motors with the Corvette (Stingray) clearly the star attraction along with Cadillac ELR, which won the Eyes on Design award, and the Cadillac ATS, which won the North American Car of the Year, an even bigger deal given our global aspirations for the Cadillac brand," said McNeil.

All four GM brands posted gains in January compared with the year earlier: Buick, up 32 percent; Cadillac, up 47 percent; Chevrolet, up 11 percent; and GMC, up 23 percent.

Chevrolet's boost came largely from hefty Silverado sales, up 32 percent to 35,445 units. The Silverado, along with the GMC Sierra, will be replaced in the second quarter. The venerable Equinox crossover gained 26 percent to 17,223 units. The Avalanche, in its last season, had a 20-percent rise, and the freshened Traverse had a 2-percent hike. Large utility sales were down; those will be replaced following the trucks. The Chevy car side was a mixed bag. The subcompact segment-sales leader Sonic continued to gain, up 26 percent to 7,177 units, and the tiny Spark kicked in 2,408 sales. Cruz sales dipped 4 percent to 14,524 units. Impala sales were also down as the current model winds down to clear the way for the new one this year. The brand-new Malibu was up 8 percent, however, with heavy incentives. Clearly, the Corvette got a boost from the Detroit show, where the new Stingray, was unveiled as its sales rose 44 percent from a year ago.

Buick sales were buoyed by the compact Verano, which had sales of 3,660 units, a 360-percent hike from a year ago when it was just being launched. Sales of the refreshed Enclave soared 57 percent to 4,895 units. The Regal gets a much-needed revamp this year as its sales were off 46 percent in January to only 1,005 units. LaCrosse sales fell 12 percent to 3,548 units.

Cadillac underwent a transformation in 2012 by dropping old models and launching new ones, and it is paying dividends. Sales of the award-winning ATS hit 2,781 units. The new XTS, the upper end bookend to the ATS, pitched in 1,900 sales. Volume-leader SRX had sales rise 5 percent to 4,380 units. CTS sales were down 17 percent to 2,505 as it awaits renewal this year.

GMC's strength came from Sierra, with sales up 35 percent to 12,846 units. The freshened Acadia saw a 7-percent boost to 5,188 units. Terrain sales were up 51 percent to 8,550 vehicles.

GM posted sales of 194,699 vehicles, up 16 percent from a year ago, in line with Edmunds.com's forecast. GM noted that retail sales were even stronger than total sales, up 24 percent with what it claims was lower incentives spending, while fleet sales were down 2 percent. GM, which acknowledges it has one of the oldest product lineups in the industry, is on the eve of introducing a number of new vehicles for 2013. Many recently launched new models are off to a good start; at least one, not so much. Chevrolet's small cars, Cadillac's new models and freshened large crossovers are making inroads.

GMC's strength came from Sierra, with sales up 35 percent to 12,846 units. The freshened Acadia saw a 7-percent boost to 5,188 units. Terrain sales were up 51 percent to 8,550 vehicles.

Ford Fusion

FORD: Ford Motor Co. posted January sales of 166,501 vehicles, a 22-percent increase compared with January 2012. Ford's performance was slightly better than the 164,317 vehicles and 20-percent gain that Edmunds.com had forecasted. Sales climbed by double digits for each of Ford's three primary vehicle categories, and the Ford Fusion midsize car and Ford Escape compact crossover set January sales records. It was Ford's best January since 2006 and company sales executives said they expect 2013 to proceed under the template set in January, citing the nation's aging vehicle fleet — now averaging 11 years old — as the primary driver for the coming year.

Led by the Fusion's enormous 64-percent jump to 22,399 units sold, Ford's car sales in January increased a robust 39 percent compared with last year. The Focus compact car was up 12.2 percent to 16,161 sales and the Fiesta subcompact found 4,285 buyers, a 22-percent gain. The Taurus also posted a healthy jump of 43 percent to 4,934 sales, while the all-new C-Max hatchback chipped in 2,725 sales. Ford's only car line to give up sales was the Mustang, which was off just more than 3 percent to 3,608 units.

Apart from a small gain for the supersized Expedition, all of Ford's utility vehicles posted double-digit sales increases in January, with the Escape easily emerging as the brand's volume leader at 19,939 sales, a 16-percent hike. The Explorer midsize crossover marked a massive 46-percent gain compared with last January, moving 14,554 units. The Edge two-row midsize crossover gained 15.6 percent on 9,614 sales and even the low-volume Flex gained, its 1,615 sales marking a 10-percent increase.

The F-Series full-size pickup enjoyed a 21.7-percent sales gain in January to 46,841 deliveries, as the pickup segment continues to gain steam with the expanding housing sector. Ford officials also said the F-150 line is the beneficiary of the discontinuance of the Ranger midsize pickup, claiming about 40 percent to 50 percent of former Ranger buyers make the shift to the larger F-Series.

The Lincoln luxury-car division cast the only shadow on a strong January for Ford. Lincoln sales were off 18 percent to a total of 4,191 units as the company's sales chief Ken Czubay said dealers were beginning to receive stocks of the all-new 2013 MKZ midsize sedan, a critical product for Lincoln as it begins a major initiative to reinvent and reconstitute the brand. Ford said extra quality checks had been instituted for MKZ production, somewhat slowing delivery to dealers, perhaps somewhat explaining the MKZ's plunge of 73 percent in January to just 453 sales.

Such a precipitate drop for its volume seller left Lincoln unable to recover into positive territory in January, despite a 10.8-percent gain for the MKX midsize crossover (to 1,829 sales), a 47-percent jump for the MKT to 411 units and a 22.7-percent gain for the MKS flagship sedan, which sold 909 units for the month.

Expenses

TOYOTA: Toyota Motor Sales USA Inc. sold 157,725 vehicles in January, a 26.6-percent improvement compared with January, 2012. The month was paced by a monstrous performance from the Camry family sedan, a best-ever January volume for the Prius lineup and a big gain from the all-new Avalon full-size sedan, as well as a 32-percent increase from the Lexus premium-vehicle unit. Toyota sold a scorching 31,897 examples of the Camry in January, a 12.7-percent hike compared with last year and enough to make it the market's best-selling midsize sedan by a comfortable margin. Sales for the Corolla compact car were up 32 percent to 23,822 and the Prius nameplate — now expanded to a three-vehicle line — was up by 36.5 percent to 15,722 sales. The redesigned Avalon, another new-generation model to reinvigorate the full-size sedan segment, bolted out to a 50-percent gain over last January on a solid 4,840 sales.

Thanks to new volume from the FR-S sports coupe, Toyota's Scion small-car division improved sales by 28.4 percent in January and with 1,443 deliveries, the FR-S was the brand's best-selling model.

Every truck and crossover model in the Toyota lineup improved sales by double digits in January. Led by the recently redesigned 2013 model, the RAV4 compact crossover was Toyota's truck-sales leader with 11,610 sales, an 18-percent jump. The 4Runner SUV was up 54 percent to 4,485 sales in January and the Highlander midsize crossover sold 8,831 units for a 29-percent hike.

For Toyota's Lexus upscale unit, sales were up a hefty 32 percent to 16,211. The newly redesigned GS midsize sedan bolted to a 1,081-percent gain on 1,099 sales and the ES midsize sedan posted a triple-digit increase of 115 percent on the strength of 5,186 sales, while the LS flagship was up 88 percent to 1,077 sales.

The RX crossover's longstanding status as the Lexus' volume leader was challenged in January by the solid performance of the ES sedan, but the RX's 5,394 sales narrowly prevailed. The LX full-size SUV was up 15 percent to 332 sales but the GX was off 16.5 percent to 733 units.

Jeep Compass

CHRYSLER: Chrysler posted its best January since 2008 with sales of 117,731 vehicles, up 16 percent from January 2012. While it was a strong performance, it was under what Edmunds.com's prediction of 121,366 vehicles for a 20-percent increase. Chrysler has been upping incentives, particularly on older models and minivans. Edmunds.com estimates Chrysler's incentives averaged $3,117 per vehicle, up from $2,756 per vehicle in December 2012 and $2,447 per vehicle January 2012.

Still heavily dependent on truck sales, Chrysler Group sold 74,354 vehicles classified as trucks, up 3 percent. Yet Chrysler car sales showed a hefty hike of 50 percent to 43,377 units. Three of Chrysler Group brands posted year-over-year sales increases.

Volume-leading Dodge had the largest sales increase of any Chrysler Group brand with sales totaling 43,227 vehicles, up 37 percent, for its best January since 2008 and the largest increase of any Chrysler Group brand. Sales of the small Dodge Dart were the highest in any month since it was launched last June 7,154 units. That was up 17 percent from December. Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne says Dart sales will improve when all transmission choices are available. The Dodge Journey crossover set an all-time sales record with sales up 94 percent to 8,170 vehicles. Durango sales rose 12 percent; Caravan minivan sales fell 39 percent. Avenger, up 69 percent, and Challenger, up 37 percent, set new monthly sales records. Charger sales rose 16 percent.

Chrysler brand sales totaled 29,696 vehicles, up 18 percent for its best January sales since 2008. Midsize 200 sales were up 26 percent at 8,846 vehicles, a new January record. Full-size sedan sales were up 7 percent at 5,325 vehicles, also that model's best January since 2008. Chrysler Town & Country sales came in at 6,525 vehicles, up 16 percent.

The Jeep Liberty replacement, to be unveiled at the New York Auto Show next month, can't hit the market soon enough. The wind down of the old Liberty hurt Jeep sales, which have led Chrysler's revival. Jeep sales dipped 4 percent in January. The freshened Compass saw a sales surge that bodes well for a revamped Liberty replacement. Compass sales rose 33 percent for its best January since 2007. Wrangler sales were the best for any January since 2007. The Grand Cherokee, which is revamped as a 2014 model this year as shown at the Detroit auto show and adds a diesel engine option, had its best January since 2007.

Ram sales rose 14 percent on the strength of the new Ram 1500, voted North American Truck of the Year in January. Sales totaled 20,474 units. Cargo van sales rose 26 percent, as Ram prepares to introduce new Fiat-based cargo van models this month at the Chicago auto show.

Fiat sold 2,503 cars, up 31 percent from a year ago for its best January yet.

Expenses

HONDA: American Honda boosted January, 2013 sales by 13 percent compared to last year, with the month's sales totaling 93,626. The company's January improvement was driven by a large gain for the new-generation Accord midsize sedan, as several other models, including the high-volume Civic, were off. The Accord broke out to 23,924 sales in January, a 75-percent leap and more than 10,000 units better than January, 2012. The Civic compact car was flat at 21,881 sales, a number any maker would gladly accept, but the Fit subcompact slid by 18 percent to 3,156 as fresher rivals begin to consistently outpace Honda's smallest four-door car. The Insight hybrid dropped by a heavy 25 percent to 319 sales and was outpaced by the CR-Z hybrid coupe, where 358 sales amounted to a small decrease compared with last January.

Honda's crossovers were mixed for the month, with the Pilot midsizer improving by 16 percent to 7,405 sales. But the best-selling CR-V compact slid by 6 percent to 17,809 units. The Accord-based Crosstour enjoyed a comparative resurgence thanks to improvements gleaned from the Accord and improved to 1,273 sales, a 38-percent hike.

On a relative basis, January was a rare month in which Honda's Acura upscale division outperformed the mainstream sales channel: Acura sales were up 13.2 percent for the month, compared with 12.7 percent for Honda.

Acura's gains were led by the continuing strength of the redesigned RDX compact crossover; in January, sales leaped 182 percent to 2,489 units, although some of the gain may have come at the expense of the larger MDX, which dropped 10 percent and barely stayed ahead of the RDX with 2,575 sales.

On the car side of the showroom, Acura's newish ILX compact car shouldered ahead to become the brand's best-seller, finding 1,558 buyers in January. Declines of 34 percent for the TL midsize sedan (1,497 sales) and 41 percent for the TSX (1,326 sales) enabled the ILX to take over as Acura's volume leader.

Expenses

NISSAN: Nissan North America, including the Nissan and Infiniti brands, posted sales of 80,919 vehicles, up a scant 2 percent. Nissan brand sales totaled 73,793 units, up 2 percent from a year ago for its best January ever. Infiniti sales rose 5 percent to 7,126 vehicles.

Nissan sales were paced by the all-new Pathfinder SUV, which went on sale in November and had January sales up 202 percent to 6,281 vehicles. The all-new Sentra saw a 27-percent sales increase to 8,979 vehicles. The Versa had its best January ever with sales up 9 percent to 10,270 units. The new Altima isn't faring as well. Introduced in June, the Altima saw sales dip 4 percent to 21,464 units. Maxima sales fell 25 percent. On the truck and utility side, Frontier sales fell 31 percent and Titan sales rose 7 percent to 1,394 units, in a month that was very strong for full-size pickup trucks.

Nissan had signaled before sales reporting day that sales of its all-electric Leaf would be down as the upgraded 2013 version goes into production later in the month. Leaf sales totaled 650 units, down 4 percent.

Infiniti's rise came on the strength of its crossovers and SUVs. Infiniti QX sales rose 15 percent to 1,168 units. The seven-passenger JX, which launched in 2012, pitched in 1,970 units of sales.

HYUNDAI: Hyundai Motor America set an all-time January sales record to start 2013, moving 43,713 units for the month. The result was a 2-percent gain compared with last January, trailing the broad industry's January gain as Hyundai now finds it difficult to post large relative month-over-month gains measured against its meteoric sales increases of the past two years.

"Despite some lingering economic concerns, January turned out to be a solid first month for us," said Dave Zuchowski , HMA's executive vice president for national sales. This even though Hyundai's best-seller, the Sonata midsize sedan, was off 9 percent on 13,247 sales and the models bookending Hyundai's range, the Accent subcompact and Equus flagship, also were down by a respective 20 percent and 13 percent.

But January sales for the expanded Elantra compact-car lineup were up 12 percent to 13,247, and sales of the new-generation Azera full-size car exploded to a 4,427-percent gain on 787 sales. The Santa Fe midsize crossover posted a healthy 24-percent increase to 5,991 sales, the Tucson compact crossover was up 12 percent to 3,493 sales, and modest gains were posted for the Veloster coupe and Genesis sedan/coupe lineup.

KIA: It was a record January for Kia Motors America, as the brand started the first month of 2013 with 36,302 sales, a 2-percent increase compared with January, 2012.

The majority of Kia's gain in January was borne by the Optima midsize sedan, which rode a 28-percent sales hike to 11,252 sales. The Sorento midsize crossover also was up 9 percent compared with last January, its 8,005 sales making it Kia's second-place seller in terms of volume.

But the rest of Kia's lineup was down (mostly slightly) for the month, demonstrating the difficulty of maintaining the torrid sales pace the brand has enjoyed for more than two years. The most notable January declines came for the phasing-out Sedona minivan (off 75 percent to just 363 sales) and the Soul compact hatchback, which posted a rare decline, dropping 9 percent to 7,381 sales for the month.

VOLKSWAGEN: Volkswagen had its best January since 1974, selling 29,018 vehicles for a 7-percent increase from a year ago. "We have been predicting more moderate growth, and we saw that develop in January," said Volkswagen of America President and CEO Jonathan Browning, of the brand's single-digit versus double-digit sales increase in January. Still, he noted, Volkswagen sales are up 127 percent from January 2009.

The Tennessee-built Passat had its best-ever January with 8,856 sold, up 40 percent. The Golf had its best January since 2000 with 1,532 sold, up 25 percent. The volume-leading Jetta, which recently added the Turbo Hybrid version, had sales of 9,089 cars, down 4 percent. Beetle sales rose 59 percent to 2,232 cars. Touareg sales rose 16 percent to 962 units; Tiguan sales dropped 8 percent to 2,114 units. Sales or the Routan minivan, CC and Eos were off by double digits. Diesels accounted for 19 percent of all Volkswagen sales in January.

SUBARU: Subaru of America is off to another strong start, after setting sales records for the past four years and exceeding 300,000 annual sales for the first time ever in 2012. The Japanese automaker sold 27,663 vehicles in January, up 21 percent from a year ago.

"We are excited to see strong sales across our entire model line," said Thomas J. Doll , executive vice president and COO, Subaru of America, Inc. America. "It is a positive start for the year and we expect strong demand for the all-new 2014 Forester when it arrives in showrooms this spring."

Standouts were the Forester with sales up 28 percent to 6,565 units, Outback up 17 percent to 8,632 units, Legacy up 2 percent to 3,184 vehicles and Impreza WRX up 84 percent to 1,306 cars. Impreza sales dropped 26 percent to 4,590 cars. Tribeca sales slumped 30 percent to 463 vehicles. The BRZ sports car kicked in 463 units of sales; the new XV Crosstrek added 2,764 new sales.

MERCEDES-BENZ: After losing its one-year reign as U.S. luxury car sales king in 2012 to rival BMW, Mercedes-Benz USA, which includes Mercedes-Benz, Smart cars and sprinter vans, set a new sales record in January, selling 24,059 vehicles, up 11 percent from a year ago. The Mercedes-Benz brand had a record January with sales up 11 percent to 22,501 vehicles.

"We've set another record this January and are breaking into 2013 at a strong sales pace," said Steve Cannon , president & CEO of MBUSA. "It's a historic time for the brand with product milestones that will drive our momentum. Our new CLA, the star of our Super Bowl ad this weekend, will reset the entry point. Stay tuned as product innovations continue throughout the year with the introductions of our completely redesigned E-Class and new generation of our flagship S-Class."

Mercedes saw strong performances from some of its high-volume models; C-Class sales rose 11 percent to 72,14 cars and E-Class saw a 34-percent hike to 5,469. Other gains were made by the S-Class (up 20 percent), SL-Class (up 290 percent to 390 units) and G-Class (up 85 percent to 176 units)

Smart sales were down 3 percent to a scant 481 cars. Sprinter cargo van sales rose 17 percent to 1,077 vehicles. Mercedes' other volume model, the M-Class, saw 27-percent lower sales to 2,928 vehicles. CLS- and CL-Class sales dropped as did SLS AMG sales.

MAZDA: Mazda North American Operations reported U.S. sales of 21,319 vehicles in January, down 11 percent from a year ago.

Mazda2 sales were down 49 percent to 1,543 cars. Mazda3 sales dropped 12 percent to 8,074 cars but it still was the car's second-best January since its 2003 launch. Mazda 6 sales fell 56 percent to 2,147 cars as the all-new 2014 Mazda 6 just began sales in January with 666 of the new model sold. It is Mazda's second model to launch with fuel-efficient Skyactive technology, and Mazda said demand is outstripping supply for the 2.5-liter Skyactive-G engine.

On the plus side, Mazda CX-5 achieved its second-best month ever with 5,244 vehicles sold. Mazda5 recorded its best January sales ever with an increase of 61 to 1,880 vehicles sold. CX-9 had its best January with a 1-percent increase to 2,116 vehicles sold. Miata sales rose 4 percent to 315 cars.

BMW: BMW reported January sales of BMW and Mini brand vehicles of 20,195 vehicles, up 2 percent from a year ago. "After an historic December, January produced a good result showing our growth continuing," said BMW of North America President and CEO Ludwig Willisch. "In 2013, we'll have more new models, the right mix and better availability, so I'm very positive about the eleven months still ahead."

BMW sales were about even with a year ago at 16,513 vehicles; Mini sales set a best-ever January record, rising 10 percent to 3,682 vehicles. Best-performing BMW models in terms of positive comparisons from a year ago were BMW's crossover vehicles — X3 (up19 percent), X5 (up 57 percent as BMW's second bestseller behind 3 Series) and X6 (up 35 percent) — and smaller-volume models, Z4 up 46 percent but to only 152 units. The 3 Series took a 28-percent hit to 4,831 units in January, 1 Series was down 28 percent, 5 Series was off 20 percent and 7 Series was down 40 percent. The new X1 kicked in 1,165 sales.

AUDI: Audi reported January sales of 10,056 vehicles, up 8 percent and a new January record. "January served as the perfect catalyst for 2013," said Mark Del Rosso, Audi of America's executive vice president and chief operating officer. "As we continue to increase the footprint of our brand, we will also continue to deliver more record-breaking numbers throughout this year."

Only three of Audi's 10 product lines reported sales declines, and those were for small-volume models: A3, down 61 percent to 231 vehicles; R8, down 38 percent to 49 vehicles; and TT, down 30 percent to 127 vehicles. Volume leading A4/AllRoad had sales up 3 percent to 2,755 cars and Q5 SUV was up 18 percent to 2,344 vehicles.

Audi noted that sales of its premium category vehicles (A8, A7, A6 and Q7) increased 13 percent to represent a third of its total sales, top luxury models accounted for 19 percent of the mix. A5 and A8 post sales increases of more than 20 percent each. Diesel sales accounted for 38.9 percent of A3 models and 21.5 percent for Q7 sales.

JAGUAR LAND ROVER: Jaguar Land Rover North America reported January sales of 5,229 vehicles, up 25 percent from a year ago. Land Rover sales, the best retail sales month ever, totaled 4,200 units, up 31 percent. Jaguar sales rose 4 percent to 1,029 cars.

"Jaguar Land Rover had a very strong start to the new year with sales increase of 25 percent on the strength both brands," said Andy Goss, President, JLRNA. "We are especially pleased that Land Rover achieved its best January U.S. sales performance ever on the strength of the world's first all-aluminum SUV, the 2013 Range Rover Sales. Gains at Jaguar were led by the beginning retail availability of Jaguar sedans with new powertrains and all-wheel drive."

MITSUBISHI: Mitsubishi posted January sales of 4,659 vehicles, down 1 percent form a year ago. Showing gains were: Lancer, up 143 percent to 1,959 units; Outlander Sport, up 21 percent to 1,350 vehicles; and Lancer Evo, up 9 percent to 180 units. The all-electric Mitsubishi I had sales of 257 units, up from 36 a year ago when it launched. Eclipse sale fell.

PORSCHE: After a record-setting sales year in the U.S., Porsche Cars North America set a January record for sales of 3,358 vehicles, up 32 percent from a year ago. "After our best year ever, January's sales record bodes well for 2013," said Detlev von Platen, President and CEO, Porsche Cars North America. "Not only did we deliver our first new 911 Carrera 4 models in January, but we will also launch the new Cayman and Cayenne Turbo S this spring. We'll continue with a robust product rollout during the rest of the year."

The Cayenne SUV and 911 models contributed to the record January. Cayenne sales rose 51 percent to 1,500 units; 911 climbed 28 percent to 877 units. The Boxster/Cayman line had a 127-percent surge to 393 units. Sales of the Panamera dropped 16 percent to 588 units.

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