Four of the top seven automakers outperformed the U.S. light-vehicle market's 4.6 percent sales increase in April by almost exactly the same level while using wildly different fleet strategies.
General Motors, Fiat Chrysler, Nissan North America and Ford Motor sales rose between 5.4 and 5.9 percent in April from the same month last year. But strip out fleet sales and their results weren't particularly close.
Nissan's April fleet volume jumped 35 percent while its retail sales rose 1.3 percent.
FCA US and Ford took the opposite tack. FCA US's retail volume increased 7.4 percent while fleet ticked up just 0.5 percent. Ford Motor's retail gained 7.3 percent while its fleet sales rose just 1.4 percent.
GM's April was more balanced, with retail up 5.3 percent and fleet up 7.6 percent.
Among the other major automakers, Toyota Motor Sales' fleet sales edged up 0.4 percent and retail sales increased 2 percent.
Hyundai-Kia continued its recent emphasis on fleet volume to make up for weak sales at dealerships. Its April fleet sales rose 18 percent while retail fell 2.5 percent.
American Honda's overall sales in April fell 1.8 percent. Honda lets dealers handle all fleet activity. Automotive News estimates its fleet at 2 percent of total volume.