Most automakers experienced soft sales in April. General Motors' deliveries dropped an estimated 2.6 percent, and Ford Motor Co.'s sales fell 4.7 percent, according to the Automotive News Data Center. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles U.S., which had been on a tear in 2018, posted a 6.1 percent decline, marking its third straight month of decreasing sales. All FCA US brands fell with the exception of Ram, which was up 25 percent. FCA US announced last week that after midyear, it will no longer report monthly sales, joining Ford and GM in releasing only quarterly results.
Many luxury brands improved in April, including rises of 1.4 percent for BMW, 11 percent for Land Rover, 6.3 percent for Jaguar, 56 percent for Genesis and 0.4 percent for Volvo. Sales dropped 21 percent for Audi, 16 percent for Mercedes-Benz and 9.9 percent for Porsche.
Elsewhere, Toyota Motor North America volume dropped 4.4 percent on lower car sales, while deliveries edged up 0.1 percent at American Honda, 0.7 percent at Hyundai and 1.6 percent at Kia. Nissan Group reported a 9 percent jump and the Volkswagen brand's sales rose 8.7 percent, while Mazda's sales fell 15 percent.
Subaru extended its streak of year-over-year gains to 89 months as it reported a 7.7 percent increase. Acevedo said the company appears to have the right product portfolio at the right time.
In general, however, the crossover craze that companies such as Subaru may benefit from appears to have finally calmed down, Chesbrough said, as the overall new-vehicle market appears to finally be ebbing after several years of extraordinary sales.
"There's just not that many people left out there" that need a new vehicle, he said.
David Phillips contributed to this report.