May 2013 Sales Winners and Losers: Cadillac, Dodge, Subaru Up, Lincoln, Jeep, and Mitsubishi Down

By Trevor Dorchies | June 04, 2013
For some, May 2013 was a month for the record books. Others are glad to see the fifth month of 2013 slip away. Overall, Detroit enjoyed a solid May with all three major automakers (Ford, Chrysler Group, and General Motors) seeing a bump in sales when compared to the same month last year. Lincoln and Volvo experienced losses though and Jeep also fell behind, making it the second of two brands (the other being the Chrysler nameplate) in Chrysler Group to be in the red last month. In all, five standalone brands suffered losses in May, with every other brand reporting gains. Winners
Cadillac (up 40 percent)

GM's flagship luxury brand had its best month of May since 2007. The SRX crossover took the title for most units moved last month with 3,744 units sold which narrowly beat out the ATS and its 3,249 sales. Even while leading sales volume-wise, the SRX saw sales were down by four percent. Percentage-wise, the Escalade EXT saw a 46 percent rise in sales with 200 units moved. With the exception of the ATS and XTS (which managed to move 2,429 units in its own right), Cadillac is readying a new CTS and Escalade, and both are expected to boost sales figures even higher.

Dodge (up 23 percent)

Like Cadillac, Chrysler Group reported its best month of May since 2007, and the Dodge brand led the way with an upswing in sales to the tune of 24 percent. Last month was also the two year marker for Dodge seeing a consecutive monthly sales growth. Leading the way for Dodge's sales surge last month was the Avenger, with 10,691 units sold, and Challenger, with a 15 percent increase over the same period last year. As to be expected, the Grand Caravan led the way volume-wise for Dodge with 12,974 units sold. The all-new Dart chipped in with 7,448 units sold last month, too.

Ram (up 23 percent)

Chrysler Group's designated truck arm, and the second individual brand from the Pentastar to make the winner's list this month, saw sales climb 23 percent when compared to the same month last year. Obviously, being a truck brand limits the amount of models you can sell, but that hasn't stopped Ram from tying Dodge for Chrysler Group's best-selling brand last month. The all-new Ram 1500 and other heavy-duty trucks managed to find 31,672 new homes and construction sites. The Ram cargo van played its part too, delivering 977 units to new homes last month.

Subaru (up 21 percent)

Subaru is the first non-American based automaker to make this list and they came out swinging. The Japanese-based manufacturer didn't just have the best month in company history, but the best month on record, period. The Outback moved the most units last month with 12,270 finding new homes. The Forester followed close behind with 10,068 units sold. That's good for a 33.5 and 37.5 percent increase over the same month last year, respectively. The BRZ continues to find traction, with 679 units sold in May 2013, an increase of 150.6 percent over the same month last year. In all, Subaru sold 39,892 vehicles in May 2013 on its way to the best month in its history.

Buick (up 16 percent)

GM's other luxury brand rounds out our list of the top five winners for May 2013 sales. Volume-wise, the Enclave spearheaded Buick's sales with 5,310 units sold, but was actually down 20.9 percent when compared to May 2012. The LaCrosse and Verano followed closely behind with 4,804 and 4,158 units sold last month, respectively. To date in 2013, the Enclave has sold the most out of any Buick model with 25,919 units sold, an increase of 14.4 percent. Honorable mention: Porsche (up 31 percent) Porsche earns a spot as honorary mention for the sales winners list with its sales climbing 31 percent. It didn't crack the top five though due to the fact that it only sells a handful of cars, and in small numbers at that. Losers

Lincoln (down 11 percent)

If Lincoln just sold the MKZ, it would be looking at a 42 percent increase in sales over the same time last year. Unfortunately for Ford's luxury brand, it also sells the MKS (down 36 percent), MKX (down 17 percent), and MKT (down 24 percent). The full-size Navigator SUV contributed though with 642 units sold last month, good for a 10 percent increase over May 2012. Because Lincoln doesn't just sell the MKZ, it saw sales dip 11 percent when compared to May 2012.

Mitsubishi (down 8 percent)

Like Lincoln, if Mitsubishi only sold one model, it would be on the other side of the sales fence. The Mitsubishi Outlander Sport is up 79 percent when compared to the same month last year. Unfortunately, combine dealing with ghosts of defunct models along with sagging sales of current models, and you have a recipe for poor sales.

Jeep (down 6 percent)

All but one Jeep model (Liberty) saw sales climb last month but unfortunately for the off-road centric brand, total sales were six percent off the pace. Jeep managed to move 197,028 units in May 2012 but a year later, it only moved 184,796 units. In the no-surprise-here department, the Wrangler and Grand Cherokee were the volume movers for Jeep with 16,272 and 16,034 units sold, respectively.

Volvo (down 6 percent)

It's a common theme in this month's loser list. If each automaker sold only one model, it would be in the black, sales-wise anyway. Volvo is no different; as the S60 saw sales climb 1.3 percent. That couldn't save the Swedish automaker though as the rest of its portfolio faltered. As May 2013 came to a close, Volvo was looking at a six percent drop in sales over the same month last year.

Chrysler (down 3 percent)

What can you expect from a nameplate that sells three vehicles; one that's cleaning up in Dodge guise (Grand Caravan), another that's about to be rebooted (200), and a third one that's the pillar of the brand currently (300). However, Chrysler's May 2013 go against common sense as the 200 managed to find 13,278 new homes, which was third best across Chrysler Group, following Ram trucks, and the Jeep Wrangler. The Town & Country also had a solid May with 10,781 units sold while the "pillar" 300 model actually saw sales drop off by 18 percent. In all, Chrysler saw sales dip three percent last month. Sources: Cadillac, Dodge, Ram, Subaru, Buick, Porsche, Lincoln, Mitsubishi, Jeep, Volvo, Chrysler