April car sales: Which brands fared best?

May 2, 2014 12:00 AM

Spring is a cheerful time of year for motorists - as well as car manufacturers. The warmer weather inspires many consumers to invest in a new car, get that auto repair they've been needing or just get a tune up so that they're prepared to enjoy the pleasant driving weather. As people across the U.S. emerge from winter hibernation, many auto brands have been reaping the benefits of their inclination to shop for new vehicles.

"Along with the improved weather, positive financial news as companies report earnings, a recovering housing market and the Dow in positive territory, have all conspired to give shoppers the confidence to return to the market," explained Ron Stettner, vice president of sales for Mazda North American Operations.

So which companies shone sales-wise in April?

As expected, Maserati performed extremely well last month. According to Autoblog, the Italian luxury brand saw a whopping 373 percent sales increase in April. That puts this automaker at the top of the list.

It should come as no surprise that jeep landed in the No. 3 slot in Autoblog's April sales report. The brand experienced a 52 percent improvement last month from one year prior, primarily due to its ever-popular Cherokee model.

A less obvious brand that had a successful April is Smart. Autoblog explained that while the up-and-coming German brand is relatively small, its 57 percent increase in sales between April 2013 and April 2014 is rather impressive. Remarkably, Smart snagged second place in sales.

In fourth place on Autoblog's list was Mitsubishi, with a 47 percent increase in sales this April over the same month last year.

One brand that set its own personal record is Mercedez-Benz USA, which sold 29,329 units last month alone - a 12.1 percent increase from the number of cars sold in the same month last year. That marks the best-ever April sales for the company. The C-, E- and M-Class model lines got the most attention. Cars in the E-Class sold the most units: 6,056, which is an increase of more than 36 percent from April 2013. Still, the C-Class did well, pushing 5,114 units, followed by the M-Class with 3,831 units. Interestingly, the smart model and Sprinter lines experienced double-digit growth last month as well.

Kia Motors is another automaker that had an exciting month. Not only did the company celebrate its 20th anniversary and sell its 5 millionth vehicle, but it also set record sales. An impressive 53,676 Kia vehicles were bought this April, which is 12.9 percent more than the same month last year. The Soul urban passenger vehicle set an all-time sales record for any month, pushing 14,404 units. However, the automaker's options were led by the Optima midsize sedan, of which 14,589 units were purchased.

With a 22 percent increase in sales between April 2013 and April 2014, it goes without saying that Subaru had a strong month as well. In fact, the company achieved its best April sales ever. The brand now boasts 29 consecutive months of year-over-year growth, and if it can keep this up, Subaru will have set its sixth annual sales record in a row.

It shouldn't come as a shock that Toyota saw major momentum in April. Still, it's worth noting that the brand reported double-digit gains, selling 199,660 units - which marks an 11.7 percent increase from the same month in 2013. Naturally, trucks were a highlight for the company, with sales in that division up nearly 16 percent. The Camry and the all-new Corolla were also both up 20 percent, selling 38,000 units and 30,000 units, respectively.

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