Sales

As dealerships reopen, these cars are the greatest post-coronavirus sales success stories

The Subaru Forester had a relatively good sales month in May.

Photo courtesy of Subaru of America Inc.

Though many auto dealerships did not totally stop operations during the COVID-19 outbreak, sales slumped across the country and buying a new vehicle was put on the back burner due to economic uncertainty, health, and lack of shopping opportunity. Automakers worked with dealerships and regulators to make the purchase process easier using digital document signing, pick-up and drop-off service, and initiating cleanliness guidelines for dealers.

As the world starts to open up, so too have dealerships. Americans are not shying away form purchasing and automakers are staring down supply chain issues as demand picks back up.

Some auto companies and dealers have been better at addressing the struggle during this time, turning shoppers into buyers and moving those buyers toward on-hand inventory. Though most model sales were down for May 2020 versus May 2019, a vehicles did better than expected, putting up strong numbers compared to the sales results of the first quarter of 2020. Scroll down to see the winners.

Hyundai Veloster

Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor America

It's pretty cut and dry. Hyundai sold more Velosters in May than it did in any other month in 2020 so far.

Honda Passport

Photo courtesy of American Honda Motor Mfg. Inc.

It's simple. Honda sold more Passports in May than it did in any other month in 2020 so far. Before you think that it's because Pilot and CR-V models weren't in stock, consider that those SUVs also had great months.

Acura MDX

Photo courtesy of American Honda Motor Co., Inc

Sales of the Acura MDX were higher in May than they were in January, March, and April of this year. That's good news for the model, which is about to be completely redesigned.

Kia Seltos

Photo courtesy of Kia Motors

Sales of the Kia Seltos were just starting when the pandemic hit. The automaker sold the most Seltos models ever in May 2020, almost doubling what they sold in April.

Hyundai Tucson

Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor America

Hyundai sold nearly double the amount of Tucsons in May as they did any other vehicle. The SUV had its best month of the year (no other month came within 5,000 units).

Honda CR-V

Photo courtesy of American Honda Motor Co., Inc.

Honda sold more CR-Vs in the month of May than they did in any other month in 2020 so far. That's about 2.5 times more than the number of SUVs they sold in April and nearly 1.75 times as many as were sold in March. Of note, Honda introduced the CR-V Hybrid to the market during the pandemic, perhaps helping to boost those sales.

Subaru Forester

Photo courtesy of Subaru of America Inc.

Though down considerably year-to-date, sales of the Subaru Forester strengthened in May 2020, outselling May 2019 by over 11 percent. Its May sales were the highest of the year so far.

Genesis G70

Photo courtesy of Genesis Motors

The luxury arm of Hyundai has bounced back nicely after slow sales in March and April. However, it's G70 is the real stand out with May 2020 being its best sales month of the year.

Kia Soul

Photo courtesy of Kia Motors

Kia sold more Souls in May than it did during any other month in 2020. In fact, there were about 1.65 times more Souls sold in May than there were in April.

Hyundai Palisade

Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor America

Though Kia Telluride sales have languished due to supply chain issues, its sister model, the Hyundai Palisade, has seen sales flourish. In May, the company sold more Palisades than they had in any month in 2020 so far.

Mazda Mazda3

Photo courtesy of Mazda North American Operations

Mazda sold nearly double the number of Mazda3s during May than they did in April and about 45 percent more than they did in March. This makes the Mazda3 the company's best-selling car.

Honda Pilot

Photo courtesy of American Honda Motor Co., Inc

Honda doubled the number of Pilots it sold in both March and April in May. The over 12,000 sold is, by far, the highest number sold per month in 2020.

Subaru WRX/STI

Photo courtesy of Subaru of America, Inc.

The aging car, which is one of the remaining few that comes with a manual transmission offering, celebrated its best month of sales so far this year. Sales of the Subaru WRX/STI were up nearly seven percent in May 2020 compared to May 2019.

Hyundai Santa Fe

Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor America

Like the Tucson, Hyundai has seen the Santa Fe achieve the highest total number of sales in May as it has in any month of 2020. The numbers are nearly double the amount of vehicles sold in April.

Kia Stinger

Photo courtesy of Kia Motors

Kia Stinger sales have not been stellar, but in May they picked up a lot of momentum nearly doubling the number the company sold in March.

Honda Accord

Photo courtesy of American Honda Motor Co., Inc

The Honda Accord faces stiff competition from the Toyota Camry it also faced the economic downturn by losing about half of its average monthly sales. With dealerships back open, the Accord had its second-best sales month of the year in May.

Kia Sorento

Photo courtesy of Kia Motors

Kia sold more Sorentos in May than they did in January, March, and April. The SUV nearly outsold the Sportage and Kia sold about 2.5 times as many Sorentos as they did Telluride. The Sorento is getting a complete redesign for the 2021 model year.

Honda Civic

Photo courtesy of American Honda Motor Co., Inc

As well as the Accord did, the Civic did better, having its best sales month of 2020 so far in May - and it wasn't even close.

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Nuts & Bolts

 
 

The Lotus Evija is the most powerful series production road car ever built.

Photo courtesy of Lotus Cars

The Lotus Evija is Britain's first all-electric hypercar. Its powertrain delivers a minimum of 986 horsepower and 560 pound-feet of torque, with its upper limits reaching near 1,973 horsepower, making it the most powerful series production road car ever built.

The British automaker is showing off the prowess of the Evija for the first time on the track. A new video (vailable below) showcases the model at the 2.2-mile track at Hethel, Lotus's headquarters.

Piloting the Evija is Gavan Kershaw, Director of Vehicle Attributes for Lotus. In the video, he provides extensive new commentary on key elements of the Evija project as on-board cameras reveal the capabilities of the car.

Gavan Kershaw, Director of Vehicle Attributes for Lotus Gavan Kershaw, Director of Vehicle Attributes for Lotus, pilots the car in the video.Photo courtesy of Lotus Cars

In the film, Kershaw takes the audience through the development journey of the Evija from the earliest discussions amongst Lotus staff to today.

The model features five drive modes, each designed to enhance a different part of the Evija driving experience. Range mode is limited to 986 horsepower and 590 pound-feet of torque, switching the Evija from four-wheel drive to all-wheel drive, in an effort to save power.

The City driving mode adds power Control, compared to the Range mode, by increasing regenerative braking ability, which is optimal for urban environments.

In Tour mode, the drive system is switchable to four- or rear-wheel drive. This drive mode delivers 1,381 horsepower and activates torque vectoring technology.

The car's Sport and Track mode deliver the most power and performance. Sport mode ups the power to 1,677 horsepower and 1,254 pound-feet of torque, and increases traction levels. Using Track mode, power is boosted to 1,973 horsepower. The car's Drag Reduction System is available on request to deliver the highest level of torque vectoring technology available. In this mode, the chassis setting is automatically switched to Track.

Lotus has given the Evija a top track speed of 200 mph.

Lotus Evija development prototype on test at Hethel www.youtube.com

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Southern California is one of the hotspots for pollution in the U.S.

Photo by Getty Images

California is the country's largest new vehicle sales market. It's also in the crosshairs of climate change activists fighting to change decades of regulations in an effort to improve the livelihoods of the state's residents while also benefitting the plants and animals that live in the state.

Governor Gavin Newson today issued an executive order requiring sales of all new passenger vehicles to be zero-emission by 2035. This means that the sales of gasoline- and diesel-powered vehicles will be banned in favor of battery electric (BEV) and hydrogen fuel cell (FCEV) vehicles.

That goal is poised to eliminate 35 percent of the greenhouse gas emissions and 80 percent of the oxides of nitrogen emissions from cars statewide, according to the State.

Data from the State shows that the transportation sector is responsible for more than half of all California's carbon pollution. Eighty percent of the that is from smog-forming pollution while 95 percent is from diesel emissions. The transportation sector includes passenger vehicles as well as shipping and other forms of mobility.

"This is the most impactful step our state can take to fight climate change," said Governor Newsom. "For too many decades, we have allowed cars to pollute the air that our children and families breathe. Californians shouldn't have to worry if our cars are giving our kids asthma. Our cars shouldn't make wildfires worse – and create more days filled with smoky air. Cars shouldn't melt glaciers or raise sea levels threatening our cherished beaches and coastlines."

The next steps include the California Air Resources Board developing regulations to mandate that 100 percent of in-state sales of new passenger cars and trucks are zero-emission by 2035. Additionally, medium- and heavy-duty vehicles are mandated to be 100 percent zero emission by 2045 where feasible, with the mandate going into effect by 2035 for drayage trucks.

The move to all-BEV and FCEV vehicles won't eliminate the pollutants spewed by vehicles purchased prior to 2035 or the purchase of used vehicles.

This isn’t the first time California has attempted to regulate electrified vehicles into popularity. Despite the state’s efforts, BEVs, FCEVs, and plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEVs) are unpopular among buyers nationwide. Out of the 17 million vehicles sold in the U.S. in 2019, just 330,000 of them were plug-in electric cars (BEVs and PHEVs) with 80 percent of those being Teslas. Only 7,000 FCEVs were sold or leased during the same period.

Additionally, “the executive order directs state agencies to develop strategies for an integrated, statewide rail and transit network, and incorporate safe and accessible infrastructure into projects to support bicycle and pedestrian options, particularly in low-income and disadvantaged communities” according to a release by the Governor’s office.

Earlier this year, the California Air Resources Board has approved new regulations requiring truck manufacturers to transition to electric zero-emission trucks beginning in 2024.

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