Jeep, Subaru, Rolls-Royce are auto sales winners: Mini, Volkswagen down

Jeep, Subaru, Rolls-Royce are auto sales winners: Mini, Volkswagen down
Sales of Rolls-Royce luxury cars have soared in the U.S. through the first half of this year. (Dan Kitwood / Getty Images)

Jeep, Subaru and Rolls-Royce were among the fastest-growing car brands through the first half of this year while Chrysler, Mini and Volkswagen were struggling.

Automakers have sold 8.2 million vehicles so far this year, a 4% gain over the same period a year ago.


Jeep is leading the charge.

Helped by new models, sales for the sport-utility vehicle brand have soared 45%. It sold 332,802 vehicles during the first half of the year, pushing it past Chrysler and Dodge, the other Chrysler Group-owned brands. Jeep has captured 4.1% of the U.S. auto market, up from 2.9% in the same period a year earlier, according to Autodata Corp.

Meanwhile, the Chrysler line is faltering. Sales are down 14%.

Subaru also is on fire. It sales rose more than 16% to 238,008 vehicles. With 2.9% of the U.S. auto market, it is now bigger than GMC, Volkswagen and Mazda and has Kia in its sights.

Volkswagen, hurt by older models and the lack of a hot-selling crossover, is going in the opposite direction. Sales are off 13%. The British Mini also is having a bad year. Sales are off 25%.

The big surprise this year is Rolls-Royce, the British luxury brand owned by BMW. Sales have jumped 204% to 404 cars. Although the numbers are small, the dollars are big. Depending on the model and options, a Rolls starts around $300,000 and climbs to more than $400,000.

Italian brand Maserati also is making a move in the U.S. Thanks to its new Ghibli sedan, sales are up 329% to 5,441.

When it comes to electric cars, Chevrolet's Volt isn't charging ahead. Sales of the plug-in hybrid have fallen nearly 13% from the first half of 2013 to 8,615 vehicles. Tesla sales have grown about 2% to 9,100. The Nissan Leaf is the clear winner in this segment. Sales have jumped 29% to 12,736.

Ford's F-series truck remains the best selling vehicle in America, a perch it has held for decades. Although its sales are down not quite 1%, it still leads the second place Chevrolet Silverado 365,825 to 240,679. The Ram truck is gaining ground on both. It sold almost 204,000 trucks this year, a 20% increase.

The Toyota Camry was the bestselling passenger car through the first half of the year and has a wide lead on second place Honda Accord.

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