Auto sales got off to a strong start in January as car shoppers piled into pickup trucks, SUVs and — less expectedly — small cars. With the largest seven automakers reporting figures, new-car sales are up 14.8 percent. The Detroit Three and Japan’s three largest automakers all registered double-digit gains, while Hyundai-Kia, the lone laggard, gained just 2.2 percent.
Most of the popular nameplates saw renewed popularity: With a new Ford F-150 in growing dealer supply (and landing among January’s fastest-selling cars), the F-Series pickup truck gained 16.8 percent. The Chevrolet Silverado increased 24.8 percent. Compact-car shoppers pushed the Toyota Corolla, goosed by slightly more year-over-year incentives, up 20.2 percent. And the refreshed Honda CR-V — outside of pickup trucks, the best-selling nameplate in December 2014 — remains hot, ballooning 27.3 percent without incentives.