By on September 7, 2011

NB: Chrysler 200 sold 3787 in August 2010, and Kia Optima sold 1714.

Well, it’s that time again TTAC fans: the Midsized wars roll on with Camry retaking the top spot to extend its advantage in YTD sales. Altima continued its consistent year with a second place showing, and improving over its August 2010 number better than any nameplate besides… the Chrysler 200? Yes, Chrysler’s updated Sebring stopgap outsold the freshly-chic Optima on the month, and passed it in YTD sales. Meanwhile, the Hyundai Sonata may still have been 10k off the Camry’s pace, but its August volume was a mere 37 units from tying Mazda6′s YTD volume (through August). All in all though, this wasn’t an incredible month for midsizers, as half of the best-selling nameplates failed to improve on their year-over-year numbers. But what this segment lacks in volume growth it makes up for in drama, as a falling Accord runs the very real risk of being passed by Malibu and Sonata. Camry may be back in control, but the fight for the rest of the podium is as tight as ever.

 

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54 Comments on “Chart Of The Day: Midsized Sedans In August And YTD...”


  • avatar
    APaGttH

    Who’d a thunk that an Eminem riff from the movie 8 Mile would move Chrysler iron. 200 sales are darn impressive; clearly the marketing is working.

    Camry and Prius sales seem to have gone back to pre-tsunami levels and the 2012 Camry is just around the corner. Now the question on the Camry is can Toyota take the cash, subsidized leases, and 0% interest loans to anyone with a pulse off the hood and continue to sell at this volume.

    When is Hyundai going to build more Sonata capacity?

    Honda is clearly losing ground despite growing inventory levels.

    The 2013 Malibu can’t get here fast enough.

    Mazda still doesn’t get any love.

    Suzuki what???

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      It seems for now Hyundai is willing to give up on some sales rather than build another plant, but things can change if the new Santa Fe outdoes the Sorento in sales.

      With Optima production starting at Kia’s Georgia plant, Kia may have problems producing enough Santa Fes for Hyundai.

    • 0 avatar
      Rod Panhard

      I’ve seen about six Chrysler 200s on the road. Five were rentals.

    • 0 avatar
      windswords

      Remember what I said about the 200 in the earlier review being inconsequential in the market? I guess I have to take it back. With sales of 10k+ and adding in the Dodge Avenger it’s platform mate, Mopar moved a total of 17,180 midsize cars, just under the Chevy Malibu and Impala. The Hyundai/Kia pair posted 26,839 units, more than the Nissan Altima.

      Shouldn’t the Impala and Maxima be counted in full size sales with Taurus, Azera, Avalon, etc.?

  • avatar
    majo8

    Is there some sort of “unwritten rule” that all top-selling mid-sized sedans must have names with a length of five to seven letters?

    ( Exceptions include letters or numbers as names “6, 200, CC”)

    • 0 avatar
      aristurtle

      Names that are trochees are supposedly more memorable. (A trochee is two syllables with the emphasis on the first). Of course, the only names up there that match that thesis are “Camry”, “Prius”, and “Fusion”, so I dunno.

      EDIT: If you include the brand names as well you can add on “Honda”, “Nissan”, and “Hyundai”, which takes you right through the top five. Hmm, maybe there is something to this.

  • avatar
    alluster83

    What would be nice to have is a chart that shows sales growth per model compared to last year. This will give us a good perspective as to which ones are trending up and which ones lower.

    With my limited excel skills i could only manage this

    http://www1.picturepush.com/photo/a/6491889/img/6491889.bmp

  • avatar
    colin42

    Why is the kia Optima doing so poor?

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      The only source of Optima production has been in Korea and Optimas are in short supply.

      Kia has delayed the Optima’s European launch twice, Australia is limited to 1K units for the entire year and Korea has a 3-4 month wait list.

      US production of the Optima just started and in a few months once supply builds, we should see Optimas hitting the 10K mark.

  • avatar
    alluster83

    The Camry is a real juggernaut and commands my respect. While its not better in any way compared to the other sedans in the list, the sales gap shows how much market reputation it has. With the new Camry coming out and an unprecedented marketing blitz from Toyota to go along with it, the Camry is going to clean everyone’s clock.

    I want Ford to come up with a balls to the wall marketing counter offensive for the Fusion at about the same time and break the Camry. Ford has deep pockets and is very profitable. They need to do an all out campaign with incentives, lease deals, rebates, financing deals and ad blitz to grab as many would be Camry buyers as humanely possible. The ATP on a Fusion is 3000$ more than the Camry after incentives, so Ford has a lot of room. Profits be dammed for the next 6 months. They can’t let the Camry go unchallenged. Unlike in the past, Ford’s midsizer is very competitive. The Fusion can be the stylish alternative to the Camry.

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      I seriously hope Ford doesn’t do such a thing. It’s far better to sell 200K units with a fat profit on each rather than sell 250K units and not make money on any of them. Let Toyota keep buying the top spot.

      This kind of action is what brought GM and Chrysler to bankruptcy and Ford very near it. First it was 0% for 36 and as soon as that ended the sales ground to a halt. So they upped it to 0% for 48 then 60 then 72 and then it was 0% for 72 plus cash then employee pricing and 05 for 60 then 72 months.

      That kind of “promotion” rarely results in incremental volume over the long run, instead it pulls demand forward and eventually leads to lower resale values.

    • 0 avatar
      jimmyy

      Ford designer #1 says:

      ” Fusion fleet sales are the only thing keeping this dog on the sales chart. What are we going to do? ”

      Ford designer #2 says:

      ” Next year, let’s chrome the hood. “

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      I continue to be amazed at the consistent sales performance of the top four best sellers. With the Camry coming out with the 2012 model now sooner than later, sales of the 2011 models, where still available, have slowed.

      Yet we still see that Camry is the top seller once again this month. Truly amazing, considering the barrage of bad press that Ray LaHood has been aiming at Toyota. I guess it is true that people will buy the worst from Toyota over the best from Ford and GM.

      The Sonata has a seriously excellent product that people actually want to own and the styling beats the old Camry and Altima by miles. This is the bread-and-butter segment of the industry and this is where serious money is made.

      With all the money that Ford and GM have placed on the hood of their offerings, it is puzzling that the Fusion and Malibu lag behind. Those two models really are at bargain basement prices with lots of them available at less than $20K.

      Hopefully, by October the part supply problems plaguing the transplants will have been resolved and we’ll see better sales numbers all around in the coming months.

      Now, if we could only do something to make the economy better and create jobs for those who want them.

      • 0 avatar
        Scoutdude

        It’s the money they are throwing on the hood that has kept the Camry in it’s #1 position thus far.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        Scout, at my brothers’ Toyota dealerships in California they have six 2011 Camry sedans between the two locations and they been trying to move them with up to $3000 off MSRP. All of those are so dolled up that it is hard to move them this late in the game. No one in their right mind is going to pay $30K+ for last year Camry when the new one is just around the corner (at least in California).

        But the Sonata, now there is a different story. They can’t get enough of them in and most hotrodders want the Turbo while the normally aspirated version also sells well, generally to families.

        The Altima is hot stuff because they have a bunch of them and can actually retail them for $19K and still make money without padding the equipment list with wheels, tires, luggage racks, silicone sealant jobs, paint protection shields, etc.

        I think much depends on location, location, location. If they have to discount them in your area, they must not be selling well.

        Overall, Camry remains the best seller again last month. I was surprised. I thought Altima would have taken the cake, and ate it too.

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      Toyota is clearing out the 2011 Camrys for the new model.

      While I expect the new Camry to continue to be the sales leader, the new Malibu and maybe the Altima will be nipping at its heels.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        True, that! But we will have to wait until the new Malibu actually develops its own sales record to see if it is accepted by the public any better than the previous version was. And there is still that enormous quantity of Malibu rentals out there that will eventually be dumped on the used-car market.

        It’s a good thing that C4C artificially created this real-world shortage of used cars. Without it, used fleet vehicles and rentals wouldn’t be worth much.

      • 0 avatar
        Scoutdude

        In my market W.Wa the Camry has had 0% for 60 months pretty steady since it’s introduction last fall. Yes it would run out for a week or two until they brought it back. Recently they added another $1K cash and doubled the grad/military discount on the Camry only. In addition the dealers that run their own advertising have been throwing another 1-2K of their own money on the Camry.

        Now some of that may have been due to my market that is full of tree huggers who have made the Prius the #1 selling car in this area for 09-10, at least according to Toyota’s own advertising.

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      Ford actually doesn’t have nearly the cash on hand as the other large automakers.

      And what cash Ford has (which doesn’t go to R&D) should be going towards paying down its huge debt load.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        Amen! GM should do the same.

      • 0 avatar
        Scoutdude

        Ford doesn’t have as much cash on hand as the other automakers? Where are you coming up with that. Their incentives have been going down while their sales are going up. Yes they are paying down their debt as fast as they can which is a good thing and have been spending lots of money on R&D.

        Honda and Toyota are the ones that hare hurting for cash on hand due to the affects of the tsunami and their lagging sales. Despite that Toyota is buying the Camry that #1 position. There appears to be a lot of pressure on the US operations to not loose any more #1 titles than they already have.

      • 0 avatar
        jj99

        ..

      • 0 avatar
        jj99

        scout, according to cars.com, Toyota has 15,000 new Camry in stock. At the current sales rate, that is 2 weeks of inventory. In 2 weeks, the 2012 Camry goes on sale. To me, looks like a perfect match.

        Ford has 15,000 new Fusions in stock. Since Fusion has a slower sales rate than Camry, I would say Ford has more inventory than Toyota, when the sales rate is considered.

    • 0 avatar
      NulloModo

      The Fusion numbers are a bit down partially due to the increased appeal of the Focus below it. The new Focus is stealing some Fusion sales from buyers that would rather have more options and a smaller car for the same money.

      Hyundai is doing well with lower incentives and discounts, but also lower MSRPs for the equipment compared to everyone else.

      Toyota was the only company to raise incentives relative to average transaction price this month, and Ford is below the industry average for the first time I can recall in a long while. The Fusions that are selling (which is still a lot of them) are selling at a profit, which makes more sense than selling more and making less money.

      I recall an interview with an Apple exec a year or so ago where the question was asked if Apple was worried that Android based phones were overtaking iPhones in marketshare. His response alluded to the fact that even with less of the market the iPhone was by far the most profitable offering in the segment.

      The old mindset of “We lose money on each one we sell, but we’ll make it up in volume” has thankfully finally been exorcised from Detroit it seems (well, at least from Dearborn).

      • 0 avatar
        jj99

        I call all of you out. If you go to autotrader.com, search all new Fusion and Camry in the country, then order by price, you will find that Fusion is being sold cheaper than Camry. Ford is the one who is giving these things away.

        Since Toyota is selling a model that is being replaced in 2 weeks for a higher price than Fusion, it appears Detroit has a real problem.

        This must be one of the reasons the price of Ford stock has been nearly cut in half on Wall Street.

        Furthermore, the recent 2012 Explorer review in Motor Trend casts a serious dark cloud on Ford. Another victory for American engineering which is underfunded in order to pay UAW bills. Certainly, many potential Explorer buyers will be headed over to Toyota or Honda.

      • 0 avatar
        Scoutdude

        Just because Ford has upped the discounts at the end of the model year since they too have new 2012 models on the way soon does not change the fact that the 2011 Camry was heavily discounted since it’s introduction a year ago.

      • 0 avatar
        NulloModo

        JJ –

        I went to Autotrader, selected the 2011 Fusion and 2011 Camry, and sorted by price at any distance. The cheapest car was indeed a Fusion at $17,971, followed by a Camry in the #2 position at $18,173, so, hardly a huge difference. In fact, going down the page the Fusions and Camrys seem pretty evenly priced.

        The Fusion will be all new for 2013, so as Scoutdude points out, we’re seeing somewhat higher discounts as the model year winds down.

        The MotorTrend Explorer article is at one end of the spectrum. Car and Driver’s experience with the car regarding handling, ride, etc, runs polar opposite to Motor Trend’s. You can cherry pick negative opinions about any car on the market if you try, but most of the press about the new Explorer has been very positive (aside from the MyFord Touch system, which is a whole other discussion).

        The fact is that there is nothing subpar about Ford or any other Detroit automaker’s R&D departments or engineering. Ford vehicles offer more technology options than anything coming out of Toyota. The ultra-high strength steel that you were ballyhooing about in the new Camry has been in use by Ford in its passenger cars for years. GM pioneered mass market use of hydroformed steel (to create stronger, lighter, more complex parts) in the Corvette, and it is now used in the frames of the F-150, Silverado, and Ram to create stronger trucks with stiffer frames and greater capabilities. GM pioneered in-vehicle telematics with OnStar, Ford made it an easy to use affordable ‘gotta have it’ feature with Sync, and now Toyota is playing catchup with Entune. Ford independently developed a hybrid drive system at the same time as Toyota (though Toyota did admittedly market it better with the Prius). There is no shortage of engineering excellence in Detroit, and the vehicles are getting better and better while many of the Japanese imports remain stagnant or in Honda’s case slip from their previous positions.

        If you want to call someone out, make sure you actually have the facts on your side the next time.

      • 0 avatar
        Scoutdude

        For some reason I don’t have permission to edit my response. Anyway I did go to AT.com like you asked and found on the first page sorted by lowest price 4 Fusions, 21 Camrys. Second page 5/20. The lowest of them all was a Fusion and if you read it you’ll find that price “may include” all rebates including the 1K owner loyalty and 500 grad/military. It is also at a dealer that I know so I can guarantee that yes those discounts are in that price. Many of the Toyota listings state that there may be additional discounts you may qualify for, IE the 1k grad/military.

        The bigger thing that you’ll notice is the fact that there are almost 16,000 Camrys and only a little more than 2000 Fusions left.

      • 0 avatar
        jj99

        Nice effort. But, if you include the 2012 Fusion ( not just the 2011 ), you will see a lot more Fusions ahead of the cheapest Camry.

      • 0 avatar
        Scoutdude

        Nice try JJ but that doesn’t change the fact that Toyota is sitting on a bunch of 2011s while Ford has almost cleared all of theirs out.

      • 0 avatar
        PintoFan

        Guys, you just don’t get it. The new Camry is the most revolutionary car ever made, because of the high-strength steel in it’s frame and you can connect a cell phone to it. It’s already poaching 3-series customers, it’s not even in competition with whatever rental cars Detroit keeps cranking out. Toyota and Honda will stay on top forever- I swear it’s carved on stone tablets somewhere. You guys don’t know anything because you don’t live on the east coast, which as we all know is the focal point of human civilization.

        I swear, you guys just have no idea how hard it is to be this deep and edgy day after day.

      • 0 avatar
        mikey

        @ PintoFan…..Well done…”jj” couldn’t write that any better himself.

      • 0 avatar
        Loser

        I call jimmyy jj99 out.

        “the recent 2012 Explorer review in Motor Trend casts a serious dark cloud on Ford. Certainly, many potential Explorer buyers will be headed over to Toyota or Honda”.

        You mean the review where Honda came in last to the 2nd place Ford and 1st place Dodge? If a second place finish cast a dark cloud over Ford what kind of cloud is over last place Honda? Using you logic would mean people will bail on Honda and run to Dodge.

      • 0 avatar
        goldtownpe

        Current incentives for Ford Fusion and Toyota Camry are very similar in my area.
        http://www.ford.com/cars/fusion/2011/incentives/?Referer=&PlanType=MSRP&Error=&YearValue=2011&ModelValue=Fusion&SupplierCode=&zip=95833

        http://www.buyatoyota.com/Specials/SpecialOffersDetails.aspx?series=camry

        Fusion: $1000 + $1000 = $2000 Cash Rebate or 0% APR for up to 60 months.

        Camry: 0% APR for up to 60 months + $500 Cash Rebate.

        Confused on how everyone keeps saying Toyota is buying the top spot when Ford offers the same incentives. Heck, even the 2012 Ford Fusion already have incentives on them including 0% APR for 60 months and $500 cash.

    • 0 avatar
      alluster83

      I am not sure if highdesert and jj are just severely misinformed or blatantly spreading wrong information on purpose. Here are the estimated incentives for July.

      Camry $3693
      Accord $2330
      Altima $2313
      Fusion $2112
      Malibu $4341
      Sonata $793

      Mark my words on one thing for August, the Camry incentives are up from July and the Fusion’s down. How do I know this, Toyota incentives are up 18% from July and Ford’s down (in fact to less than industry average). The average transaction price before incentives is 22K and change for the fusion. 21K and change for the Camry. So, there is a 2500$ difference netted between the sale of a Camry and Fusion to their brands. You ready for more? The Fiesta ATP at 18K is 2000$ more than the corolla. The Focus ATP at 21K is is a few hundred more than the Camry. The Cruze’s ATP is 3000 more than the Corolla and 2000 more than the Civic.

      Toyota is hell bent on keeping the number 1 position for the Camry at all costs, this when their profitability is down to zero and the Yen at 77 to the dollar is only making things worse. In a months time they are going to lose the Number Spot for Compacts, with Cruze passing the Corolla. The midsize market is the last frontier Toyota is still holding on to. But the Big Boys, GM and Ford smell blood. They are moving in for the kill and its going to be ugly. Case in point – Difference bet Camry and Fusion Sales
      2007 – 350,000
      2010 – 100,000
      2011 – 36,000

      The other things you fail to realize are, the Camry’s sales are coming at the expense of higher profit margin cars like the Rav4, Lexus ES350, IS, RX etc whose sales have tanked. While GM on the other hand has tremendous increases to the Equinox, Terrain, Regal and Cruze from year ago levels. 3600$ on the hood plus attractive financing on the Camry will cannibalize sales from other profitable models.

      Malibu only up 14K units, but Cruze up 80,000 Units, ‘Nox up 42K units, Terrain up 22K and Regal up 26K units

      Check this chart : http://www3.picturepush.com/photo/a/6496206/img/6496206.bmp

      • 0 avatar
        Scoutdude

        I don’t see Highdesertcat trying to spread mis-info, he is supporting the fact that they are having to or at least trying to give away 2011 Camrys which his family’s dealerships throwing an extra $3k on the hood in addition to the money Toyota is.

        JJ is just being JJ and grasping at anything he can to “prove” his point and justify his support of Toyota in the face of the facts.

  • avatar
    threeer

    Wow…seriously lackluster numbers for the Optima. I’m guessing that there is some pretty serious money on the hood for each 200 sold. And as good as the Kizashi might be (I’ve seen a few on the road…really like the look), there just isn’t enough dealer network (or advertising) to even make it to the list. It’ll be interesting to see how the redesign of the Camry affects sales moving forward.

    • 0 avatar
      NulloModo

      I agree about the Kizashi. I’ve seen a couple on the road, and they look amazing. The first time I saw one I followed it in traffic trying to get close enough to read the badging. My first impression was that it was one of the new Lexus hybrids (which I still have yet to see in person).

  • avatar
    bomberpete

    Two things:

    - At what point will VW’s new Passat be in the system to start measuring sales?

    - Would it make sense to group the Mazda6, Suzuki Kizashi, Mitsubishi Galant and other also-rans on a separate chart along with the Regal, Lincoln version of the Fusion, etc.?

  • avatar
    karolinakydd26

    i clearly now see HYUNDAI strategy…with the Hyundai and Kia under its belt ..and according to this chart…outsells the other brands are far as origin of company..being that an article today stated the koreans have the lead in CUV sales YTD for the first time in the US. Hmmm…we shall see

  • avatar
    wsn

    Kizashi outselling Legacy? Hard to believe.

  • avatar
    rudiger

    Is the Impala mid-size? I would have thought it’s more of a full-size, in the same class as the Taurus and Charger. Still, even if it is, it’s not such a bad idea to have it in the chart just as a frame of reference.

  • avatar
    readallover

    It`s as if Mazda has given up on the 6. Little advertising, very little incentives and no stock. Every dealer I have gone to has hoards of 3`s, but only a few 6`s, and those are usually loaded to the gills. It`s like U.S. pickups prior to the crash. When I ask if they have any 4 cylinder, non-sunroof, non-leather models, I always get the same response : `Those go as soon as they come in.`

    • 0 avatar
      AdamYYZ

      I bought a 2010 Mazda 6 4cyl manual base model in September last year. They had none on the lot, I test drove a GT 4cyl manual that had all the options. He asked me what colour I wanted when I was signing the papers. I said white, black or red in that order. A few days later he called me and said “Good news! We found the car! It’s white!” Turns out it was the ONLY bare bones Mazda6 6pd in all of Ontario.

      I got lucky. It’s a fantastic car at a very low price.

  • avatar
    84Cressida

    Camry incentives aren’t really higher than any of the other cars. Nissan has lots of cash on the hood of Altimas, and many more go to fleets than Camrys. Fusion and Malibu also have larger fleet % and more incentives. If you do want a Camry and don’t mind having the old model, now is a great time to buy or lease one and the ’11s are going fast. My dealer is down to 7 and they usually have over 20.

  • avatar

    The Optima is doing poorly cause IT’S UGLY.

    I’m surprised the Sonata isn’t doing better, but, they are cutting into Camry and Accord’s sales. My favorite is probably the Altima.

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      The Altima is a much better car than people give it credit for; it was doing the “better than a Camry/Accord” thing while the Sonata was still a droopy, heavy, underpowered wretch.

      For some reason, though, the “Comeback Kid” or “Underdog” auras don’t seem to rub off on it. Pity, really, because even now, compared to the Hyundai, it rides better, has better steering, less bizarre ergonomics and significantly less bizarre exterior styling. Real-world mileage is pretty good, too.

      • 0 avatar
        PintoFan

        To me, the Altima is a Japanese Impala. Not that that’s a bad thing, but why accept a substitute?

      • 0 avatar
        golden2husky

        Pintofan: No offense but I drive an Altima and was just in a sub 1000 mile Impala. The Altima, in my opinion, is a much better car. Way more fun to drive which may cloud my judgement, as that is a top priority to me. The Nissan deserves the sales it is getting. Can’t say if it will have the reliability of the Camry, but as an enthusiast, I can’t see selecting the Toyota over an Altima. Even if the Camry is made with high strength steel ( actually a blend of unobtanium and Berrilyium Trioxide)

  • avatar
    Zackman

    I think the Impala has become this era’s Cutlass Ciera – very reliable, but produced with little change seemingly forever and seriously out-dated. I’d probably still buy one, though, and customize it myself just for the fun of it! Mine sure makes my long commute comfortable!

  • avatar
    bomberpete

    I agree with Zachman, but the Impala is a good package. I rented one in NYC the other day when Dollar was out of compacts. I drove it through the curvy mountain roads of the Catskills in the pouring rain. It’s certainly capable, though kind of numb and the ride was sharper than I expected.

    Because of both the weather and my pregnant wife as a passenger, I didn’t flog it much; the Impala returned 27mpg with the A/C on most of the time. The last time I had a Focus for that trip, it returned about 31 mpg. If we’d had two more people with us, it would have been a perfect rental.

    But on the subject of outdated, three months ago I made the exact same trip in a Grand Marquis. Yuck! It was sluggish, leaned and squealed around the Bear Mountain corners, returned just over 20mpg and quite honestly made me queasy with its ride motions. Parallel parking it was no joy either. The trunk was its only attribute and I was very happy to be rid of it.

    I know these tanks can be fixed up nicely with the cop stuff and other parts, but I still don’t get why all you Panther fan boys get yourselves all hot and bothered over a package that was engineered in the Seventies.

    Finally, in the early to mid Nineties Ford tossed huge incentives on the Taurus to keep its #1 spot from Camry and Accord, only to give up after the ’96 redesign failed. Doesn’t anyone find it ironic that Toyota seems to be doing the same thing to keep Camry ahead of Altima and Sonata, Malibu, etc.?

    Meanwhile, it feels like Honda seems to be giving up on the Accord’s best-seller status unless the next redesign surprises us by being good.

  • avatar
    Volt 230

    I agree the majority of 200 I’ve seen are rentals. Chrysler 200, America’s favorite rental car.


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